Preventing Hot Spots on Dogs

Hot spots on dogs can be caused by a number of factors, including allergies, fleas or parasites and poor hygiene. Owners should act immediately once a hot spot is seen in order to stop the infection and ease the dog's discomfort.

Causes of Dog Skin Problems

Hot spots are caused by acute moist pyoderma, a skin infection that develops rapidly on the skin's surface. Usually an irritation like a flea bite, matted hair or allergic reaction will trigger excessive itching, licking or biting at the site of the irritation. Skin legions will form and become infected with bacteria, turning into painful legions that may ooze, appear crusty and scabby and cause hair loss. Hot spots can usually be found on body parts that are easy to reach and scratch or lick like the legs, head and side of a dog and can grow very quickly. Legions may also be caused by ear mites, parasites, ear infections or another health issue, so a trip to the veterinarian is essential in order to receive a correct diagnosis and receive the proper medication or treatment options.

Treating Hot Spots

The first step when treating a hot spot is to keep the area dry. Clip the hair around the infection to prevent moisture from building up and allowing more bacteria to grow. Apply an antiseptic solution or antibiotic/cortisone powder to the area to clean the infection and stop itching and inflammation. If the hot spot is growing and still irritating your dog after a day then a trip the vet is crucial to prevent complications from the infection. Your dog may need to wear an Elizabethan collar or mitts on his paws to stop excessive scratching and licking of legions. An oral antibiotic may also be prescribed to fight the infection.

Dog Skin Care and Preventing Hot Spots

Excess moisture underneath dog fur is a major cause of hot spots, especially in a dog with a long coat. Owners should always keep up with their dog's grooming schedules and watch out for matted, knotted dog fur. Clipping your dog's hair in the summer and drying him after swimming and bathing will help to prevent hot spots.

Flea and parasite control is also important to prevent irritations like bug bites that can lead to itching and possible infections. If your dog is prone to allergies it is important to diagnose what causes the allergic reactions and find the proper treatment. Dog skin problems may also be prevented through good nutrition and the right diet. A dog that gets the right proteins, vitamins and nutrients will have a stronger immune system to fight off infection.