Hot spots on dogs – Guide to prevent and treat hot spots

Hot spots on dogs:A dog with inflamed skin

It would help keep your dog in a healthy environment; otherwise, disease conditions develop. Once the disease condition develops, it will cost you money and, most importantly, your dog’s health. So better to avoid these pathological conditions by providing your dog with a clean environment. Hot spots on dogs are one of these conditions that develop due to poor hygiene.

Here I will provide you with a complete guide on how to prevent your dog from developing hot spots and the signs and symptoms, and what to do if hot spots develop.

Hot spots on dogs in 2022

Hot spots are a medical term commonly known as acute moist dermatitis. They are irritating sores, red develop due to constant licking, biting, and chewing of the specific area. Constant licking and biting happen due to a pathological condition and sometimes dry skin. But discomfort for a dog occurs during the healing process.

Healing process

A scab begins to form during the healing process, and the dog will continuously lick that swab. It allows the bacteria to enter the wound and cause serious bacterial infections like staphylococcus pyoderma.

Other causes of hot spots:

Allergic reactions are one of the reasons for hot spots and some other diseases like scabies, demodicosis, and dry skin. All these conditions happen due to an unhygienic environment and not providing proper care to your dog.

Clinical signs of hot spots:

If you observe below mentioned clinical signs in your pet, take your dog to the nearby veterinary clinic.

Alopecia which is also known as loss of hair

Itchy skin due to mites, ticks, fleas

Constant licking of the neck, head, and thigh region

Dull, depressed, and lethargic

Weight loss due to decreased appetite

High fever due to any infection

Hot spots on skin due to constant licking and biting

Due to continuous loss and biting, the area will become wet.

These are clinical signs associated with hot spots on the dog. As a result, the animal will become immune-compressed and prone to other diseases.

Hot spots on dogs;A sick dog

Disease conditions develop due to an unhygienic environment.

Breed prone to hot spots

Long hair breeds of dogs love water, and hot spots tend to develop more in long hair breeds of dogs.

The following breeds of dog are more prone to hot spots

German shepherd

Labrador retriever

Shih Tzu


But apart from the facts mentioned above, hot spots can develop in any breed if the hygienic conditions of the species are not suitable.

Contagious nature of hot spots

Hot spots are not infectious, but the pathogens residing in the hot areas can be contagious if direct contact with the skin of a healthy dog occurs. So keep your dog away from the sick dog or dog having an allergic condition.

Treatment of hot spots

Always consult with your veterinarian for treatment of hot spots

  • Your veterinarian will shave the area surrounding the hot spots. It will help the skin dry and prevent the hair from indulging in hot spots. Then your veterinarian applies any antiseptic spray. It won’t be enjoyable for your dog. But it is necessary to remove the debris because bacteria will reside inside the trash, leading to severe bacterial infections.
  • Your veterinarian can use different sprays like chlorhexidine spray, which fights bacteria, fungi, yeast, and ringworm infection.
  • Betnovate cream can also be used to treat this condition. It is a topical corticosteroid used to treat itchy skin and diseases like eczema, commonly referred to as atopic dermatitis.
  • Your veterinarian can also give Antihistaminic agents such as pheniramine maleate, which reduces the itchy and red skin caused by allergic reactions.
  • Malaseb shampoo can also be used to prevent any underlying fungal infection. It also prevents dandruff, yeast, and any ringworm infection.
  • Different types of anti-parasitic medications are used for the removal of ticks.
  • To avoid any underlying bacterial infection, use first-generation cephalosporins like cephradine. A study suggests they are most effective for bacteria residing in the skin.
  • Cortico steroid tablets are also an effective way to treat this.
  • Your veterinarian can also give ivermectin, which belongs to a group of antibiotics and has excellent efficacy against ticks and mites, but certain breeds of dogs are prone to ivermectin. Ivermectin has a deleterious effect on the dog’s brain health, causing neurotoxicity.
  • We can also use different homemade remedies. We can apply Coconut oil, which has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Vitamin E capsules can be given to enhance immunity and prevent hair loss. Vitamin A is responsible for the regeneration of skin epithelial cells. So vitamin A can also be given to treat this problem.

How to prevent hot spots on a dog?

Proper shaving and regular grooming of a dog are necessary to avoid hot spots. Ticks and mites control is essential for the prevention of this disease. Do not keep your dog wet; bacteria mostly grow in a moist environment. Provide your dog with healthy food and diet.

Frequently asked questions

What are the causes of hot spots?

Allergic reactions and different pathological conditions are causes of hot spots.

What is the visual nature of hot spots?

Hot spots look red and bulging inflamed areas.

What to do if my dog has hot spots?

Always consult with a veterinarian.


Hygiene is the first thing to look at while preventing your dog from any pathological condition. Proper grooming and cleaning of dogs are necessary to avoid hot spots. Feel free to contact us with questions. Read some disease conditions here.

Dr. Louise Cosgrove

Dr. Louise Cosgrove

veterinarian for 10+ years currently running a veteran house and I am here to serve my knowledge over the internet.

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