Subject: Hot spots in cats
Since the subject of hot spots came up recently, I thought it would make a good topic for a newsletter. Hot spots aren't terribly common in cats but many cats can suffer from them or conditions similar to hot spots that can cause fur loss, sores and itching.
A hot spot is caused by bacteria. A cat will get a small nick on their skin which can give the bacteria a perfect environment to grow in. The spot will start to itch which leads to scratching and chewing at the spot in an effort to reduce the itching. This creates more small nicks which allows the bacteria to spread. Left untreated, the cat will develop weeping sores.
One mistake often made when treating hot spots is bathing in oatmeal shampoos or similar skin soothing shampoos. Bathing traps water in the cat's hair and can worsen the outbreak.
Treatment is usually a combination of things. Hair around the spots should be shaved to minimize moisture getting trapped near the sores. It may be necessary to place the cat in a e-collar (cone) to keep them from licking and chewing the spots. Steroids are commonly used to bring down the inflammation and ease the itching. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, a combination of oral and topical steroids may be used. It may be necessary to also administer antibiotics in cases of infection.
I would also like to take this opportunity to let everyone know that we have a new forum devoted to Shelties.