Hot spots are very common. I see them most frequently from spring through fall but in warmer climates they can be seen all year. A hot spot is an area of inflammation and infection usually localized. It is also called acute moist dermatitis. These spots can either be deep or superficial and usually have pus associated with them. They are made worse by scratching. The lesions can be associated with allergies, flea bites, food allergies, ear infections, or traumatic wounds.
These lesions are extremely itchy and can increase in size dramatically. It is not uncommon to have the owner report that his dog had a very small spot on the side of his face when he left in the morning. When the owner came home the dog had a lesion that involved almost the entire side of the face. This is extremely uncomfortable!
So what should you do if your dog has a hot spot? The first thing to do is contact your veterinarian. As these spots are painful, sometimes it is best just to let your veterinarian handle it as your usually placid dog may require a muzzle.
The first place to start with these spots is to shave them to allow the air to get at them and dry them out. Leaving the hair on the area just encourages the spot to spread. After shaving, the spot needs to be cleaned with a gentle cleanser and cool water. Cold compresses are also helpful. Medications including antibiotics may be prescribed. An Elizabethian collar may also be needed to prevent the dog from making things worse. Holistic treatments for this condition include compressing with tea bags, domboro solution and holistic skin treatments. PetWellbeing has a skin spray called Ouch Away for Dog Skin Irritation that can be very effective for some hot spots. It is very important to find out what is causing the hot spots in the first place. Your furry friend should not have to suffer with these annoying and painful skin problems.