Hot Spots: Causes and Natural Treatment Options

Posted by Joey DiFrancesco on

Dog laying under table looking sad

Hot spots, known by your veterinarian as Moist Dermatitis, are patches of skin that have been infected by any number of types of bacteria. They appear as red and sometimes oozing patches of skin either exposed from licking or tucked under the fur. Immediate dog hot spot treatment is important for your pup's overall health. 

They are generally caused by a combination of two factors: a break in the skin and moist conditions. Trauma to the skin can be caused for any number of reasons including an injury, scratching from allergies, or even a tick bite. When moist conditions such as a bath, a swim, or persistent licking occur, conditions become ripe for bacteria to establish themselves, leading to an infection at the site.

While prevention measures such as helping your pooch get dry after a swim and grooming to avoid mats in the fur can help, these “Summer Sores” are often a repeating warm weather occurrence from dogs that suffer from them.

This article will give you some information on when to see your vet and some strategies for treating hot spots at home with natural products.

small black and white dog laying down looking to their side

What Do Hot Spots Look Like?

As these images show, hot spots can look very different depending on the breed of dog, length of fur, and stage of advancement. If left untreated, hot spots often get larger, more inflamed, and can become extremely irritating for your pooch. 

If you have a dog with a medium to long coat, you may not notice the visual signs of a hot spot right away because it is under the fur. Keep a close eye on your dog for signs of excessive licking or scratching in a specific area and monitor the skin under the fur in that area for signs that a hot spot may be developing. 

Should I See My Vet About Hot Spots?           

Yes, particularly if you are dealing with them with your dog for the first time. One thing to keep in mind is that hot spots can spread alarmingly fast and they often require medical treatment to rapidly kill the bacteria and promote healing. For example, your vet may recommend a dog hot spot spray to kill bacteria, relieve itching, and help keep the area dry. 

In addition, hot spots, particularly if chronic, can be a sign that a deeper and potentially more serious problem needs to be addressed. Work with your vet to make sure the problem is not being caused or exacerbated by diet, underlying immune dysfunction, or allergies.

white dog with hot spots on their paws and arms

Home Remedies for Hot Spots in Dogs

If you have worked with your vet to make sure there are no underlying issues, and you are left with a dog that gets a mild hot spot a few times a year during the summer months, then you are in luck. Mild cases can often be treated from home. 

Here are some ways to identify and treat hot spots from home:

  • Keep a close eye on excessive scratching or itching to catch hot spots as fast as possible. 

  • If you spot one in the early stage, carefully trim the fur around the area to help it stay dry and promote healing. 

  • Wash the area very gently a few times a day using a mild detergent (plain blue Dawn works) or an antibacterial soap specially formulated for dogs. Rinse with a clean cloth and pat dry thoroughly. 

  • Applying a cool compress to the area several times a day can help reduce the inflammation and give your pet some relief. Just be sure that the area gets dry after applying any cold therapy. 

  • Prevent your dog from licking the area, using a special collar for that purpose if necessary. 

  • Contact your veterinarian immediately if the sore does not begin to dry up and resolve within 48 hours, or if it begins to spread or worsen in intensity. 

By helping to soothe itchy skin and boost skin health, a CBD balm made from full spectrum hemp oil can promote healing on dry skin areas. In turn, this can help prevent your canine companion from damaging the area with excessive itching or licking which can be a major cause of hot spots in many dogs.

If you have a dog that is prone to hot spots, work with your veterinarian to see where CBD may fit in as part of an overall focus on skin health. 

golden retriever happy getting a bath

Where Can I Find High Quality CBD Oil for My Dog?

It is important to find a CBD oil that is made from organic hemp and formulated specifically for our pets, such as Lolahemp

CBD oil is currently experiencing a massive boom in demand thanks to a proliferation in scientific research demonstrating a host of potential therapeutic benefits and the discovery of the body’s endocannabinoid system and its many regulatory functions. Since demand is high, there are plenty of companies selling products made from low quality ingredients or containing less CBD than advertised. In some cases, none at all! 

Here at Lolahemp, we provide third party lab testing for our products so that you can verify the quality before you buy. We were inspired to make the highest quality CBD Oil for dogs by our own loving dog, Lola. And, we donate a portion of proceeds to local shelters and rescues through our community giveback program. 

Lolahemp full spectrum Hemp Balm



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