Vet Hansel answers questions about pet care in this weekly advice column, created in partnership with the Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA). It will also highlight each week some of the animals in the BSPCA sanctuary, in the hope of finding each of them a loving home.
Question: I noticed a red patch on my dog Kizzy’s leg that she keeps biting and licking. What might it could possibly be?
Answer: Kizzy appears to have a hot spot but only a vet can confirm this and prescribe the right treatment.
A hot spot will leave your dog feeling very uncomfortable and highly agitated so it would be advisable to muzzle her while you have a closer look at the area.
Hot spots are a localised skin condition that affects countless dogs every year. They are also known as pyotramatic, moist dermatitis or summer sores.
A hot spot can result in an inflamed and infected area of skin that appears as a moist and oozing red area.
The area can give off an unpleasant odour and hair loss around the wound is also possible.
Anything that causes itchiness to the skin can lead to the development of a hot spot but common triggers are allergies, insect bites, skin wounds, external parasites or a build-up of bacteria.
Constant licking and chewing of the area will dramatically worsen the condition.
Hot spots seemingly appear spontaneously and grow quickly, so it is wise to start treatment as soon as possible.
The vet will aim to clear the bacterial infection, relieve itching and pain and discuss with you ways of removing the underlying triggers.
Hair around the spot is usually clipped to allow the area to be cleaned and for ease of medicine application.
This also makes sure that no hair can get trapped in the wound.
Topical treatment with sprays, creams or ointments will kill bacteria and help with pain and inflammation. A course of antibiotics will probably be prescribed and anti-histamines and corticosteroids may be given to relieve itching and pain.
Hot spots can lead to fever or more serious underlying skin problems if not treated correctly.
At home, you can keep the area clean with cool water and a gentle cleanser and by applying a cool compress to the area two to four times a day with a cool wet washcloth.
Special cone-shaped collars can also stop Kizzy from biting or licking the wound.
Dr Hansel is a veterinary consultant and surgeon for the BSPCA and Charis Vets. Please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
BSPCA’S DOG OF THE WEEK IS ROLLO
Age: 3 years, 8 months
Rollo was found wandering around Jasra/Hamala and was too friendly to be left on his own. He was brought to the shelter by a concerned citizen. Rollo has been a polite and loving resident to have around and caused no trouble at all, he stays upfront in the corner of his pen and says hello when you pass by. Rollo would be a wonderful addition to your family. He is neutered, tick-treated and fully vaccinated.
BSPCA’S CAT OF THE WEEK IS JASON
Breed: Birman Cat
Age: 1 year, 1 month
Jason is a happy-go-lucky cat who enjoys playing a lot. He is quite energetic and is always moving about in the cat house. He has soft and fluffy fur coat that is very attractive. He is handsome and proves to be a real stand-out in the cat house. He likes the company of friends and loves it if volunteers spend their time playing and cuddling him. He feels loved and the attention he gets makes him very important. Jason is neutered and fully vaccinated.
If you are interested in adopting Rollo, Jason or any of the shelter’s cats, kittens, dogs and puppies, please visit the Animal Welfare Centre in Askar. From the Alba roundabout take the road sign posted Askar and Durrat Al Bahrain and at the third signal take a right on to the truck road and after approximately 800m you will see the shelter on the right side, just before the flyover. Or, log onto the website www.bspca.org for directions. The shelter is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm from Sundays to Thursdays and 9am to 1pm on Fridays, Saturday, and public holidays. The shelter accept animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.