Now that summertime is here and you’re all ready to hit the beach, take some time of think of how the heat and humidity can affect your pets!
Furry pets such as dogs, cats, and even small animals such as rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs can suffer from a condition called “hot spots”. The technical term of hot spots is acute moist dermatitis and it occurs when a pet licks, scratches, or rubs at a certain spot on their body long and hard enough to be able to cause irritation or wounding.
A hot spot often looks red, wet, and bald (if the spot has fur or hair before), and can be intensely painful, itchy, or both for your pet.
One of the most common reasons that cause hot spots for pets are fleas. When they bite your pet, the area becomes irritated. When the pet scratches that area, it could become inflamed and even more irritated due to constant scratching. It’s important to note that it’s not actually the flea bite that causes the itching, but rather, the saliva of the fleas. Most pets have a sensitivity to flea bites because of the saliva.
There are other causes for hot spots as well, such as an allergic reaction to food, or even allergic reaction to some commercial pet products!
Once your pet gets a hot spot, it can easily give rise to others. If you notice that your pet has a hot spot, here are some steps to help give your pet some relief:
✓Shave the area clean. Remove any fur or hair so that it prevents further itching as well as preventing any moisture to be trapped against the hot spot. Make sure to also remove the hair or fur to around an inch around the hot spot to make it easier to clean and treat.
✓Clean the area using a gentle, non-irritating shampoo, then dry it thoroughly.
✓Make sure that your pet leaves the hot spot alone. You can use a cone or Elizabethan collar for cats and dogs to make sure that they do not further irritate the site by scratching or licking.
Here are some great home treatments that you can use help reduce flea infestation to reduce hot spots in your pets:
✓Make a citrus spray at home by boiling citrus fruits (lemons work best) with rosemary. Allow the mixture to cool, and strain out the solid parts. Spray in your pet’s fur to repel fleas.
✓Dab some rose geranium essential oils on your pet’s collar to help repel fleas (they don’t like the smell).
✓Make some chamomile tea, cool in in your fridge, and place in in a spray bottle. Spray on your pet’s hotspots to help relieve the itching.
✓Apply vitamin E or fish oil on your pet to help moisturize your pet’s skin. You can also give them capsules along with their regular food.
✓Create an oatmeal paste and apply to itchy areas. The paste will help moisturize and soothe irritated skin.