Hot Spots in Dogs

Hot Spots in Dogs

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Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are one of the most common skin problems among dogs, especially during certain hot and wet months of a year. But it's not only developed in summer. Hot spots are often mistakenly diagnosed as an insect bite by many dog owners. But unlike an insect bite, hot spots will spread and get worsen much quickly. Thus, get to know the symptoms and the right treatments of hot spots are essential to every pup owner.
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Acute moist dermatitis, also known as hot spots, is one of the most common skin diseases among dogs, especially for dog breeds with long hair. It's not a fatal disease, but can be really frustrating for both you and your dog. If you don't take the right actions for your dog at first, areas once had hot spots will continue to have it again and again. Thus, to notice if your dog is developing a hot spot, check out the list of symptoms below:

  • Unusual frequent licking and chewing at certain sites.

  • Inflammation and oozing at certain sites.

  • Itchy of skin.

  • Abnormal aggression.

  • Abnormal depression.

  • Common sites of developing hot spots are limbs, neck, and hips.


Hot spots usually start from an initial irritation. The initial irritation can result from anything that will make a dog feel itchy. For example, insect bites from fleas, mosquitoes or other small insects; parasites; environmental or food allergies; ear infections; matted or dirty fur; and excessive chewing or licking because of stress or boredom. The initial wound is usually not a big deal, but the itchy and painful feeling will make your dog continue to lick and chew the infected area, which will create a warm and damp environment for bacteria to grow. Bacteria is the culprit of hot spots.  


Hot spots are annoying and easily reoccurring, thus it's important for you to take the appropriate treatments. Of course, the first thing you have to do if you notice that your dog is suffering from hot spots is to take him to the vet. Here are some other tips you can follow at home. First, trim the hair around the infected area to prevent a warm and wet environment. Second, wash the area with an anti-itch medicated shampoo. It's essential to expose the affected area into the air and keep it dry and clean. Third, prescribe antibiotics and steroids to treat inflammation, bacterial infections, and decrease itching. Additionally, if your dog is licking and chewing the infected area too much, use an Elizabethan collar to prevent further damages.


Keep healthy and clean skin is the main defense to prevent future hot spots. Keep your furry friend away from the repeatedly licking and scratching is important. Like we discussed above, there are various reasons that can make dogs feel itchy and uncomfortable. If your pooch is a long-hair breed, regular grooming is needed to prevent its coat to become damp and messy. Also, dry your dog's fur after it finished swimming or bathing. A wet environment is always ideal for bacteria and parasites. If you are not sure what allergen your dog will allergy to, you can take him or her to do an allergy testing with the vet. After doing the test, you can protect your dog from all the potential dangerous factors that will lead to itching and cause hot spots. 

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