Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are red, moist, hot and irritated lesions that can be found on all areas of a dog. Hot spots often grow rapidly because dogs tend to lick, chew and scratch the affected areas which further irritate the skin. Hot spots can become quite painful

Why do Hot Spots occur? 

Anything that irritates the skin and causes a dog to scratch or lick himself can start a hot spot. Hot spots can be caused by allergic reactions, insect, mite or flea bites, poor grooming, underlying ear or skin infections and constant licking and chewing prompted by stress or boredom.


Which dogs are prone to developing Hot Spots?

Dogs who are not groomed regularly and have matted, dirty coats can be prone to developing hot spots, as can dogs who swim or who are exposed to rain. Additionally, dogs with hip dysplasia or anal sac disease can start licking the skin on their hind end. Thick-coated, longhaired breeds are most commonly affected.

When to see our Vet? 

Immediately get in contact with one our Vets at Caloundra Vet Surgery as soon as you notice any abnormality in your pet’s skin, or if your pet begins to excessively scratch, lick and/or bite areas on his fur.


How are Hot Spots treated? 

Our Vet’s will fully examine your dog in a Vet Consultation to determine the cause of your dog’s hot spots. Whether it is a flea allergy, an anal gland infection or stress, the underlying issue needs to be taken care of so an effective treatment can be recommended. 


Treatment may also include the following:

  • Shaving of the hair surrounding the lesion, which allows air and medication to reach the wound

  • Cleansing the hot spot with a non-irritating solution

  • Antibiotics and painkillers (Vet prescribed only)

  • Medication to prevent and treat parasites (Vet prescribed only)

  • Elizabethan collar

  • Balanced diet to help maintain healthy skin and coat (Vet recommended

  • Dietary supplement containing essential fatty acids (Vet recommended

  • Corticosteroids or antihistamines to control itching (Vet prescribed

  • Hypoallergenic food (Vet recommended)


Caloundra Vet Surgery’s prevention tips for Hot Spots

  • Ensure your dog is bathed groomed on a regular basis.

  • You may also want to keep your pet’s hair clipped short, especially during warmer months.

  • Follow a strict flea control program as recommended by all Vet’s at Caloundra Vet Surgery and adhere to manufacturer’s guidelines and Vet advice.

  • Maintain a stress-free environment for your pet (where possible).

  • To keep boredom and stress at bay, make sure your dog gets adequate exercise and enrichment opportunities for play and interaction with his human family and if he enjoys it, also with other dogs.

What next...... Call us if in doubt!

Call us at Caloundra Vet Surgery on (07) 5492 7997 to make an appointment and our Veterinarians will be able to make an accurate diagnosis (please NO Dr Google) and prescribe the care and medications needed to make your dog more comfortable and allow the hot spots to heal.


Click here for a downloadable PDF version of this information sheet.

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Shop 1/6 Park Place

Caloundra 4551

QLD, Australia

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