Canine Hot Spots

Canine Hot Spots

What are Hot Spots?

Acute moist dermatitis (hot spots) is a common skin disorder in dogs which can appear within hours and become large, hairless, inflamed and bleeding lesions. The area becomes moist & painful and can begin to spread.

What is the Cause?

‘Hot Spots’ are most commonly the result of intense chewing & licking caused by a reaction to insect bites such as fleas, ticks, sand flies & even mosquitoes. A higher incidence of Hot Spots is seen in dogs with thick, dense coats due to the high humidity trapped at the skin surface.

Other causes include:

  • Atopy (Generalised Allergy)
  • Food Allergy
  • Demodex (Mites)
  • Impacted anal glands
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal (Malassezia)

What does treatment involve?

Therapy is based on the individual patient, severity of skin changes and results of a Diff-Quik smear. Treatment involves removing the underlying cause. Flea & Tick preventatives should be applied. Anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics may be required to relieve itching & treat secondary skin infections. Injectable drugs, oral tablets & capsules or topical preparations are available. Clipping of the affected area will enable cleaning and facilitate the application of topical medication.

Is the condition likely to recur?

With the appropriate treatment the condition usually resolves as rapidly as it develops. Dogs that have Hot Spots are more likely to experience recurrences. Humidity coincides with primary conditions for flea infestations to occur. Flea control and proper bathing and grooming are the best defences against future Hot Spots. Identification and elimination of the factors that contribute to Hot Spot formation are essential for prevention.


The team at Jacobs Well Veterinary Surgery offer you and your best friend a team of specialised professionals to ensure the best care each time you visit us.

Jacobs Well Veterinary Surgery

At Jacobs Well Veterinary Surgery, your pet will receive the best possible treatment and care. 
"Where they are treated like the people they are!"