If your Australian Shepherd has a hot spot, then it won’t be hard to notice how much pain they’re in. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to help alleviate their pain, as well as stop hot spots from happening again!
Remember, though, the best thing you can do for your Aussie if they’re suffering from a hot spot is to take them to the vet!
With that being said, here’s everything to know about hot spots in Australian Shepherds!
Table of Contents
What Are Hot Spots?
Hot spots are a type of dermatitis. They’re also known as acute moist dermatitis, but they’re most often referred to as “hot spots.”
Hot spots are caused by a bacterial infection in small regions of your dog’s skin that become inflamed. They begin small (mistaken for an insect bite) before rapidly increasing.
This quick growth is sometimes aided by your Australian Shepherd’s constant licking of the region, which creates an ideal habitat for the bacteria to thrive in.
If you don’t treat the hot spot while it’s still little, it will swiftly become an oozing, nasty, and painful lesion. (Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t catch it; they’re notoriously difficult to spot.)
What Causes Hot Spots In Australian Shepherds?
Hot spots are caused by a bacterial infection at its most basic level. However, a bacterial infection can arise for a variety of reasons.
Here are some of the most common irritants that cause hot spots in Australian Shepherds.
Any parasite that drives your Australian Shepherd to repeatedly lick or scratch the same region may increase the likelihood of hot spots.
The first things that come to mind are ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. And itching can be caused by any of these bites.
Another common cause of itching in Australian shepherds is an allergic reaction. It could be a dietary sensitivity or a reaction to something that has come into contact with their skin.
Whatever it is, the moment they begin scratching and licking, they are increasing their chances of developing hot spots.
If you don’t provide enough stimulation for your Australian Shepherd, they will become bored. When they’re bored, they can start picking and clawing at different portions of their bodies.
Once these spots begin to bleed, they will provide a breeding ground for a slew of bacteria.
Moisture Trapped In Their Coat
If you let your Aussie swim frequently, you may be increasing their risk of developing a hot spot.
Bacteria flourish in damp environments, such as those found in wet fur. Additionally, because your Australian Shepherd’s fur is so thick, it may take longer for them to dry completely.
All it takes is a minor cut in your Aussies skin to become infected and turn into a hot spot from there.
If your Australian Shepherd has arthritis, he or she may lick the affected region to try to relieve the pain.
If the region they’re licking has a cut or an open sore, it’ll be a lot more likely to become a hot spot.
This most commonly occurs on the joints above their paws, but it can occur at any joint.
Heat And Humidity
Bacteria thrive in moist, warm environments. As a result, your Australian Shepherd is far more likely to develop hot patches throughout the warmer months, especially if you reside in a humid area.
An irritant may have gotten onto your dog’s skin, causing them to scratch or lick excessively. There’s also the danger of irritants causing your Aussie to become poisoned on top of hot spots as well.
So, if you suspect your dog has been exposed to an irritant, make sure to properly clean it off.
A Problem With The Anal Sacs
Anal sacs are found near the anus in all dogs. When your dog poops, they release pheromones and waste. However, if your Australian Shepherd’s anal sacs are impacted, they may get filled.
They’ll feel incredibly unpleasant for your dog if they’re too filled. So, in order to relieve the pain, they may lick it excessively, which can result in hot spots.
Fortunately, your veterinarian can readily fix affected anal sacs, or you can try it yourself if you’re feeling bold.
A Dirty Or Matted Coat
A matted or unclean coat increases the likelihood of water becoming trapped inside your Australian Shepherd’s coat.
So make sure you comb your dog on a regular basis and remove any knots as soon as you discover them.
Skin And Ear Infection
Skin and ear infections are another cause of hot spots in Australian shepherds. A good example is yeast infections.
The area where your dog has a yeast infection will become exceedingly itchy. If you don’t treat the yeast infection for long enough, your Aussie may scratch it so much it harms the skin.
Once the skin has been injured, the risk of bacterial infection rises.
Unfortunately Most Of These Things Are A Recurring Problem…
As you can see, the majority of these issues are likely to recur. And in certain situations (such as arthritis), they’re long-term illnesses that never go away.
These factors, combined with the fact that Australian shepherds have double coats, make them far more prone to hot spots than other short-haired dogs.
When caring for Aussies, keep this in mind so you can try to discover hot spots early on.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hot Spots In Australian Shepherds?
Fortunately, hot spots are easy to recognize, so you won’t have any trouble identifying the symptoms. It’s also worth noting that hotspots have a lot more bark than bite. Although they appear to be highly painful, when handled by your veterinarian, they are usually harmless.
Hot spots on your Aussies body are usually the size of a large sore (however, they can vary in size). They frequently bleed, and if they aren’t bleeding, they will be covered in pus or discharge.
This fluid might cause the hot spot to crust over, making treatment more difficult. It can also cause the surrounding fur to the mat, in addition to crusting over.
It will also expand and protrude, making it look much worse. In addition to the swelling, the hair in the local area will fall out.
Finally, the larger the hot spot becomes as your Australian shepherd scratches and aggravates the region.
Take your Australian Shepherd to the vet if you detect any of the symptoms of a hot spot. The vet will advise you on what to do next.
How Are Hot Spots Treated?
Fortunately, hot spots are simple to treat, but they will require the assistance of a veterinarian. So, once you’ve arrived at the veterinarian’s office, here’s what you may expect.
- The hair around the hot spot will be clipped by your veterinarian. This will prevent fur matting, which will only aggravate the situation and raise the risk of infection.
- Your Australian Shepherd will be anaesthetized if the hotspot is bad.
- After that, an antiseptic solution will be scraped and wiped down on the hot spot. The crust is often removed if the hot site has crusted over. It will be difficult to clean the infection without removing the crust.
- In most circumstances, you’ll need to administer a tiny dose of steroids, antibiotics, or both to your Australian shepherd, which can be given locally or orally.
- Finally, you’ll need to scrub the affected region every day with medicated wipes until it clears up.
- Your vet may also offer you a cone collar to keep them from picking at the hot spot, depending on where it is.
The antibiotic cycle can continue up to four weeks, but that doesn’t guarantee the hot spot will remain infected for that long. The hot region will usually clear up before the antibiotic cycle is finished. However, in order to avoid reinfection, you must continue the cycle to the finish.
Home Remedies That Can Be Helpful
There are several home remedies you may try to help relax your Australian Shepherd while you wait to see your vet.
These treatments should only be used if your Australian Shepherd is okay with you touching the hotspot. You’ll have to wait till you’ve taken them to the vet to treat them if it appears to be too painful for them.
And, as always, ask your veterinarian before beginning any home cure on your Australian Shepherd to ensure that it is safe for them.
Warm Wet Tea Bags
Placing a lukewarm teabag on your Australian Shepherd’s hot spot before seeing your vet is one of the simplest things you can do to relieve it. Teabags, both green and black, can be used as a compress and have been reported to provide some relief.
Salt And Water
This should only be used if your Australian Shepherd does not appear to be in any pain and the hot sore is not too large. Keeping the wound clean with salt and warm water is an excellent idea.
Oatmeal that has been crushed down and suspended in a liquid is known as colloidal oatmeal. It’s considered to be calming, especially for itchy, irritated, and sensitive skin.
While it will not heal your Australian Shepherd’s hot spots, it will provide some relief.
And lastly, another great temporary solution for the pain is shea butter. It’s another great source of relief that will keep the skin around the area moisturized whilst also keeping the fur soft.
How To Prevent Hot Spots In Australian Shepherds
The best way you’re going to prevent hot spots in Australian shepherds is by figuring out what’s causing them in the first place and preventing that.
For example, if your Aussie has been bitten by fleas or ticks, then remove them as soon as possible.
If they’re suffering from arthritis, then try warming up the joint and rubbing it to make them feel better. And in the times when they still keep licking, you can also try adding some anti-lick sprays or creams to the areas.
When you let your dogs swim a lot or get wet a lot, you also need to make sure you’re drying them off enough.
And of course, if you notice they’re allergic to something, then stop them from coming into contact with it.
Prevention of hot spots is pretty self-explanatory; however, due to the fact Australian Shepherds are more prone to them, it’s still vital you take the necessary steps.
Are Hot Spots Dangerous?
Fortunately, if your Australian Shepherd is suffering from hot spots, the prognosis is very good. The hot spots will normally clean up a couple of weeks after your vet has begun treating them, and you won’t have to worry anymore about them!
Interested In Training Your Australian Shepherd The Right Way?
If you haven’t trained your Australian Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your Shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases, it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Australian Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
As you can see, hot spots in Australian Shepherds are definitely treatable and often appear worse than they actually are! With the right home remedies and treatment from your vet, you’ll be able to keep your Aussie comfortable and happy until the hot spots have passed!
If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day!