Hot spots on dogs are caused by a condition called acute moist dermatitis. These are itchy, painful skin lesions that often result from constant licking, biting, and scratching on your dog’s fur. These areas of infected, moist, inflamed skin are very uncomfortable and itchy for your dog.
Inflammation causes these spots to become warm, which is how they got name “hot spots.” Irritants such as bugs and allergens can be the initial cause for your dog’s irritation, and excess moisture from rain or not drying their fur well after baths may make things worse.
Hot spots are more common during the warmer months or in humid areas, but with the right treatment and care, you can easily get rid of hot spots in a matter of days.
5 Easy Steps to Treating Hot Spots on Dogs
1. TRIM SURROUNDING HAIR
Carefully trim the hair around the affected area with clippers or scissors. Your dog may feel a little pain or discomfort as you trim around the area, so it may be helpful to have someone hold and comfort your dog as you remove the hair.
2. CLEAN THE AREA
Clean the affected area with a wash or shampoo that’s specially formulated for pets, so as not to cause your dog more pain or discomfort.
3. SOOTHE THE HOT SPOT
After cleaning, apply a cool wash cloth or compress to soothe the area and relieve irritation, then pat it dry.
4. TREAT THE HOT SPOT
Once dry, apply a topical hotspot treatment to protect and soothe any lasting irritation. Continue to apply this treatment 3-4X daily and try to prevent your pet from pet licking or scratching the area. If they continue to lick excessively, an e-collar or plastic cone may be necessary.
5. MAINTAIN CARE
Regularly brushing and bathing your dog, especially during the summer months, will help to remove any allergens and irritants from their skin and coat and prevent hot spots from forming.
The healing time is anywhere from a few days up to a couple of weeks. Continue to clean and check the affected area daily. If the area worsens or does not show improvement in a couple of days, or in extreme cases, you should contact your veterinarian for further treatment.