How To Fight Hot Spots On Dogs

Moist dermatitis or moist eczema, commonly known as hot spots, is a condition that causes lesions on a dog that are irritated, moist and red. The head and chest are typical places to get hot spots, but dogs may get them anyplace. A dog with a heavy coat may be more susceptible to hot spots.  After hot spots first appear, they may quickly grow due to dogs constantly chewing, licking and scratching the irritated areas to try to relieve discomfort.
One way to make hot spots on dogs less likely is through regular grooming and brushing of your dog. Regular brushing will help avoid matted hair as well as clearing out dead hair. If your dog has a matted coat, tangled hair or other grooming issues, he or she may have a better chance of getting hot spots.  You may need to brush a dog with a thick coat more often.  In the warmer months, keeping your dog’s hair shorter can also help with grooming issues.

Tips for preventing hot spots on dogs

Always dry your dog completely after your dog goes swimming or you give your dog a bath. If you live in a climate that is typically rainy and warm, those conditions could increase a dog’s chances of getting hot spots.
Many dogs suffer from allergies, which can cause hot spots.  Removing potential allergens from your home, such as dust and mold, could also help prevent hot spots.  If you think your dog may have a food allergy, a veterinarian can prescribe a specially tailored diet.
Dogs may also be allergic to parasites such as ticks and fleas. If a dog with a flea allergy gets fleas, the dog will scratch at the fleas, rapidly making any hot spots worse. So be sure to check for fleas on a regular basis.
Another way to ward off hot spots is by making sure your dog is in an environment that results in boredom or stress. If your dog does not get enough exercise or is stressed out, he or she may lick, bite or scratch excessively, potentially causing hot spots.

How to treat hot spots on dogs

Once hot spots arise, they may require a visit to the veterinarian. A vet may prescribe a powder, shampoo or salve for treatment of the hot spots, and possibly antibiotics in the case of a deeper infection.  The vet may elect to fit the dog with an Elizabethan collar to keep the dog from chewing or licking hot spots so they can heal more quickly. Click here to learn more on treating hot spots on dogs.

Ben Hargrove writes on a variety of pet topics for sites like Dr. Rose's Remedies.