Description: A hot spot is an inflamed infection of the skin which can spontaneously appear anywhere on the animal's body and can spread in a matter of hours. Allergens (including food, contact, or inhalant), parasites, fleas, wound, stress, or bacteria can all cause hot spots. Often times hot spots are itchy and are usually further irritated by the animal scratching or biting at the affected area.
What to Watch For: Signs include scratching, biting, licking, and irritation of specific area on the body. Hot spots are recognized by hair loss, red, an irritated area (possibly bloody), and sometimes scabs will form. Hot spots are painful and can cause a lot of discomfort.
Treatment: If the hot spot is noticed early enough, the infection can be treated at home. Consult your veterinarian to determine if the animal needs to be seen for treatment. Veterinarians will often shave and clean the affected area to prevent further infection. Hot spots are usually treated with oral antibiotics or topical medications. Sometimes the veterinarian will send the pet home with a cone to prevent it from further irritating the area.
Prevention: It is important to try and solve the underlying reason for the development of the hot spot. Veterinarians can help determine the cause of the infection for specific cases. For example, long-haired dogs need to be brushed, groomed, and bathed often to keep their coats in good condition. Sometimes allergies or skin conditions are the reason for hot spot development.
Breeds prone to Hot Spots include: