Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Protecting Your Pet: Hot Spots
Does your pet suffer from painful hot spots? We're not talking about the desire to boogie down all night at the newest South Beach club. We're talking about areas on the body where they scratch themselves raw. In today's - protecting your pet - Health Specialist Marilyn Mitzel shows us how to treat and prevent hot spots.
Especially when they can't scratch the itch.
"He is absolutely miserable," saysDog Walker Michelle Tedesco.
This is Zack. He's prone to hot spots. He gets them quite often.
Michelle says, "It got so bad that he hid in a corner. He had to be lifted and carried out for his walks. He was in agony."
Hot spots are more common in dogs than cats and can occur anywhere on the body.
Dr. Chris Stevens of Emerald Hills Veterinary Clinic says, "It's an area where a pet has chewed, scratched, licked, or created a raw area."
They're caused by many things.
Dr. Stevens says, "Flea allergies being at the top of the list."
Insect bites - skin irritants - food - grass - pollen and chemical allergies are triggers.
So is stress - separation anxiety - nervousness and boredom.
"They can create a hot spot within an hour," saysDr. Stevens.
They're very common among animals, but the good news is they're also very treatable.
Michelle says, "Guaranteed, as soon as one goes away, shortly another will appear."
The key - is proper treatment.
Dr. Stevens says, "This is a hot spot Buddy had a few weeks ago that we ended up shaving, cleaning and putting him on medications."
A combination of cortisone - antihistamines and or antibiotics -can help.
Sprays and creams can deter licking - so can collars.
If it's psychological - hormones - valium - anti-anxiety medication dubbed "doggy prozac" may be prescribed - along with spending less time alone.
Michelle says, "Hopefully, it will clear up shortly and the cone will come off, and he's back to normal -- Right Zack?"
Soon enough, the collar comes off ...
(Louis Armstrong songs "What a Wonderful World" ... "Oh, yeah...")
No Zack is walking without the collar.
"When there are no hot spots. he's a joy to walk," says Michelle. "He enjoys going out, but when he has a hot spot he's nobody's friend: 'Just leave me alone, find me a corner to hide in,' and that's what he does."
If your animal gets hot spots, don't waste time. Get them to the vet right away. If they get infected it makes it more difficult for them to go away.
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