Why Do Dogs Get Hot Spots?

Dogs can get hot spots for a variety of reasons. Find out what causes them and how you can treat your dog’s hot spot.

Checkout this video:


Hot spots are one of the most common problems seen by veterinarians. But what are they? Hot spots are actually a form of self-induced skin trauma. The medical term for hot spots is acute moist dermatitis, and they are also known as pyotraumatic dermatitis or superficial bacterial folliculitis.

Hot spots generally occur in response to an underlying condition such as allergies, insect bites, or poor grooming. The area may be irritated by rubbing or scratching, causing the release of histamine and inflammation. This sets up a vicious cycle in which the dog continues to itch and scratch, leading to further irritation and trauma. In some cases, hot spots can become infected with bacteria, making them even more painful.

Unfortunately, hot spots can happen to any dog at any time. However, certain breeds are more prone to developing hotspots due to their heavy coats or because they are predisposed to allergies. Breeds that commonly get hot spots include Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Standard Poodles, and Shar-Peis.

While hotspots can be very painful for your dog, there are a number of things you can do at home to ease your pet’s discomfort and speed healing.

What are hot spots?

Hot spots, also called pyotraumatic dermatitis or moist dermatitis, are acute moist lesions of the skin that are very painful and itchy. Hot spots are most commonly found on dogs, but can also occur on other animals with fur. These lesions can be caused by a number of things, including allergies, insect bites, injuries, and infections. Hot spots can occur anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found on the head, neck, and shoulders. Treatment for hot spots typically includes antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the affected tissue.

Causes of hot spots

There are many potential causes of hot spots on dogs, but the most common is usually an allergy. These can be food allergies, environmental allergies (such as to pollen, mold, or grass), or even allergies toflea bites. Other potential causes include insect bites, contact with irritants (such as soap), or underlying skin conditions (like seborrhea). In some cases, hot spots may also be caused by psychogenic factors (stress-induced) orbehavioral problems (like obsessive licking).

Symptoms of hot spots

Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are a common skin condition in dogs. They are characterized by red, inflamed lesions that can be painful and itchy. Hot spots often occur suddenly and can spread quickly, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms.

If your dog has a hot spot, you will likely notice one or more of the following symptoms:
-Red, inflamed skin
-Hair loss
-Excessive licking or biting at the affected area
-A Oppenheim, DVM, Diplomate ACVD explains that hot spots are usually found on the head, neck, earflaps, or chest of dogs” but they can occur anywhere on the body. Typically they are about an inch in diameter when they first develop, but can quickly grow to be much larger.

Treatment of hot spots

Hot spots are circular areas of hair loss and skin irritation. They are also called pyotraumatic dermatitis or moist dermatitis. Hot spots can occur on any part of your dog’s body, but they are most commonly found on the head, hip or chest area. Hot spots are usually red, hot and damp. They can range in size from a quarter to two inches in diameter.

Hot spots often occur during the warmer months when your dog is more likely to be outside in humid weather. However, they can also occur in any season and any climate.

The exact cause of hot spots is unknown, but there are several theories. One theory is that hot spots are caused by allergies. Allergies can be caused by anything from food to insects to pollen. Another theory is that hot spots are caused by bacteria that live on the skin. These bacteria can cause an infection when the skin is broken, such as when your dog scratches or bites at an itchy area.

Whatever the cause, hot spots can be very painful for your dog. They can also be very itchy, which can make your dog scratch or bite at the affected area even more. This can make the hot spot worse and lead to a vicious cycle of itching and scratching. If not treated properly, hot spots can become infected and turn into deep wounds that require veterinary care.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to treat hot spots at home and prevent them from coming back. The most important thing you can do is keep your dog’s skin clean and dry. This will help to prevent bacteria from growing on the skin and will also keep your dog from itching the affected area more. You should also trim any long hair around the hot spot so that it doesn’t get matted down with moisture from the hot spot itself.

If your dog is scratching at the hot spot, you may need to put a cone collar on him to prevent him from reaching the area. You may also need to apply a topical medication to the affected area to help relieve itching and promote healing. Your veterinarian can prescribe a medicated cream or spray for you to use on your dog’s hot spot.

If you take good care of your dog’s hot spot, it should heal within two weeks without leaving a scar. However, if you notice that the hot spot is getting worse or if it doesn’t seem to be improving after a few days of treatment, you should take your dog to see a veterinarian as soon as possible

Prevention of hot spots

Hot spots are a common canine ailment, but they can be prevented with some simple medical care and vigilance. Here’s what you need to know about hot spots on dogs, including how to spot them and what to do if your dog develops one.

Hot spots on dogs areARe a type of bacterial skin infection that causes the formation of a raised, red lesion. They are also called moist dermatitis, pyotraumatic dermatitis, or superficial pyoderma. Hot spots can occur on any area of your dog’s body, but they are most commonly found on the head, legs, or hips.

While hot spots can be painful for your dog, they are not usually serious and can be treated at home. However, if hot spots are left untreated, they can become infected and lead to more serious health problems. If you think your dog may have a hot spot, it is important to take him to the vet for treatment.

Hot spots on dogs are most commonly caused by allergies or insect bites. Allergies can be caused by anything from pollen to food allergies. Insect bites from fleas, ticks, or other pests can also cause hot spots. In some cases, hot spots may also be caused by underlying health conditions such as diabetes or hormonal imbalances.

The best way to prevent hot spots is to identify and avoid whatever is causing your dog’s allergies or irritation. If you cannot find the source of the allergy, your vet may prescribe a course of antibiotics or steroids to help relieve the symptoms. It is also important to keep your dog’s skin clean and free of any irritants such as dirt, pollen ,or flea bites

Home remedies for hot spots

Hot spots are a common skin condition that can affect dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. Though they are most commonly seen in the summer months, hot spots can occur year-round. Hot spots are painful, red, irritated lesions that commonly form on a dog’s head, neck, or hip area.

There are several home remedies you can try to soothe your dog’s hot spot and promote healing.

-Cold compress: Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce swelling and pain.
-Apple cider vinegar: Soaking a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and applying it to the hot spot can help dry it out and promote healing.
-Honey: Honey has antibacterial properties that can help speed up the healing process. Apply a thin layer of honey to the hot spot several times a day.
-Aloe vera: Aloe vera gel can soothe irritated skin and promote healing. Apply a thin layer of gel to the hot spot several times a day.

When to see a veterinarian

If you notice your dog has hot spots, make an appointment to see your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian can help determine if the hot spot is infected and, if so, what type of infection it is. Your veterinarian also will be able to recommend the best treatment for your dog.


-What are hot spots?
Hot spots are irritated, inflamed areas of skin that can be very painful for your dog. They are also called pyotraumatic dermatitis or moist dermatitis.

-What causes hot spots?
There are several things that can contribute to hot spots, including allergies, insect bites, and infection. Allergies are the most common cause of hot spots. They can be caused by food, environmental factors such as pollen or mold, or contact with something your dog is allergic to, like certain fabrics. Insect bites can also lead to hot spots if your dog scratches or licks the bite site excessively. This can cause the area to become irritated and inflamed. Bacterial infection is another possible cause of hot spots. This can occur if your dog breaks the skin, allowing bacteria to enter and causing an infection.

-How do I know if my dog has a hot spot?
Hot spots typically appear as red, inflamed patches of skin that may be painful or itchy. You may also see your dog licking or chewing at the affected area excessively. If you think your dog may have a hot spot, it’s important to take them to the vet so they can be examined and treated properly.

-How are hot spots treated?
Hot spots typically require veterinary treatment in order to clear up completely. Your vet may prescribe oral antibiotics or antifungal medications to treat any underlying infections. They may also recommend using a topical antibiotic ointment or spray on the affected area. In some cases, your vet may need to shave the area around the hot spot so it can heal properly.


From seasonal allergies to flea bites, there are many reasons why dogs can develop hot spots. If your dog is scratching excessively or seems to be in discomfort, it’s important to take him to the vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Once you’ve determined that hot spots are the issue, you can take steps to prevent them from developing in the future. Keep your dog well-groomed and free of parasites, and be sure to address any allergies or skin conditions promptly. With a little care and attention, you can help your dog stay comfortable and happy all year round.

Scroll to Top