Hot spots are painful, swollen patches of skin that form on a dog’s body that are actually warm to the touch. They can appear quite suddenly and worsen as the dog licks and chews the site.
Hot spots can occur anywhere on the body, and often they occur in more than one spot at a time. There are several causes of hot spots, including complications during shedding, fleas, mites, skin allergies, infections, and neglected grooming.
Hot spots are treated by cleaning the infected area with a medicated shampoo. Then, an antibiotic steroid cream or powder is applied twice a day for up to two weeks. Antibiotics are also usually precribed and any underlying conditions must be treated.
It’s of utmost importance to keep the dog from re-infecting the area by licking or chewing the affected site. If the dog cannot be consistently and effectively monitored, an Elizabethan collar can be a good option.
Thick-coated dogs are the most suseptible to hot spots. These breeds include Komondors, Norwegian Elkhounds, Otterhounds, and Saint Bernards.
Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue.