What Are Hot Spots on Dogs?
Hot spots are areas of skin inflammation and bacterial infection on your dog. They will appear as red, moist, irritated skin lesions that can ooze and puss as it worsens or spreads.
These spots can be caused by a number of things. Allergic reactions, bug bites, poor grooming, or underlying diseases can be attributed to the start of your dog’s hot spot. What starts as your dog scratching, licking, or chewing the affected area results in trauma to their skin leading to inflammation and bacterial infections. If you begin to notice hair loss, swelling and significant areas of redness on your dog, they may have or be developing a hot spot. (1,2)
Hot spots can appear anywhere on your dog but are most commonly found on the head, limbs, and hips. Dogs most prone to hot spots are thick or long-haired breeds such as Newfoundlands, Golden retrievers, and German shepherds. (3)
Hot Spot Prevention and Treatment
Hot spots can occur with little to no warning. If left untreated, they can also spread and quickly get worse. If you notice one on your dog, it’s important to seek treatment urgently, as hot spots won’t go away on their own and can be painful.
To help prevent your dog from getting hot spots – healthy skin is key! You could give your dog a tasty treat that promotes healthy skin and a healthy coat such as Soothe Me from TruDog! But, most importantly, have your veterinarian take a look to help identify the root of cause or underlying issue for your dog’s hot spots. If your dog has a thick coat, regular grooming protects their fur, preventing them from matting, excess trapped moisture, parasites, and fleas. (1)
If your dog develops a hot spot, treatment is available. As surrounding hair can irritate the infected area, your veterinarian will likely clip hair away from the area, and cleaning with a gentle antiseptic. In addition to helping you treat the underlying cause of your dog’s hot spot, they may prescribe topical and/or oral medications to fix the problem. (1)
When your dog endures the discomfort of hot spots, it’s important to ensure your pet leaves the wound alone. In order to ensure the healing of the infected area, you may want to consider a lampshade collar to prevent licking and worsening. And maybe give them a few extra treats to help them cope with the discomfort of both the hot spot and the cone!