What Are Hot Spots?

It’s that time of year! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the weather is hot and humid. Swimming becomes a popular activity for both families and their dogs to cool down during the summer months. But with every good, the bad follows close behind. In this case, we’re talking about hot spots.

What are hot spots?
Patients who present with hot spots show symptoms of:

  • Red, hot, moist and painful patches of skin
  • Hair-loss surrounding the area
  • Are often incredibly itchy.

They can rapidly appear anywhere on the body, with common locations being the back, neck and chest. They form when moisture and heat become trapped beneath your dogs’ fur. Dogs with thick or double coats – like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Labs, and Rottweilers – are more susceptible to getting hot spots.

What causes hot spots?
Hot spots can be caused by many factors, from self-infliction to underlying disease. Self-infliction can be caused by a dog licking, scratching and biting at a particular spot, therefore causing the condition to worsen. It can present to be true after moisture has become trapped underneath the fur after swimming or hot and humid days. The underlying disease could be resultant of the following:

  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Parasites, such as fleas or mites
  • Skin infections
  • Irritation due grooming
  • Stress or boredom

How do you treat hot spots?
If you suspect that your happy companion may have a hot spot or hot spots, please book an appointment to see your veterinarian. Your vet will provide a plan of treatment for your pet to aid in the healing process.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 902.477.4040.

Written by: Meghan Toope, RVT

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