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Everything You Need to Know About Hot Spots and Dogs

woman with bulldog wearing Elizabethan collar

If your dog is suddenly and obsessively licking and chewing at an area, chances are he’s developed a hot spot. Hot spots can be irritating and uncomfortable for your dog, and they usually require a trip to the vet for treatment. However, if you understand the risk factors for hot spots, you may be able to minimize the chances of your dog developing this uncomfortable condition.

Licking and chewing can contribute to irritation and inflammation, and can even lead to bacterial infections. 

When you know how to recognize hot spots, you can quickly get your dog the treatment he needs before the condition becomes worse.

What Are Hot Spots?

Hot spots are skin irritations that can quickly get worse. Also called acute dermatitis, hot spots can start as small wounds or infected areas. Those areas can be itchy and painful, so dogs tend to lick and chew at them.

That licking and chewing makes the problem worse. Licking and chewing can contribute to irritation and inflammation, and can even lead to bacterial infections. The result is that those small irritations become larger, more inflamed and more painful hot spots. 

Hot spots can occur just about anywhere on your dog, but they’re most common on the head, hips and legs. 

Why Do Dogs Get Hot Spots? 

Any dog can get hot spots, but some dogs have risk factors that make them more likely to get these irritating lesions. Common risk factors include any situation that might prompt your dog to lick and chew at his skin, including: 

  • existing allergies.
  • flea or parasite irritation or infestation.
  • long, double coats that trap moisture.
  • matted coats that trap moisture.
  • a coat that’s frequently wet.
  • itchy ear infections.
  • stiff joints or other conditions that cause your dog to lie down a lot and lead to skin abrasions.
  • boredom that causes your dog to excessively lick or groom himself.

If your dog has any of these risk factors, you’ll need to be extra vigilant in monitoring his skin so you can identify and take care of hot spots early on. 

How to Take Care of Hot Spots on Dogs  

If you suspect your dog has a hot spot, it’s best to schedule a trip to the veterinarian right away. Your vet can confirm that your dog has a hot spot, and can start treating the area. 

He or she will probably clip and clean the hot spot and may prescribe antibiotics or steroids to help treat any infection and reduce itching. Your vet may also recommend that your dog wear an Elizabethan collar to keep him from licking at the hot spot and making it worse.

It’s also important to identify the root cause of the hot spot, since some risk factors can cause these spots to recur. For example, if flea bites have caused the hot spot, your vet may recommend that you treat your dog for fleas. If your dog’s matted coat contributed to the hot spot, then a trip to the groomer may help to prevent that issue recurring.

Canine Skin Balm For Hot Spots

woman applying Zebra CBD canine balm

If you think that allergies or parasite bites prompted your dog’s hot spots, you can also support your dog’s skin health and comfort with CBD. Zebra CBD Canine Balm is a soft balm that features a blend of CBD and plant-based oils. The balm helps to support skin health while alleviating skin irritation that’s caused by allergies and flea and tick bites. It’s easy to apply, and you can target those irritated areas that might be itchy. By staying ahead of the irritation, you may be able to keep your dog from scratching and biting at these areas. Plus, the balm contains an oil extract of Ravensara, a bitter-tasting herb that helps deter licking and biting. becoming hot spots. 

Chances are that your dog will develop hot spots at some point during his life. Being able to quickly recognize them and get them treated can reduce their severity. With the right prevention and care, you can minimize hot spot occurrences, so your dog stays healthy and comfy. 

Share the CBD love with your dog!

Our canine CBD products come in oil, chews and balm to make it easy for you to keep your pup healthy from nose to tail.

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