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What is a "hot spot" on a dog?

A:

Quick Answer

A "hot spot" on a dog is an area of skin inflammation and infection. These spots often begin as irritation from an insect bite and grow worse due to the pet licking the area. They often increase in size rapidly.

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Full Answer

Owners discovering a hot spot on a pet should call a veterinarian for advice because these spots often indicate a serious underlying condition. Hot spots are often painful for the dog, and pets that normally do not bite often try to bite owners attempting to provide treatment for the irritation. An Elizabethan collar helps prevent the pet from licking the spot and protect the owner as he attempts to treat the infection.

On breeds with long hair, the coat often mats over the spot, holding in moisture and increasing the irritation. Treatment for hot spots includes shaving the area to allow it to dry. A cool compress helps cool the spot and soothe the pain, and a moist tea bag or a tea solution applied to the hot spot helps dry the spot so that it can heal. Burow's solution is available over the counter and helps dry and heal the area when applied as a spray or compress, and hydrocortisone cream helps control itching. With some hot spots, the vet prescribes medication to prevent infection.

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