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Hot Spots: Symptoms, Treatments & Preventions

What exactly is a hot spot?

A localized infection of the skin is referred to as a hot spot. Hot spots are also known as acute moist dermatitis. They are typically brought on by excessive scratching and biting of the skin in response to itching or discomfort, both of which can have a variety of origins. A painful, inflamed, red area of the skin develops as a result of the self-inflicted damage. This area may be oozing with fluid and be matted with hair. The pup continues to lick and scrape at the hot area, worsening the condition and slowing down the healing process. The dog does this because the hot spot itself is painful and itchy.

The development of hot spots is typically reasonably rapid, and they frequently get infected with germs. Even while hot spots can appear on any region of a dog's body, the areas of the skull, hips, and limbs are the ones where they are most frequently found.

Symptoms of Hot Spots in Dogs

Before you can treat a hot spot on your dog, you need to be able to locate and identify the ailment that is causing it. The following is a list of symptoms that may be a hotspot on your poor dog or may contribute to its development.

  • Lesions: They will suddenly arise and advance quickly by increasing in size.
  • Swelling: The area of skin surrounding the hot spot will become irritated and swell up.
  • Crusting: It is a condition in which a crust or scabs form around an affected region.
  • Hair Matting:Your dog's coat may lose its luster and become tangled and unclean due to this condition.
  • Itchy skin:If you notice that your dog is consistently biting or scratching at a single location, this might be the reason.
  • Mood Alterations: As a result of the discomfort caused by the hot spot, your dog may display indications of hostility or become listless.


Bacteria, most often a strain known as Staphylococcus intermedius, are responsible for developing hot spots in dogs. Most of the time, these germs will be found on your dog's skin and in his mouth, but they are often not harmful.

The skin usually has a strong barrier against bacteria and is able to maintain a healthy level of this microorganism. But if a few conditions come together, such as a scratch on the skin and a certain level of moisture, then the bacteria are able to bypass the defenses and cause an infection. They locate the optimal conditions for reproduction, and as a result, you get a localized disease outbreak. This causes a lot of itching. Unfortunately, each time your dog scratches or chews at his skin, he cracks it more deeply, which allows germs to penetrate the wound and cause more issues.

Because hot spots are typically caused by something irritating, they are more prevalent in dogs who suffer from fleas, allergens, or anxiety. This is because these conditions drive dogs to scratch more frequently, increasing the amount of time that dogs spend scratching.

How do you treat them?

It is generally agreed that hot spots are very durable, although managing them can be difficult. Because they are frequently untreatable with only topical medicine (such as sprays, creams, and shampoos), the ailment is typically treated with injectable and oral drugs in order to achieve a successful outcome.

In extreme cases antibiotics and corticosteroid treatment could be necessary.

How to prevent them?

Treatment of mild hot spots typically involves some combination of the following:

  • Clipping the hair around the area to prevent matting.
  • Using topical creams or lotions to control inflammation and sooth itching.
  • Use allergy treatments to help stop/ soothe the underlying cause of any itchiness/ scratching.

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