Let’s Talk Hot Spots

What are hot spots exactly?

The scientific name is “acute moist dermatitis”, which means localized areas of skin inflammation and bacterial infection.

What causes hot spots?

Hot spots are a bit of a catch-22. They are caused by itching, licking, and biting, which in turn become hot spots that are itchy, thus perpetuating the itching licking and biting behaviors making the hot spot worse. And so, the circle continues until we step in for some assistance in our dog’s care.

Any condition that causes your dog’s skin to feel itchy can potentially cause hot spots to occur.

Common causes are:

  • Contact irritants
  • Stress or boredom resulting in excessive licking
  • Coat that is dirty or matted
  • Moisture trapped in the coat from swimming or bathing
  • Flea allergy dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Ear or skin infections
  • Anal sac disease
  • Parasites
  • Food allergies

How to help your pup prevent or cure hot spots.

The best way to help prevent hot spots in your pup is to address the underlying causes of the hot spots in the first place. Has your pup been under stress recently? A couple of common causes of stress are changes to routine, and changes to household members. If so, working on leadership training with the new household members can help your pup understand what his place is in the pack, thus relieving his stress. Need help with training? Click here!

Is your pup bored? Be sure he is getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulation! Need help with this? Click here!

Be sure to give baths and comb their fur regularly to prevent hot spots due to matted or dirty fur.

If these common causes are not the case for your pup, you should visit your veterinarian to figure out what the cause is, and for proper treatment.

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