Does your dog get hot spots?

What causes them?

Anything that causes your dog to feel itchy can turn into a hot spot. Because of the continual licking, scratching and chewing, the skin becomes damaged and develops a bacterial infection.

Common Triggers:

  • Flea and Mite allergies
  • Insect Bites
  • Environmental allergies such as grass, trees, weeds.
  • Food allergies
  • Boredom or Stress where they are constantly licking.
  • Moisture trapped in their fur from swimming or bathing.
  • Dog with arthritis tend to lie down on the same area much of the time which can create abrasions over pressure points, like hips or ankles.

Hot spots can appear suddenly and become large red, irritated lesions in a short time.

Are certain breeds more vulnerable to getting hot spots?

Dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, or St. Bernards have thicker coats, so they are prone to hot spots. Usually, this issue occurs during warmer weather with high humidity. Studies have indicated that dogs that enjoy swimming during the summertime have a higher risk for hot spots than dogs that stay indoors. This is mainly because of the water that gets trapped between their fur.

How to Treat Hot Spots

The first step in treating hot spots is to bring your dog to the vet. The vet can prescribe hydrocortisone cream to reduce the inflammation and antibiotic ointment to get rid of potential infection. After that, trim the area around the hot spot, clean it with water, antiseptic, and shampoo. Then pat it dry and make sure that the area is totally clean and ready to go. After that, apply the hydrocortisone cream and the antibiotic ointment.

The tricky part is to prevent your dog from licking or scratching the area. You may need to invest in a dog cone, which might look pretty silly, but it’s useful in preventing the dog from licking the wound. These pictures are of my own dog, so I can attest to how fast these hot spots progress. There are different cones and pro and cons to each of them.

If your dog is bored and licking, we are happy to come and walk your dog even if it’s just for a few days! Check our dog walking services out.