Hot Spots in Dogs

Hot spots are also known as Acute Moist Dermatitis and usually occurs in dogs with long hair or dense undercoats. Most often, they are caused by an allergic reaction from an insect bite, particularly fleas. Hot Spots are circular lesions, that are usually found on the head, around the rear hips or on the dog’s side. They are moist, raw and inflamed and are often associated with hair loss.

The dog will usually continually lick, bite or scratch the area, making it even more irritated. This makes treatment very important because the size and severity of the Hot Spot can change dramatically in just a few hours.

Hot Spots are most often caused by:
•    Fleas
•    Allergies, including nasal and food allergies
•    Mites
•    Ear Infections
•    Poor Grooming
•    Burs (Stickers) from Plants
•    Hip Dysplasia or Arthritis
•    Anal Gland Disease

Treatment for Hot Spots involves stopping the growth of the area and eliminating the cause. The affected area will be shaved and cleaned with a medicated spray such as Vetericyn VF HydroGel Wound & Skin Care Spray. Then a drying solution will be applied, such as Domeboro Powder. Most often, a veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics and pain medication. The vet will also give your dog an Elizabethan Collar and trim his nails to prevent him from further injuring the site of the Hot Spot. You can also use a topical cream, such as LickGuard, which tastes bad to keep your dog from licking the area.

To prevent Hot Spots, keep your dog on a strict flea control program using Frontline Plus or K9 Advantix. You should also keep their hair trimmed short during the hot months as well as giving medicated baths as necessary.

**Image courtsey of lorimari on Flickr (**

5 thoughts on “Hot Spots in Dogs

  1. James says:

    Becky, You’ll find a product called zoonOx very effective for what you are looking for. We keep two cans around the house. One for our two dogs, and one for my wife. Dog hot spots are gone in less than a week. Even the nasty recurring ones we see with our goldens, The high oxygen content is one of the best anti acne creams out there. My wife swears by it.

  2. Sila says:

    I use Carnoyum on my dog. It’s made by a company called Dinovite. I have a big dog and when we got him, he had a couple hot spots larger than my husband’s fist. My dog has been on the product for a little over six months now, and he is in great health with no hot spots. I love it, because it is all natural and full of vitamins and minerals for my dog. Plus, it is easy to add to his food….Great Stuff!

  3. Carole says:

    My Golden developed a nasty hot spot on his left cheek, under his ear about six weeks ago. After two vet visits, lots of perscription meds, ear washes, antibiotic ointments, costing a small fortune, the spot STILL would not go away, in fact it continued to spread. I called my groomer, and she suggested bringing him in for a medicated bath. She then used a foam manufactured by Veterinarian’s Best (believe me, this is NOT an advertisement for them, even though the product is wonderful), and Gold Bond Medicated Powder. She shaved the excess hair off his ears and around the hot spot. I tell you, my dog’s hot spot was healed within a week. I used the foam to clean the hot spot and the entire area around it. I then completely dried the area and applied the Gold Bond medicated powder.
    I did this three or four times a day. This may not be the answer for everyone, but it’s worth a try. My neighbor has two Great Pyraneze and this is working really well for them, too.
    Good Luck!

    • Kathy says:

      Could you please tell me the name of the foam that you used because I have used everthing. That is why I am looking on the internet for help. I would like to try what you used.
      Thank You

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