Hot Spots (known in the veterinary world as “Acute Moist Dermatitis”) are a common skin disorder in dogs. Hot spots can appear suddenly and become red, moist, irritated lesions in a very short period of time. The lesions are often raw looking and can be very painful.
What causes hot spots in dogs?
Hot spots are the result of anything that irritates the skin enough to cause scratching, chewing and licking. They can be caused by an allergic reaction, or an insect bite. Fleas, ticks, and biting flies have been known to cause acute moist dermatitis.
Additionally dogs that are constantly licking or chewing due to stress or boredom can create lesions.
Dogs with long hair and thick coats are more prone to develop hot spots, but they can occur in any breed.
What’s the best treatment for hot spots?
You should call your veterinarian any time you notice your dog licking, scratching or chewing excessively in order to identify the underlying cause, if possible. The area is usually clipped and cleaned to facilitate the application of topical medication and to expose the affected area to air. If necessary, antibiotics and possibly anti-inflammatory medications will be prescribed, as well as a topical medication. These can help relieve the itching, help with pain control and address infection. Flea and tick medication may also be applied at the time of treatment. Protective collars (E-collars), are often used to prevent the dog from licking and chewing until the area can heal.
How can you prevent hot spots in your dog?
- Use a monthly flea control product recommended by your veterinarian.
- Groom your dog regularly.
- Address any allergy symptoms you may notice with your vet.
- Try to keep your pet as stress free as possible, providing them with adequate exercise and opportunities to play.