It’s hot and humid this summer. We’re all prone to more skin ailments and allergies during these weather conditions, and our pets are no exception. One of the most common skin conditions pet owners face in their dogs is hotspots. Take a minute to understand what they are, why they occur and how to go about treating them.

Visit our local veterinarians to begin treating your pet’s skin ailment before it worsens. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced veterinarians.

What Are Hotspots?

Hotspots, or acute moist dermatitis, are red and irritated lesions commonly found around the head, hip or chest areas. They are generally warm and moist to the touch and made raw due to excessive chewing, licking and scratching by the dog. Since they grow fairly quickly in a short time period, hotspots are very irritating and painful when left untreated. All dogs can suffer from hotspots but they are commonly seen in thick-coated and longhaired breeds.

The Causes

Any minor skin irritation that causes a dog to scratch and lick a specific area can spark a hotspot. Environmental and food-related allergic reactions as well as flea, tick or mite bites can cause hotspots. Stress, boredom, poor grooming or any skin infections can also prompt a hotspot outbreak.

Treatment Methods

To help your dog find relief, the goals of any hotspot treatment are to relieve pain and itching, clear the bacterial infection, and identify and remove underlying triggers when possible. Treatment may include the following:

  • Antibiotics and anti-parasitic medications
  • Painkillers
  • E-collar usage
  • Dietary changes or supplements
  • Corticosteroids or antihistamines


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