CANINE Hot Spots

The best treatment for in prevention is to Keep fleas off your dog. Groom and bathe your dog as necessary to keep the haricot in good condition.
Gunbil German shepherd puppy in motion

Hot spots, also known as acute moist pyoderma, are warm, painful, oozing patches of the skin which can appear very quickly (often in a single day).

They generally form as a response to an initial irritant, such as a flea bite, a local allergic reaction, or other causes (ticks, burrs, mosquitoes, or heat). Dogs will bite or scratch at the skin, making it vulnerable to infection and inflammation.

Dogs with heavy coats, such as Golden Retrievers, are more likely to develop these lesions because the fur traps moisture against the skin.

More hot spots are likely to form in the spring and summer seasons, due to the increased prevalence of allergens in the environment and the complications of shedding.

Clinical Signs

Hot spots can seem to appear quite suddenly. They can be located anywhere on the dog’s body, but are less likely to be found on the mid-back. More than one can appear at one time. The lesions are red, moist, oozing and sensitive to the touch.


Your veterinarian can diagnose hot spots on sight. However, a full physical examination will be required to identify any possible causes, such as fleas.


Hot spots are treated by clipping the hair around the sore, cleaning the area and treating with topical medications. The topical medication may contain antibiotics, drying agents or corticosteroids (for example, Gentocin spray). Oral antibiotics may also be prescribed. In order to prevent additional trauma to the area, your veterinarian may fit your pet with an Elizabethan collar (funnel collar), or place bandages on your pet’s feet to avoid scratching trauma. Any predisposing conditions, such as a flea infestation, should also be treated appropriately.

A hot spot starts because something irritates the dog's skin. The body's response is to either itch or create an inflammatory response at the site. In cases of itching, the dog then rubs, licks or chews the site and adds to the problem. These sores can develop into severe problems in an hour or two at times.
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