ANITA'S ANIMAL CORNER
By Jean Sutherland
Spots can seemingly appear spontaneously anywhere on a dog's body and
the area involved can rapidly spread. This moist, raw skin disorder
has a variety of causes but the most consistent factor is bacteria.
Anything that irritates or breaks the skin can create the environment
for bacterial contamination if the skin surface has just a bit of moisture
on it. That moisture can be present from a recently given bath, from
swimming or being out in the rain, from rolling in wet grass or even
from a slightly oozing sore that provides nutrients for bacteria.
Hot Spots can cause severe itching and
self trauma because the infection goes into the deep layers of the skin.
That's why Hot Spots may take two weeks to finally look like they are
going to heal. On occasion if a dog has extensive and deep areas of
Moist Eczema, oral antibiotics and antihistamines may need to be prescribed
and large areas of skin will be shaved.
Watch for these skin sores and keep your
dog well groomed especially in hot seasons. Any dog that has matted,
dirty hair is at greater risk of developing Hot Spots. Many owners will
have their long or thick furred dog shaved closely in the summer. This
really does help prevent the thick coat from covering any dampness on
the surface of the skin. The fur covering any accumulated dampness and
not allowing evaporation, the wet skin surface is a perfect environment
for bacterial growth and invasion of the skin surface.
Repeated infections and irritation from
licking can create scar tissue and chronic infection. A severe Lick
Granuloma may result if persistent treatment is not performed. Hot Spots
seem to be a summertime problem but can occur any time. If your dog
needs veterinary help for skin lesion, don't delay in making that call.
Hot Spots often spread under the cover
of the fur so that by the time you notice them they are well established
and spreading. Moist Eczema may be caused by a tick bite. It is recommended
that the fur be shaved over the moist eczema to facilitate application
of medication as well as to allow drying. An area well beyond the margins
of the lesion should be shaved. The tiny black spot at the top of the
Hot Spot is an area where the skin has actually died and may be where
a tick was attached. Why one tick will trigger Moist Eczema and others
won't is still a mystery. If every tick bite caused this much reaction
the magnitude of skin problems in dogs would be staggering!
Daily cleaning of the Hot Spot, even every
two hours for the first day or two, will speed up the healing. Also,
any topical anti-bacterial ointment will arrest the growth of the bacteria.
These skin lesions can take a week to finally dry and look like they
are going to heal. Once they are no longer oozing, simply keeping the
Hot Spot area clean will be all that's needed. The fur begins to grow
back (sometimes a different color!) within two weeks. Shaved and cleaned
and vigorous treatment with antibiotics and cleansers will prevent further
damage. Rarely will a scar be a consequence of Hot Spots but scarring
The shelter would like to thank the band
Ellis Island for helping to collect money to spay some of our animals.
Their collecting of donations at their performances has gone toward
spaying a large number of our cat population.
Also, continued thanks to the Lakeside
Spay and Neuter group for all their help in getting our dogs spayed.
The Shelter would also like to thank our volunteers who go to the market
every week and sell used books and videos. Donations are always welcome.
The help that they have given the shelter over the last year has made
a tremendous difference. When you see these groups, please thank them
for their help and support. "NO MORE (unwanted) PUPPIES OR KITTENS
AT LAKESIDE" is our goal. Please visit us at