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Dog Hot Spots

Updated on July 21, 2014

Oh No! Rockie Has Dog Hot Spots

This lens tells about my unique pet, my dog Rockie, and how I treated his skin condition known as dog hot spots.

I noticed this condition just a few weeks after I got Rockie and it kept recurring on an annual basis for the nine years that he was alive.

I was able to apply treatment to manage this condition successfully in order to prevent it from spreading or breaking out into sores.

moo booboo by corinne <3 Flick3 image
moo booboo by corinne <3 Flick3 image

Dog Hot Spots | Just What Is This?

What causes hot spots on dogs

I remember the first time I saw the signs of falling hair while Rockie was still just a little puppy. I was a bit puzzled as I had no idea of what might have caused a bald spot on Rockie's hind quarters just above his tail. My first thoughts were that it must have been mange, a skin condition which causes hair to fall from a dog's skin.

However, I was informed by the vet that it was not mange, but rather a condition known as hot spots.

When I inquired about this "hot spots" I was informed that it was a mild form of eczema or dermatitis that occurs in some animals mostly during summer when the time was hot.

The vet prescribed an antibiotic ointment to be applied to the affected area twice daily. I got the ointment (can't remember the name of it now) and applied it according to the directions. In just over approximately two weeks I noticed that the hair was beginning to grow back on the skin.

I was not very satisfied with the very little information I got from the vet about the causes of hot spots so I went on a quest to do my own research. Along the way I learned that there can be several causes for dog hot spots. In fact anything that causes the dog's skin to itch can result in hot spots. These are things such as: allergies from surrounding conditions or even from food, bites from insects, flea or mite infestation and such the like.

All these things will cause the dog to scratch, which breaks the skin or lick which causes moisture. Any of these conditions will be hot spot causes.

Image credit: Flickr image moo booboo by corinne <3

Screw Worm
Screw Worm

Dog Hot Spot Treatment I Applied

Hot Spot Remedies I Used To Treat Rockie

After doing much research on hot spot in dogs I was able to execute my own treatment without having to take Rockie back to the vet. The vet had informed me that this might be a recurring problem and since I wanted to save myself the time and the expense of having to take Rockie for treatment every time I did some extensive research into dog hotspot treatment.

I learned that if left untreated, hotspot could spread rapidly and cause severe damage to the dog. Hence, I was vigilant.

I also knew that there was the danger of any untreated wound becoming infested with screw worm maggots. So this is what I had to do:

<> I bought a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide.

<> I bought razor blades.

<> I got some cotton from my medicine chest.

<> I bought Wound Powder.

<> I got for free from the Ministry of Agriculture some Screw Worm Powder.

As soon as I noticed excessive scratching of the area I would do a close examination and if there were signs of an impending outbreak I would get to work. I would shave the hair from around the area then wet a small piece of cotton with Hydrogen Peroxide and gently wipe the area to disinfect it.

After doing that I then mixed together some wound powder and some screw worm powder and applied them to the shaven area. I applied this two to three times for the day for approximately three to five days. During this time I had to restrict Rockie from licking or scratching the area.

By applying this treatment I was able to prevent Rockie's annual hot spot outbreaks from occurring. I know that this minor inconvenience saved Rockie and I from trips to the vet and it also saved me time and money.

Amazon Books On Dog Hot Spot - Dog Hot Spot Treatment Books

The method that I used to treat Rockie is by no means the only way of treating hot spots in dogs as persons use different treatments. If your dog is suffering from hot spots or any other similar conditions and you do not have a cure at hand nor the time to pay frequent visits to the vet, you can save yourself time and money by obtaining books from

You will have information readily on hand to guide you in carrying out your own treatment. Here are some books that I would recommend.

The Dog Owner's Home Hot Spot First Aid Companion for Dogs: Dog Hot Spots - How to Manage, Treat & Prevent Hot Spots in Dogs
The Dog Owner's Home Hot Spot First Aid Companion for Dogs: Dog Hot Spots - How to Manage, Treat & Prevent Hot Spots in Dogs

Get more information on dog hot spots. You may discover that you already have some items in your home that you can use to treat and prevent hotspots when you read this book.

DIY Dog Grooming, From Puppy Cuts to Best in Show: Everything You Need to Know, Step by Step
DIY Dog Grooming, From Puppy Cuts to Best in Show: Everything You Need to Know, Step by Step

Regular grooming of your dog can help you to manage and control hotspots. You will see early signs of any potential problems. This book describes proper dog grooming methods that you can do yourself.

Natural Remedies for Dogs for Arthritis, Fleas, "Hot Spots" and Tumors
Natural Remedies for Dogs for Arthritis, Fleas, "Hot Spots" and Tumors

If you are someone who prefers to avoid pharmaceutical drugs for your dog then you should consider this book. You will receive tips on natural substances that you can use to maintain healthy skin in your dog. This will naturally help to prevent hot spots.

Getting in TTouch with Your Dog: An Easy, Gentle Way to Better Health and Behavior
Getting in TTouch with Your Dog: An Easy, Gentle Way to Better Health and Behavior

The way you touch your dog strongly influences his/her reaction to you and the confidence and composure that he/she displays. Learn how to really get in touch with your dog by using some simple touching techniques.

New Choices in Natural Healing for Dogs & Cats: Over 1,000 At-Home Remedies for Your Pet's Problems
New Choices in Natural Healing for Dogs & Cats: Over 1,000 At-Home Remedies for Your Pet's Problems

Here is another great book for dog owners who are into natural treatments. Here you will be introduced to a holistic approach to treating and preventing not just hot spots, but a host of other health issues that your dog may experience.


Should Your Dog Be Isolated Because He/She Has Hotspots? - Are dog hotspots contagious?

Even though I had only one dog I always considered the question of whether or not hot spots were contagious. I never really found this out for myself but I think that a suitable answer to that question would be that it depends on the cause of the hotspots.

If it is a case in which the hotspots arise because your dog is allergic to some food or plant which causes him/her to scratch then this would not be contagious. An allergic reaction in one animal would not result in any adverse effects on another animal. Your dog could still be allowed to interact with other dogs without any fear of passing on any illness to them.

If on the other hand your dog's hotspot was as a result of an infestation from mites or other parasites it would be advisable to isolate him/her from other dogs until effective treatment is administered. The hotspots themselves may not be contagious, but the condition which resulted in hotspots on your dog may be spread to other dogs that may come in contact.

The resulting infestation will cause itching on the other animals and this in turn may lead to them developing hotspots. My advice therefore would be to make sure that you find out the cause of hotspots before you decide on whether to isolate or not.

Did Rockie Inherit His Hotspots?

Hot Spots Can Be Hereditary

When I was told that Rockie had hotspots I started to do some research. I learned that hotspots can be hereditary. This led me to do some checks on Rockies background. I called up my cousin who worked with the vet that looked after Rockie whenever he needed veterinary care.

Hans, my cousin was the one who brought Rockie to my home so I enquired of him for some information on Rockie's parents. He told me that Rockie came from a litter of eight puppies. I told him about the diagnosis of hotspot that I had received from the vet and asked him if any of the other members of the litter had the same problem.

Much to my shock he informed me that all eight puppies from the litter had shown symptoms of the infection. On hearing this I could only come to the conclusion that Rockies hotspot was inherited from one of his parents, most likely his mother.

My research taught me that if the problem of hotspots was caused by an allergy in the parent then it could be passed on to the offspring. I never got a diagnosis on Rockie's parents, but my conclusion from the little bit of information I received was that Rockies hotspot was as a result of an allergy from the mother which was passed on to the puppies at birth.

Dog Hot Spot Video - What Are Hot Spots In Dogs

This short video will provide additional information on hot spots and how to manage them.


What Are Your Thoughts? - Share your experience about dog hot spot treatment

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    • hjohn1024 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @tracy-arizmendi: Tracy1973

      Thanks for your comments. I am sorry to hear about LolaBelle's problems with allergies. I hope the allergy medicine is working well for her. How did you manage to treat the hot spots though?

    • tracy-arizmendi profile image

      Tracy Arizmendi 

      4 years ago from Northern Virginia

      My LolaBelle has seasonal allergies and a few years ago she had a couple of "hot spots" which ended up getting infected due to her incessant scratching and licking. She is on prescription antihistamine for her allergies now. It is so hard to see your dog miserable like they are sick. Great lens! Very informative!


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