Hot Spots!

Hot Spots! You know, when your dog just can’t stop scratching a part of his body? Sometimes he keeps scratching and licking the spot even once it has become raw, red, irritated and bald. It’s terrible! The area of the skin becomes inflamed and infected, but, licking it constantly and biting the spot makes it worse.

What makes hot spots so common in dogs? Some common triggers are allergens, such as grasses, weeds, trees, mites, food allergies, change in weather, and insect bites. It usually starts out with a bacterial infection of the skin and that then triggers the bacteria to take over the skin. If your dogs skin starts to ooze and smell, that’s a clear sign that your dog has licked and/or scratched too much!

If your dog continues to scratch, lick, and lose hair on the infected area, you may need to go to your vet to clip the hair around the hot spot and clean it properly. They may give you a medicated ointment to help stop the itching and/or an antibiotic. Regardless, it is important to try to stop the hot spot as quickly as possible because they do progress rapidly. When your dogs body temperature goes up, he will start to pant: putting a damp wash cloth on the back of the neck can help cool him down, eventually calming him down, too.


Clippers to remove the hair, allowing the skin to dry out and heal.

My miniature schnauzer Petey has progressively gotten more hot spots over the years since we rescued him. It’s triggered due to the change in seasons and weather, making him itch like crazy when the sun is bright and it’s warmer out. This year has been the worst so far and he’s been to the vet twice in the past month. We had to resort to putting the inflatable cone on him when he scratches and licks because his side is raw, red, and hairless. He is apparently allergic to pollen and different trees and the warm air makes it aggravated.


Poor Petey needs to wear a donut to keep him from working at his hot spots.

Hot Spots are extremely difficult for your furry friend. There are many products to reduce pain and discomfort: Whether it is creams, sprays, a change in diet, or prescription drugs given by your veterinarian. The most important thing is to keep your dog comfortable and calm because otherwise the spot will get worse. He will not stop attacking the spot until he gets relief.

The boutique at Cold Nose Lodge has a cream that I used on Pete that really helped. I rubbed it on the spot that was irritated and it gave him periods of relief. There are also different oils that are made to put into your dogs food that are good for their immune system and coat. Every dog is different with their hot spots and reacts differently to each remedy, depending on the cause and the severity of the spot. Whatever the situation may be with the spot it is important to treat it properly and thoroughly so your dog does not suffer!


-Posted by Laura K. for Cold Nose Lodge.