Dog Sore Care and Treatment Tips

A dog sore has many causes and treating one depends on the type, location and cause. If left untreated, a dog sore can become very painful and infected.

Types of Dog Sores

Here are some sores your dog may develop:

  • Hot spots, also known as "acute moist dermatitis", occur mostly during times of hot weather in dogs that have long fur. Hot spots are usually caused by fleas, mites, poor grooming or allergies. These sores are often seen on the head, hips or sides of a dog's chest.
  • Scabies is caused by mites that enter a dog's skin and leave toxins. These toxins cause a lot of itchiness and look like red spots all over the dog's body. Mange can also be caused by mites. The sores attributed to mange usually ooze and form a crust. Only veterinarians can diagnose mange, which can affect a dog's whole body or just a small area.
  • A fungal infection that causes a dog to have sores is often referred to as "blastomycosis". When a dog contracts blastomycosis, he develops sores on the skin that tend to ooze. Histoplasmosis is a less common form of fungal infection that can cause diarrhea, a fever, skin sores and a cough.
  • Allergies cause the development of many skin sores in dogs. A dog can develop hives when his skin has an allergic reaction, causing the skin to feel itchy. If a dog scratches too hard, the skin can break and become infected.
  • Skin sores can also develop from a variety of diseases or underlying conditions. For example, dog lip sores and a sore paw may indicate a problem in the pancreas or liver.

Treating Dog Sores

To treat a sore, the hair around the wound should be cut and cleaned well with soap and water. If your dog has been licking his sore, a muzzle may need to be placed over his mouth while administering topical medications or ointments. To prevent further licking after a sore has been cleaned, the sore will need to be wrapped with gauze and a sport bandage. Since wearing a muzzle long-term can cause injury, a collar may need to be placed around a dog's neck if he continues to want to lick or chew a sore that has been bandaged. The collar extends around and above the dog's head, making it difficult for him to even lick or chew on any parts of the body.

Many times, your dog will have to take an antibiotic if there are sores on his body. Antibiotics can help prevent or clear up infections. A veterinarian may prescribe an anti-fungal or anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve your dog from any itchiness or pain caused by a sore. Sometimes your dog will be prescribed a medicated shampoo, depending on the cause of the wound. A medicine that can be added to your dog's shampoo may also be recommended.

Consult a veterinarian if your dog develops sores. Early intervention and treatment can help him recover successfully.