What are Hotspots?

Pet Hotspots Are Painful and Dangerous

Hot spots are a result of a skin condition officially called pyotraumatic dermatitis. It is a bacterial infection that develops and rapidly spreads in the skin.

Hotspots start out as small breaks in the upper dermal layers. A tiny scratch, an insect bite, gnawing at an itchy spot or even rough play between two sharp toothed puppies can spell the prelude to the next step in the formation of a hotspot.

Any area in the skin that is open, acts like a neon sign, inviting bacteria to set up house and multiply like the demons they are. Your dog can develop a very serious hotspot within minutes from itching or scratching an aggravated skin site.

Hot spots will be warm to the touch, and painfully itchy for a dog. Hot spots emit pus and smell badly. Hair loss from around the infected area is common. Because dog hot spots are so painful and irritating many dogs will bite and scratch the area causing the infection to spread.

Hot spots are most common in dogs with thick coats such as Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels and German Shepherds. However, hot spots can occur in any breed. A common cause for hot spots is moisture getting caught next to the dog’s skin, making an ideal spot for an infection to start. Moisture can become trapped by matted fur, a dog collar, or simply thick fur. Many times chronic dog hot spots stem from an allergic condition. Some dogs are simply more prone to hot spots than others.

It is best to treat hot spots quickly to prevent further spreading of the infection, and for the relief of your dog. Also, some dogs will scratch at a hot spot to the point of breaking the skin. This makes the condition even more painful, and provides the opportunity for a more serious infection to occur.

More From the Blog