Dog 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. 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. Though 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.
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*Chronic Dog Hot Spots can stem from allergies. View our Pet Allergy Care section for allergy relief suggestions.