What Causes Hot Spots On Dogs?

What Causes Hot Spots On Dogs

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Dermatitis, better known as hot spots, is a common skin condition in dogs. Hot spots are inflamed, irritated, red areas of the infected skin that can appear suddenly. Today we will learn what causes hot spots on dogs and how to treat and prevent them.

What Causes Hot Spots On Dogs?

Many potential factors can cause hot spots on dogs, these are the most common ones. 

Ear Infections

Ear infection can be particularly irritating and painful to your dog. Therefore, the dog will try to rub and scratch the area around the ear to solve this issue. By doing this, the dog will damage and irritate the skin around the ear and thus create a hot spot.


Any type of allergy, be it food or environmental allergy, will cause itching. Just like in the previous example, excessive itching will create hot spots in the affected areas of the skin.


A bored dog will try to find a way to entertain himself. One of the most common ways dogs do this is by licking their feet and forearms. Unfortunately, excessive licking, just like scratching will create hit spots on the affected areas of the skin.

Anal Gland Issues

Anal gland inflammation is a particularly painful experience for dogs. An affected dog will try anything to make the pain go away. Excessive licking of the area around the rectum is common in these cases and it will often lead to the creation of hot spots in those areas.


Pyoderma is a bacterial or yeast infection of the skin that causes itchiness in the affected areas. The dog will scratch those areas often causing hot spots to appear.

Orthopedic Issues

Dogs that suffer from back problems or arthritis will often be lying in a position that is most comfortable to them. However, since they are mostly lying on a particular part of their body, abrasions appear on the skin and fur on that side. The dog will lick those abrasions, thus creating hot spots. 

How To Treat Hot Spots?

Treatment of the hot spots depends on the underlying cause of the issue. You need to take your dog to the vet to determine the exact cause of hot spots.

The vet will prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, or topical preparations. Also, the affected areas are shaved, clipped, and cleaned for easier treatment.

In some cases, the dog cone is needed to prevent the dog from licking or scratching hot spots.

How To Prevent Hot Spots On Dogs?

Regular grooming and good hygiene of the dog’s skin and fur is the best way to prevent hot spots in dogs. Make sure to bathe your dog regularly, apply flea treatment, and manage allergies.

Make sure your dog is active, has plenty of walks and playtime every day to prevent boredom. Also, check for the signs of separation anxiety as it can also cause excessive licking and scratching.


Hot spots on dogs are inflamed, irritated red areas of the infected skin. This is a painful and irritating condition for your dog, but it is manageable. Visit the vet as soon as you notice your dog has hot spots to determine the exact cause and apply proper treatment.

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