Hot Spots: What are They?

Published on February 11th, 2019

If you’re a first-time dog owner, seeing a patch of red or inflamed skin on your dog can be alarming and immediately send you into a panic. What you are seeing could be  a hot spot, an irritating skin condition that dogs experience every day. Hot spots are also called pyotraumatic or moist dermatitis, and they are typically itchy and red. If your dog licks and itches the area, it will likely become worse, meaning you should call our vet in Chicago for suggested treatment options.

What Causes Hot Spots?

Common triggers of hot spots include allergies to the environment (trees, grass, weeds, dust mites), food allergies, mites, insect bites, fleas, or skin wounds. You may also notice that an odor is present with the hot spot as well. Unfortunately, they can be difficult to predict and prevent.


The underlying cause of a hot spot is bacteria, so treating the bacterial infection is the first step in getting rid of the hot spot. If the area is covered with hair, you can trim it to access the skin. Sprays, creams or ointments can help to kill bacteria and begin to eliminate the hot spot. In other situations, our vet in Chicago may prescribe oral antibiotics to help provide your dog relief.

The bottom line: there are treatment options available to treat hot spots! If you are having difficulties getting rid of your dog’s hot spots or you aren’t sure what the skin lesion is, contact our vet in Chicago today.

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