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What Causes Hot Spots On Cats

Causes Of Hot Spots In Cats

How To Get Ride Of Hot Spots on Cats | Hot Spots Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The moist acute dermatitis is a self-inflicted condition: the cat scratches and bites a certain area of its skin until it becomes sore anditchy. The condition aggravates, as the cat scratches the sore spot more, which makes it itch more, so a vicious circle is created.

The primary causes which make the cat compulsively scratch a certain area vary a lot:

  • Parasites such as fleas or mites
  • Insect bites
  • Allergy to something the cat has inhaled or swallowed
  • Poor grooming
  • Boredom or stress
  • Internal infections: if the hot spot is close to the ears an ear infection causing the cat to scratch the area might be the reason, if itis near the tail, there might be an anal gland infection

Take Your Cat To The Vet

Get advice and treatment from a professional. My veterinarian said that sometimes an all-raw diet helps cats get rid of hot spots, but it only works sometimes. And such a drastic diet change should be done gradually, since the feline digestive tract is sensitive. If you change your cat’s diet too quickly, your cat could start throwing up or exhibiting other signs of gastrointestinal discomfort.

Hot Spots And Pets: What You Can Do To Help Your Furry Friend


Scratching is the natural reaction when your skin itches, whether you’re a person or an animal. Although a few seconds of vigorous scratching may feel good initially, raking your nails over your skin usually only worsens the problem. Unfortunately, dogs and cats don’t know when it’s time to stop scratching and may soon develop uncomfortable hot spots on their skin.

What Are Hot Spots?

Hot spots are moist, inflamed, infected areas of skin that feel warm to the touch. Formally called moist dermatitis, the spots can affect both dogs and cats but are more common in dogs. Hot spots can form anywhere on the body, but often develop on the chest, head and hips in dogs and on the tail, head, neck or thigh in cats. Because frequent licking or scratching can cause hair loss, red hot spots are usually very noticeable. If the spots aren’t treated promptly, they can worsen and increase in size.

What Causes Hot Spots?

Hot spots develop when your dog or cat continually licks, bites or scratches the skin. When the licking or scratching causes a break in the skin, a painful infection develops. Hots spots tend to occur due to:

  • Flea Infestations
  • Environmental Allergies
  • Stress
  • Joint Pain
  • Matted Hair
  • A Foreign Object in the Hair or Skin
  • Infections of the Ears of Skin

Some dogs, such as rottweilers, German shepherds, St. Bernards, Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers, are more likely to develop hot spots than others.

How are Hot Spots Treated?

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Causes And Home Remedies For Hot Spots On Cats

Medically referred to as acute moist dermatitis, hot spots are characterized by the loss of hair/fur, redness, presence of pus, etc. This CatAppy write-up explains the contributing factors for hot spots on cats, along with some simple home remedies.

Medically referred to as acute moist dermatitis, hot spots are characterized by the loss of hair/fur, redness, presence of pus, etc. This CatAppy write-up explains the contributing factors for hot spots on cats, along with some simple home remedies.

Cats that have a thick coat are more susceptible to hot spots, as their dense coat might have an adverse effect on air circulation. Clipping the coat during the warmer months can lower the incidence of infections.

Cats spend most of their time in keeping themselves clean. While dogs employ the mechanism of panting to cool off, cats lick themselves and rely on the evaporation of saliva to maintain their body temperature. Licking also promotes the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands thats present at the base of hair. It facilitates the even distribution of sebum or natural oil around its coat. The cats saliva also contains certain enzymes that can help guard against an infection or heal wounds. The process of licking also helps remove dirt and parasites.

Success With The Cat Cone And Homeopet

Causes and Treatment of Feline Hot Spots

It’s been several months, and Miss Kitty’s hot spots healed up completely with the use of the cone. I didn’t remove the cone until the hot spots had disappeared entirely and her fur had started growing back in. That did the trick! I’m so happy to report that she has not had any hot spots for months now!

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Diet Contains Too Much Starch/carbohydrates

Check to see if you are feeding your cat a high-quality cat food. If not, consider switching. One option is a grain-free diet. Grain-free pet food is readily available at most pet food stores. Natural Balance and Blue Buffalo Wilderness are two brands with grain-free options. The grain/carbohydrates in most cat food can cause an overgrowth of yeast in/on your pet.

All About Hot Spots On Cats

Any type of cat can develop hot spots, and were not talking about a wireless connection to the Internet or a trendy place. A hot spot in a cat is a very itchy skin infection, also called acute moist dermatitis and pyotraumatic dermatitis. In cats they are sometimes even referred to as miliary dermatitis.

Hot spots can happen to any cat, but cats with fleas or a history of allergies are more prone to developing a hot spot. Cats with long, thick coats may also be more prone to developing a hot spot.

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Symptoms Of Hot Spots On Cats

Cats with hot spots have severely itchy lesions on their skin, typically on the tail, thighs, and head.

Youll notice your cat scratching or biting at a part of their body. The hot spot is probably painful, so your cat might meow or lash out when you touch it. There might be pus and fluid oozing from the site of the infection, soaking into your cats hair and making it mat around the area.

Daily Supplements To Consider

Hot Spots in Pets

Giving your dog a daily supplement of Omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids can help prevent and manage chronic skin problems. Zesty Paws Omega 3 Alaskan Fish Oil Chew Treats are an excellent option. They help promote healthy skin and also have anti-inflammatory properties, so they can help ward off hot spots by making your dog less susceptible to allergens and infections.

A daily probiotic is another option to help improve your dogs allergies and associated itching . Nusentia Probiotic Miracle is a top choice for many dog owners. This blend contains 6 different strains and a prebiotic to combat itching & scratching, allergies, digestive and other issues. Learn more about dog probiotics.

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Causes Of Hair Loss In Cats

A variety of conditions can cause hair loss in cats. Alopecia can be a sign of diseases, infections, toxins, disorders, cancers, allergies, or infestations. Hair loss that occurs at or soon after birth is often related to improper development in the womb or hereditary disorders. Some common causes of hair loss in cats and other companion animals include:

  • Bacterial infections

If You Suspect That Your Cats Hot Spots Are Caused By Physical Pain Work To Relieve That Discomfort

Some cats develop hot spots because theyre in pain. Cats with arthritis might chew at their hips or other joints. Cats with ear infections might attack their ears. Take a close look at your cats behavior and try to deduce whats going on beneath the surface.

If you cant figure out why your cat has developed hot spots, it may be time to bring them to a veterinarian. Your vet may be able to identify the root cause and help you to devise an appropriate treatment plan.

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Signs Your Dog Has Hot Spots

Before you notice a hot spot, your dog will know it is there and will usually begin excessively licking the spot as it burns and itches. Once the spot is irritated, it will hurt for you to touch it and be causing your dog pain. So be gentle if you see a red spot.

Also, the skin will most likely be wet and moist. This doesnât help but feeds and spreads the growth of bacteria.

There are other signs your dog will give you that he might have a hot spot:

  • Unusual aggression or behavior changes
  • Whining, crying or wincing in pain when touched
  • Excessive itching of the skin
  • Persistent chewing, biting, licking or grooming
  • Scaly skin around the sore area
  • Sores that are scabbing over or filled with pus
  • Excessive warmth that can be felt on the dogâs coat or the skin
  • Matted Fur
  • Fever due to a possible infection
  • Lethargy or depression

These are all signs that your dog might be suffering from hot spots. Look at your dog closely for any of the above signs and seek out professional help from a veterinarian if you have tried some home remedies and they do not work.

Talk With Your Veterinarian

How to Get Rid of Hot Spots on Cats

The key to preventing hot spots in dogs is to understand the underlying condition that caused it in the first place. A veterinarian can do some testing to see what might be causing the hot spots to appear. Your dog needs to be on flea prevention, groomed regularly, treated for allergies and any skin infections, such as an ear infection.

Just remember that hot spots are common. More so in some breeds than others and can be treated either at home or by a veterinarian. Hot spots range from minor to severe so treat your dog accordingly. Book an appointment with your Mendocino Animal Hospital veterinarian by calling or using the online form!

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Cons Of The Soft Cone

Although I do really like this pet collar, it doesn’t wear well after a lot of scratching from a cat. My kitty kept scratching her ears and scratching the cone. The drawstring started shredding, and so did the collar. It still works, but it will probably need to be replaced after my kitty wears it for a month. Still, to me, it’s worth it, because it’s comfortable for my cat.

Hot Spots On Cats Home Remedies And Treatment

Once youve determined that your cat has a hot spot, you have a few options for treatment.

First, you can take your cat to a veterinarian, where theyll receive antibiotics to combat the bacterial infection and steroids to minimize pain and itchiness. Your veterinarian may also help you to identify the root cause of the condition, which will help you to prevent hot spots in the future.

That said, a vet visit isnt necessary. Hot spots are relatively easy to treat at home, and by healing your cat without antibiotics, you wont disrupt their natural bacteria population. Most home remedies follow the same fundamental principlesthey clean the wound, reduce bacteria, and soothe your cats pain and itching.

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At Home Arthritis Prevention

As a cat owner, you must know that life at home cannot stay the same after a diagnosis. When your vet confirms that indeed your cat is sick, changes have to be made at home to make her life as easy as possible. Some of these changes may even aid in your cats recovery though this may not be the case in arthritis as it is very unlikely to cure.

Reduce Your Cats Anxiety

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Less stress is always a good thing, and for some cats with hot spots, it could help stop the severe itching, oozing, and pain.

Establishing a cat-appropriate routine is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Cats greatly benefit from twice-daily play and regular mealtimes. Theyre at their best when their litter boxes, food bowls, water, and beds remain in the same place every day.

In addition to creating a healthy routine, do your best to provide safe refuges from stressors like loud noises, disruptive guests, new family members, and visiting pets.

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Other Skin Conditions To Look Out For

Skin or ear infections can be involved in the formation of hot spots.

  • Yeast is present in your cats ears, but an overgrowth of this yeast will lead to inflammation and itching.
  • Ringworm is often mistaken to be a parasite, but in fact, is a fungus that can grow on your cats skin. It can spread rapidly and make your cat extremely pruritic .
  • Bacterial Infections are often opportunistic. They grow on the skin surface and sometimes deep in the skin once the immune system is weakened or your cat breaks the skin surface from scratching.

What Does Treatment Involve

The underlying cause should be identified and treated, if possible. Flea and tick preventives should be administered at the time of treatment. Anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics, such as injectable, oral, or topical preparations, are often used to relieve the intense itching and to combat secondary skin infection. The area is usually clipped and cleaned to facilitate applying any sprays or ointments on the affected area. Protective collars are often used to prevent the dog from further licking and injuring the site while healing occurs. See handouts “First Aid for Hot Spots in Dogs” and Elizabethan Collars in Dogs for further information.

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Second Stage Red Inflamed And Moist + Oozing Pus

During the second stage, the hot spot will continue to be moist, red, and inflamed, but the infection will cause ooze to come out. Most people notice acute moist dermatitis at this stage because the pus is impossible to ignore. Its important to take your cat to the vet at this stage so that the infection doesnt spread.

Treating Hot Spots At Home

Vet Talks: Hot Spots On Cats

The principle of treating a hot spot is to allow air to the area and to keep the skin clean.

  • Carefully trim away fur so that the hot spot is exposed to the air, which helps to dry it up.
  • Bathe your cat twice a day with dilute salt water . This acts as a mild disinfectant.
  • Soak a cotton ball in the salt water and clean away any sticky discharge.
  • Avoid using thick creams, such as Sudocrem, as these tend to seal infection in and prevent air getting to the skin.
  • Many hot spots do require at least a topical antibiotic. If your cat is prone to hot spots, ask your vet if they can supply an appropriate medicated ointment to have ready and waiting at home. Prompt treatment when the hot spot is first noticed, can stop it flaring into a much larger area. In addition, be conscientious about controlling parasites, such as fleas, to prevent skin irritation.

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    Preventing And Treating Hot Spots On Your Dog Or Cat

    Written by Foley Boulevard. Posted in

    How to Recognize Hot Spots

    • Lesion that appears red or raised
    • Unexplained swelling
    • Constant licking or chewing a certain spot of her skin
    • A red or brown color around the hot spot
    • Unpleasant smell coming from the affected area
    • Pus and oozing
    • Displaying obvious signs of discomfort or pain

    Preventing and Treating Hot Spots

    Treatment at Foley Blvd. Animal Hospital typically consists of clipping the fur around the hot spot and cleaning it with a mild anesthetic. A variety of prescriptions or medications to control itching may be appropriate as well. We encourage you to contact us right away if your pet displays any of the potential signs of hot spots described above. Our telephone number is 763-755-3595.

    What Is A Hot Spot

    A hot spot is an area of inflamed, infected skin. Hot spots are typically damp, red, smelly, sore, and sometimes have a scab on top. They often begin as something minor, such as an insect bite or graze, then become inflamed and infected when rubbed, licked or nibbled. Anything that causes a dog to chew or lick one particular area of their body can lead to a hot spot, for example:

    Hot spots respond to treatment very well but can cause much more serious problems if they arent treated quickly.

    Hot spot on a dog.

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    Causes And Treatment Of Feline Skin Lesions

    “Feline skin lesions have many possible causes including allergy, infections and parasites. Diagnosis of skin problems in cats can be a challenge since cats have a tendency to lick or use their teeth on itchy areas. Licking can cause lesions to become infected and hair loss. The leading cause of skin lesions in cats are fleas, which are often the problem despite the owners ability to locate a flea on the cats body. For example, a human could carry fleas into a house, which in turns causes a cat skin reaction. The second leading cause is atopy, which is an allergy to inhaled substances such as tree and grass pollen. A visit to a veterinarian is required for a specific diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Certain causes can be suspected based on a cats history and location of the cat skin disorder.”

    There are many possible causes for feline skin lesions. Thetreatment depends on the type and cause of the sore. Anytime your cathas a sore that doesnt heal in a few days or that oozes yellow orgreen-colored puss, see your vet as this is a sign of infection. Start by suspecting the leading cause which is fleas, even if you havetrouble locating any on your cat’s body. If you cat has fleaprotection, next suspect atopy or food allergy asthe cause. After allergy, problems such as ringworm and scabies arepotential causes. Problems such as infection are often introduced intothe skin after a cat licks itchy areas, a condition referred to as asecondary skin infection.


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