Chances are you’ve seen hot spots on dogs you’ve owned at one point in time. Perhaps even many times — if your dog is unlucky enough to have allergies, fleas, or another condition that causes them to scratch a lot.
What is a Hot Spot?
A hot spot is a condition which involves an area of skin that has become infected by a bacteria. The affected skin often appears as a sore on the dog, often accompanied by inflammation, oozing, hair loss, and a reddened area that is very itchy and extremely painful to your dog. So if you see your dog itching and chewing on a specific area, use the checklist below because your dog may have developed a hot spot.
- Is your dog itching? Check their skin. If it’s not too red and crusty, oftentimes you can just let the area “air out”. Discourage your pup from licking and scratching the area to let the healing process continue.
- Is the area red? Are there scabs? Use an electric razor to gently shave away the hair in the area along with the surrounding fur. Clip generously, this will allow proper airflow to help the wound heal.
- Are they still itching after giving the shaved area time to breathe? To help itchy hot spots on dogs, try using a medicated anti-itch dog shampoo such as Jax n Daisy Antifungal & Antibacterial Dog Shampoo or any other antifungal shampoo and give them a bath. Avoid using anything that may contain rubbing alcohol or witch hazel. These will dry the skin out even more and cause a lot of pain. Tip: When bathing the sensitive skin of a mild sore, gently scrub with a soft, silicone brush to lather the infected area. This will increase blood flow to the area and penetration of the medicated shampoo.
- Is the skin extremely itchy, inflamed, and broken open? Time to visit the vet. Not only can they help you and your dog clear up the problem more quickly, but severe hot spots can cause extreme pain for your dog — meaning that your dog might require veterinary-prescribed pain medication.
What causes hot spots on dogs and how can I prevent them in the future?
Anything that causes itchiness on the skin can lead to the development of hot spots on dogs. Some simple triggers are allergies to food ingredients, insect bites and/or fleas, and skin wounds. If your dog tends to have a lot of allergies it is important to diagnose what causes the reaction and correct it as soon as possible. Itchy skin and other reactions can also be prevented through a proper diet filled with enough nutrients and vitamins to support a strong immune system in your pooch.