What are hot spots?

Photo by victorflowerfly on Freepik.com.

Hot spots are an unfortunate common result of itchy, infected parts of your pet’s body, but it’s easier to handle than you’d think! If your pet has been hit with a nasty bout of hot spot, here’s some information on what exactly they are and how to treat them.

Sores and infections are an unfortunate reality of life, especially on our poor fur friends who tend to aggravate it by scratching and biting their wounds. Hot spots are a common result of these infected areas, and while they’re usually not serious, they’re definitely irritating and painful for your pets. If your pet has been recently infected with one of these nasty hot spots, here’s some information on them on what exactly they are and how to treat them:

Hot spots

Hot spots are painful, irritated areas of the skin caused by skin inflammation and bacterial infections. Also known as acute moist dermatitis, they initially appear as an unassuming red spot on your pet’s skin, before getting triggered by constant itching and scratching. This exposes the wound to bacterial infections, worsening the spot and turning it into painful, oozing lesions.

Photo from urbananimalveterinary.com.

Photo from urbananimalveterinary.com.

Some other symptoms of hot spots also include:

  • Redness, swelling areas of the skin
  • Fluids oozing from the skin infection
  • Hair loss around infected area
  • Crusting and matted hair around infected area

Pets are likely to continue to lick, scratch, and bite at the hot spots due to the pain and irritation as well.

Causes of hot spots

Whatever that makes your pet itch can be a cause of a hot spot, as it can start from as simple as constant scratching at the skin. Some causes include:

  • Parasites
  • Allergies
  • Ear or skin infections
  • Stress or boredom, resulting in excessive licking
  • Dirty or matted coat
  • Moisture trapped in the coat

Some pets have a higher tendency to develop hot spots as well, especially those with longer and thicker coats such as Persian cats and Golden Retrievers. This is due to their thick coats, which makes it easier to form hot spots when the weather is warm and humid, so be sure to check on your fluffy friends frequently for any signs of infections!

Photo by ulkas on Freepik.com.

Photo by ulkas on Freepik.com.

How to treat hot spots

While less serious hot spots can be treated at home, a trip to a vet should still be arranged to find any underlying causes that might be overlooked. To treat these hot spots, you can do a combination of the following steps:

  • Shaving or clipping the hair around the affected area to allow air and prevent matting
  • Gently cleaning the affected area with antiseptic solutions or wipes regularly
  • Getting prescribed oral or topical antibiotics to treat the infection
  • Having your pet wear an e-collar to prevent continued scratching

Of course, prevention is still the best cure to any illness or disease. A good way to prevent hot spots is to get rid of the causes of your pet’s itching as best as you can, such as having good parasite prevention and making sure that their hygiene and fur is kept in good condition!

 Photo by illiabondar on Freepik.com.

Photo by illiabondar on Freepik.com.

Hot spots are definitely a nuisance to many, most of all your pets, but with the right preparation and prevention, they won’t need to be your worry for long!


  1.  https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/treating-and-preventing-hot-spots-on-dogs/ 
  2. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/evr_hot_spots_what_are_they 
  3. https://be.chewy.com/all-about-hot-spots-on-cats/ 
Photo by victorflowerfly on Freepik.com.