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Caissie Canine Instruction: Hotspots



This week’s “RUFF TAILS” features a beautiful Shepherd/Husky mix, named Harlow.


Harlow has learned that her owners don’t like grackles & doves draining the bird food at the feeder.


She now chases them away on her own to let the smaller birds feed.

Here she is keeping an eye on them after she scared them away!



Welcome to Doggie Dialogue:


Hotspots are not a vacation destination for dogs. ( Hee Hee) Hotspots are a moist, inflamed skin lesion know as acute dermatitis.

Hotspots may ooze and contain pus. Hotspots are often located on the paws, chest, hips, or the head of your dog.


Hotspots will appear moist and inflamed, causing the dog hair to fall out or be “chewed” off around the affected area.

Hotspots rapidly spread and can worsen into a painful lesion.

Most dogs tend to chew, lick, or scratch the affected area causing inflammation and secondary bacterial infections.


Common causes for the constant itching or scratching can be the following:

Parasites, food, or flea allergies

Matted hair

Ear or skin infections

Atopic dermatitis


All the above conditions can cause chronic problems that can lead to recurring hotspots.

Breeds such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers, are predisposed to developing hotspots due to their thicker coats.


Dogs that are frequently wet from swimming, bathing, or exposed to periods of high humidity are more prone to developing hot spots due to the excess moisture held against their skin by their coats.


The recommended treatment for hotspots are the following:

1. First call is to your vet

2. Your vet may prescribe a topical antibiotic or oral steroid

3. Clip the hair around the affected area to prevent matting (vet will do this)


4. Apply a “cone” to prevent your dog from continuing to lick and/or scratch the affected area


To help prevent hotspots we recommend the following:

1. Vet recommended parasite prevention

2. Manage allergies, such as flea, food, or seasonal allergies, as best as possible

3. Have a regular grooming schedule

4. Increase daily exercise to prevent boredom, which can increase licking do to stress

5. Supplement fatty acids, such as fish oil, this will help promote a healthy skin barrier

6. Dry off your dog thoroughly after bathing or swimming to ensure moisture is not trapped between their skin and their coat


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