Dog hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are localized areas of inflamed and infected skin that can occur in dogs of all breeds and sizes. These hot spots typically appear as red, moist, and irritated patches on the dog's skin. They are often accompanied by intense itching, which can lead to further irritation and self-inflicted trauma as the dog scratches or licks the affected area.
Hot spots can develop rapidly, sometimes within a matter of hours, and are most commonly found on the dog's head, neck, hips, and limbs. They are more prevalent in dogs with dense coats or those living in hot and humid climates. Breeds such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers are known to be more susceptible to hot spots due to their thick fur and underlying skin sensitivities.
These skin lesions are the result of various underlying factors, including allergies, flea infestations, poor grooming practices, and skin infections. When a dog experiences any irritation or itchiness in a specific area, excessive scratching, licking, or biting can break the skin's surface, allowing bacteria to invade and cause infection. This creates a vicious cycle of itching, scratching, and inflammation, leading to the formation of hot spots.
It's important to note that hot spots can be quite uncomfortable and painful for dogs. They can cause significant distress and may interfere with their daily activities and overall quality of life. Prompt identification, proper treatment, and preventive measures are crucial to managing hot spots effectively and providing relief to our furry companions.