September 20, 2012

Hot spot leads to vet visit and less than happy pup

Last week our family was introduced to hot spots. Relay had licked one into a good inch circle on his backside, but with some triple ointment and careful monitoring it started to heal.

Problem was, he also made one on his tail. It was much more problematic, but we tried to handle it ourselves. That was until Jeff was getting ready for work Tuesday. In the time it took him to brush his teeth, Relay had bit his tail raw until he was bleeding. I grabbed my first aid book and irrigated and then disinfected, but we headed to the vet right when it opened at 8. Thankfully, they could fit us in as a walk in.

Let me take a minute to talk about hot spots. They can be caused by any number of things (an allergy, an attempt of the body to detox, an injury such as a puncture or scratch, a flea bite...) but it is more defined by the consequence. A dog is aggravated so he licks or scratches at his skin and can create an open sore in a matter of minutes. At this point we did not know what had caused Relay's hot spots.

Here is the hot spot on his back, partially healed.

The vet was great. She looked him over, reassured us, and took him to the back to get some of the hair shaved on his tail better before treatment. When she came back with Relay I was just about in shock. My baby! My beautiful boy! The vet had shaved most of his tail back to reveal the underlying problem.

Her best guess: At some point Relay had sat in an ant hill. His tail was covered in little bites marks. No wonder my puppy was picking! But between the orignial wound, the shaved tail, the bites, and this medicated powder, it looked a mess. My poor baby!

And the worst news of all (that is if you ask Relay) is that he needed to spend his next week in a cone. But I will say that I'm grateful that was all. The last time I went to the vet was Louie's emergency, so I'll take a hot spot any day. And that I know the culprits were some ants, we can handle that much easier then some unknown boogeyman.

But I'm still going to baby my baby until he is all better.

ADVISORY: From this point forward, I have included pictures of the injury and treatment. They are not pretty to look at, so feel free to skip.

On the way to the vet
After the shave



Poor Relay! My dog Copper used to get hot spots ALL the time until the vet finally diagnosed him with a thyroid issue. His looked pretty bad too. Gosh, Relay's poor wittle tail! You are such a good dog mom - ever ready with the first aid book!

He is still a handsome fella though - even with the cone of shame. :)

Ouchie, that does look raw! Jasmine had hot spot twice, both times on her cheek. Luckily we caught it very early, so it didn't get near this raw. I still felt bad for her being "defaced" like that. Little I realized that she'll be undergoing multiple surgeries in the future, with most of her body shaved off at least once at one time or another.

He's recovering well, thanks everyone! Sad to see that hot spots are all too common. Jana, best of luck with the upcoming surgeries, poor Jasmine.

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