Also known as acute moist dermatitis or summer sores, dog hot spots may appear anywhere on the furry friend’s body. This intimidating skin condition is especially common in most long-haired dog breeds, including Labradors, Rottweilers, and Golden Retrievers. It tends to be most prevalent in the hot, summer season. Hot spots are mainly caused by allergic reactions, bug bites, underlying diseases or poor grooming. They generally occur around the head, the neck, the trunk, and on the rump. As a caring parent, it is important to have some basic knowledge about dog hot spots in order to take immediate measures to have your pet treated as soon as you notice the first signs of the issue. This having been said, here are 5 things you should know about hot spots on your dog.

hot spots on your dog

1. The Causes

Hot spots are triggered by a simple itch. When the dog scratches themselves constantly, sores form on the raw skin, which will then start oozing serum. The disrupted skin is then invaded by bacteria, making the hot spot even itchier. At this time, the cycle continues to escalate from bad to worse. Among the most common causes of hot spots are food and seasonal allergies. Other causes may include flea infestation, airborne allergens, ear infection, and certain underlying medical conditions. Stress and boredom have also been known to trigger hot spots in dogs.

hot spots on your dog

2. The Signs and Symptoms

As we had earlier mentioned, hot spots can manifest anywhere on the dog’s body. Below are some notable signs that your dog may have hot spots.

  • Localized swelling and inflammation
  • Oozing or crusted sores
  • Moist matted fur
  • Scaly and dry skin
  • Painful patches on the skin
  • Constantly licking and biting on the sore
  • Foul smell from the infected areas
  • Hair loss and balding

It’s important to also note that these sores are generally painful. This may cause your dog to be irritated and aggressive, and may also present signs of depression.

hot spots on your dog

3. Diagnosis

It only takes a short while before the hot spots worsen. This makes it important to let your vet know whenever you notice any of the above symptoms on your dog. Before you get to the vet, there are several home remedies and over the counter treatments that may offer temporary relief to your dog. Apple cider vinegar, for instance, is a known remedy in relieving the effects of irritation, especially those that are caused by fleas. The vet may need to know how long the dog has had the problem accompanied by a brief medical history. They will then clean off the area to ensure that fresh air is reaching the affected spot. They may also shave around the area just to determine the extent of the hot spots. Shaving is also done to facilitate the administration of treatments and to also ensure that the wound dries up. Nonetheless, diagnosis is majorly through physical observation.

4. Treatment

After cleaning and shaving, anti-inflammatory medications are administered to prevent any further scratching, educe pain, and decrease inflammation. This done using be oral, topical, injectable medication or a combination of both. Antibiotics are also needed to help reduce and prevent bacterial infections. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment may last from two weeks to four weeks. Banixx is also a good example of dog hot spot treatments, more of whose information you can find at

hot spots on your dog

5. Preventive Measures

The best ways to prevent hot spots from appearing on your dog may include tick and flea prevention, routine grooming, and ensuring that your dog takes a balanced diet. If your dog has been found to have seasonal allergies, it’s important to administer prescribed nutritional supplements and medications before the onset of the allergic season.

If you find that your dog has signs and symptoms related to hot spots, it’s advisable to get them to the vet as soon as possible. This is because the size of the wound grows quickly from a small sore to an ugly-sized infection. With these pointers in mind, dog hot spots are less likely to become a recurrent nuisance.  

This is a contributed post



Claire Kirby

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