In this article, we’re going to go over a very unpleasant skin condition your dog might be experiencing: Hot spots.
By the end, you’ll know what hot spots are, what causes them, how to treat them, and more.
Let’s get started:
What Is A Hot Spot? What Are The Symptoms?
A hot spot is a lesion on the dog’s skin. Symptoms include red, hot, irritated and moist skin (hot spots are also called moist dermatitis).
What Causes Hot Spots on Dogs?
Hot spots are caused when something irritates the dog’s skin and the dog licks, chews, scratches or bites the area to try to relieve themselves, further irritating it and opening it up to infection.
The original irritant could be a number of things:
- Flea bites (see more)
- Mites (see more)
- Allergic reactions (see more)
- Poor grooming
- Other ear or skin infections
But it’s the actual licking, chewing, scratching or biting that turns a bite or allergic reaction into a hot spot.
If the hot spot is in a general area on the dog’s body, it’s most likely caused by a flea bite. If it’s near the ear, it could be an ear infection. And if it’s near the hip, it may be an anal gland infection.
How to Treat Dog Hot Spots
The faster you start treating the hot spot, the quicker it will go away. And sometimes they can go away as quickly as they came.
Here’s a step by step process for treating a dog hot spot:
1. Cut the hair around the affected area to expose it. This will help release the moisture and dry the area faster. It will also aid in the next steps.
2. Clean the area with shampoo or a water-based antiseptic spray. Make sure whatever you clean it with is mild so as to not irritate it further.
3. Use a hydrocortisone cream or spray to help with the itching.
4. Place an E collar (cone collar) around their neck to prevent them from itching or licking the area again.
After this, the lesion should heal on its own. However, it’s important to monitor the area and make sure it heals and doesn’t get worse. If it gets worse or doesn’t heal, take your pup to the vet to get checked out.
There, your veterinarian may prescribe oral antibiotics or administer a cortisone injection to complete the healing process.
Here are some good treatments for hot spot relief:
- Dermasol Skin Care Gel – Hot spot relief
- Nurtured Pets Anti-Lick Strip – Helps prevent licking by covering up the hot spot
- Vetericyn VF Wound & Skin Care – Treats wounds and infections in pets
- Vetericyn Plus Hot Spot Spray – Topical solution to treat a variety of skin afflictions
Which Dogs Are Most Prone?
Any breed can develop hot spots, but dogs with thick coats or long hair are especially prone. Dogs that aren’t groomed on a regular basis or have dirty coats also have a higher likelihood of developing hot spots.
Hot Spot Prevention
Some preventative measures can be taken to reduce the occurrence of hot spots.
First, make sure your dog is bathed and groomed regularly. This will lessen the amount of bacteria present to cause an infection.
Third, if you dog has an allergic reaction and you notice them excessively itching and scratching, treat the allergy immediately to reduce the likelihood of a hot spot developing.
To Wrap It Up
Hot spots are not fun for your dog to experience, but thankfully they are very treatable.
If you have any questions about this condition, don’t hesitate to comment below!