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Hot Spots

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Dog licking hot spot

Moist dermatitis, summer sores, hot spots… Whatever you choose to call them, they are irritations of the skin that commonly affect dogs.

These red, moist, irritated patches of skin are caused by an initial irritation that worsens from a bacterial infection.



Hot spots are typically found on the head, chest, hips, or limbs. While hot spots can affect your dog year round, they tend to be more prevalent in the summer months due to high heat and humidity. Moisture and heat from matted hair, summer warmth and humidity, on open scrapes or cuts can further increase bacteria growth.

Possible causes of the initial irritation include:

  • Flea allergies
  • Cuts or abrasions
  • Ear infections
  • Foreign objects, such as splinters or thorns
  • Food allergies
  • Matted fur
  • Insect bites
  • Chewing or licking due to stress or boredom
  • Dog laying down looking at youhot spots

    Symptoms of hot spots may include:

  • Itchy, painful patch of skin
  • Continually chewing or licking
  • Abnormal aggression or possible depression due to the painfulness of site
  • Inflammation, redness, and swelling in a localized patch of skin
  • Crusting scabs or oozing sores
  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Hair loss
  • Moist, matted fur
  • Foul smell from abrasion
  • Bacterial growth at the site of the initial irritation causes the body’s immune system response to react, resulting in more itching, heat, redness, inflammation, and pain.

    How to Treat Hot Spots:
    Trim the area around the hot spot. If the area is too big, you may need to shave it. Exposing the spot to air will help dry it out and speed up the healing process.

    Dog with coneNext, you want to thoroughly clean the area. A topical antiseptic can be used for this. The Hungry Puppy’s Ketoseb line of products is a great option for cleaning. It is antiseptic and antibacterial. It provides deep cleaning of skin infections. It is also deodorizing, to clear up the foul smell form the abrasion, and controls bacteria and fungi from continuing to grow. Ketoseb is available in a variety of products, including shampoo, mousse, spray, or wipes. The Ketoseb products are currently on sale with an in-store coupon. To view these product, click here.
    Dog hot spotOnce the area has been trimmed and cleaned, you want to try to prevent your dog from biting, licking, or scratching the area. If you can keep an eye on your dog at all times, then that’s great! But if you are not with them all day, you may need to use a cone or another type of thing to prevent them from reaching that spot.

    Make sure to keep an eye on the area to make sure it continues to heal and doesn’t worsen or spread. If it does not heal, you should schedule a visit to your vet. They may prescribe a prescription topical medication or an oral antibiotic.

    It’s important to know what hot spots are and how to treat and care for them if they ever become a problem for your dog.

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