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Does your dog seem to be prone to hot spots? Not only can hot spots be extremely painful for your dog, but they can also recur, causing irritation and frustration for your dog.
The scientific term for hot spots in dogs is "acute moist dermatitis". While the condition isn't considered serious, the red, oozing, lesions can certainly cause your dog significant discomfort.
As a pet parent, you're responsible for preventing your dog from getting hot spots in the first place. Keep reading to learn what causes hot spots in dogs, how they're diagnosed and treated, and how to prevent them.
Causes of hot spots in dogs
The best way to prevent hot spots is to take the necessary steps to keep your dog's skin healthy and parasite-free. This means keeping Sparky completely free of fleas and ticks, as well as making any necessary adjustments to their diet to accommodate for any food allergies.
Hot spots can appear very quickly. They're most common in dogs who have:
- thick, heavy coats
- moist and/or dirty skin
- allergies that cause skin irritation (this includes flea allergies)
The secret to keeping your dog free of hot spots is discovering the root cause and then taking steps to prevent your dog from encountering allergens and known irritants.
Flea bites are considered one of the leading causes of hot spots in dogs. The more your dog scratches at the bites, the more irritated and inflamed the skin will become.
In time, the area will become a red, oozing hot spot that can be painful, especially if your dog is allergic to fleas. If you notice hot spots on your dog, consult your vet. They can advise you on the best treatment methods for both hot spots and flea infestations.
To eradicate fleas from your home, you'll need to wash your pup's bedding in hot water and treat your carpets and upholstery. It's also a good idea to treat your yard for fleas. Once you've treated your home, administer a flea preventative, like Frontline Plus, once every 30 days to prevent the fleas from coming back.
Grooming your dog
Grooming your dog on a regular basis can also help minimize the chances of your dog developing hot spots. This can help remove fleas and excess dirt that can cause irritated spots on their skin.
During the summer, it's a good idea to trim your dog's hair, especially if they happen to love going for a swim. However, if your dog is prone to hot spots, most vets recommend you keep your woofer away from water.
Although even the most active dogs are prone to hot spots, those who are stressed or bored are far more likely to scratch at their hot spots, further irritating them and making them worse.
Keeping your dog active with daily walks, runs, and playtime can help tire them out and make them less likely to scratch. Not only will adequate exercise help the hot spots heal more quickly, but it will also prevent destructive and undesirable behaviors. Not to mention it'll make your mutt happier and healthier. Win-win!
The importance of preventing hot spots in dogs
Preventing hot spots benefits both you and your dog in many ways. In the short term, keeping your dog free of hot spots will relieve them of the constant itching and pain associated with this skin condition.
In the long run, you won't have to worry about hot spots developing into more serious problems, such as fungal or bacterial infections. Which, of course, means fewer trips to see the vet and fewer expensive vet bills.
Prevent more than just hot spots
Hot spots seem to be quite common in dogs, especially those with long hair or thick coats. Left untreated, they can lead to bacterial and fungal infections and more serious medical conditions.
The good news is that, with a little effort on your part, you can prevent most of them from occurring. Since fleas are a significant cause of hot spots, it's imperative that you eradicate any flea infestations as soon as you can and put your dog on a monthly parasite preventative. Net result: a much healthier and happier dog who no longer feels the need to try and scratch their skin raw.
Fleas are a common culprit for hot spots in dogs. Unfortunately, preventative care for pets can be expensive, and pet insurance plans usually don’t cover flea meds. Wellness packages can reimburse up to 100% of the cost of routine exams and parasite preventatives within 24 hours. To find the right option for your pet and budget, check out our wellness plans.