What are Hot Spots in Dogs?
Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are red, moist, hot and irritated lesions that are typically found on a dog's head, hip or chest area. Hot spots often grow at an alarming rate within a short period of time because dogs tend to lick, chew and scratch the affected areas, further irritating the skin. Hot spots can become quite painful.
Why Do Hot Spots Occur?
Anything that irritates the skin and causes a dog to scratch or lick himself can start a hot spot. Hot spots can be caused by allergic reactions, insect, mite or flea bites, poor grooming, underlying ear or skin infections and constant licking and chewing prompted by stress or boredom.
Which Dogs Are Prone to Developing Hot Spots?
Dogs who are not groomed regularly and have matted, dirty coats can be prone to developing hot spots, as can dogs who swim or who are exposed to rain. Additionally, dogs with hip dysplasia or anal sac disease can start licking the skin on their hind end. Thick-coated, longhaired breeds are most commonly affected.
When Is it Time to See the Vet?
You should visit your vet for an exam as soon as you notice any abnormality in your pet's skin, or if your pet begins to excessively scratch, lick and/or bite areas on his fur.
How Are Hot Spots Treated?
First, your vet will attempt to determine the cause of hot spots. Whether it is a flea allergy, an anal gland infection or stress, the underlying issue needs to be taken care of. Treatment may also include the following:
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions