Hot spots are annoying and sometimes painful areas that form on a dog’s body, usually due to excessive dirt or moisture causing sores to form. These areas are usually moist and red and can appear and spread quickly. Hot spots are generally caused by irritation, which leads to the licking that can cause hot spots to emerge. On some occasions, lick granulomas on paws and legs are sometimes mistaken for hot spots. Prevention often seems the best cure, so avoid letting moisture collect in your pug’s skin folds and keep your pug both happy and engaged.
Moisture (Acute Moist Dermatitis, Hot Spots)
Diagnose the hot spot using visual cues (redness, “weeping,” hair loss). Hot spots developing thick scabs or frequently occurring hot spots should be examined by a veterinarian to confirm diagnosis.
Trim the hair, if necessary, to clear the area of any obstruction.
Thoroughly wash and dry the area with antibacterial soap. Making certain the area is dry is particularly important if the hot spot is located in the folds of the pug’s facial skin.
Treat the hot spots using topical antibiotics and astringents. According to Clivir Learning Community, the topical antibiotics used in such treatments usually contain corticosteroids to reduce itching and inflammation.
If the hot spot is persistent, treat with oral antibiotics. An Elizabethan collar might also be needed to prevent licking or scratching of the area, depending on its location.
Lick Granuloma (Acral Lick Granuloma or Acral Lick Dermatitis)
Take the dog to the vet when the discoloration, hair loss, skin sore, or fibrosis is observed. The veterinarian must diagnose a lick granuloma by examining the area or performing the biopsy (See References 3).
According to veterinarian Becky Lundgren, treatment begins by “treating the inciting cause.". If physical irritation or trauma is not the underlying cause, rule out the need for sedatives, corticosteroids or antidepressants.
Apply treatments such as “Bitter Apple” to the granuloma, to make it less appealing to lick.
Enrich the environment with toys and companionship, both human and canine.
Have the lesion removed, if the damaged area is severe enough. Follow up surgery with normal wound treatment (bandaging, antibiotics, etc.).
Items You Will Need
- As needed or diagnosed:
- Antibiotics, oral and topical
- Astringent liquid or powder
- Elizabethan collar