2023 Guide to Treat Dog Hot Spot Healing Stages

icon April 17, 2023

How do you know if your pet is experiencing dog hot spots? What are the risks to your pet's health and how can you address them?

In this article, we will remind dog parents of the following points:

  • What Does A Hot Spot Look Like On Dogs?

  • Symptoms of Hot Spot in Dogs

  • What Causes Dog To Get Hot Spots?

  • What Is The First Stage Of A Dog Hot Spot Healing Stage?

  • How to Treat Hot Spots on Dogs?

  • How Can I Treat My Dog's Hot Spot At Home?

  • Dog Hotspot vs Ringworm 

What Does A Hot Spot Look Like On Dogs?

A hot spot on a dog looks like a red, inflamed area of skin that is usually moist and often has a distinct odor. The area is typically very itchy, and the dog may scratch, lick, or bite at the spot in an attempt to relieve the discomfort. Other signs and symptoms may include hair loss, scabbing, and excessive licking or chewing at the area.

What is The First Stage of A Hot Spot?

The first stage of a dog hot spot typically begins as a red, inflamed and irritated area of skin with visible signs of scratching, licking or biting. The area may also be swollen and warm to the touch. As it continues to get worse, you may see dried pus and a damaged skin surface. Thus creating a crust and they will likely start losing fur on the infected area.

Pictures Of Hot Spots On Dogs


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Symptoms of Hot Spot in Dogs

A hot spot in dogs, also known as acute moist dermatitis, is a skin condition that can cause your dog to feel irritated and uncomfortable. Some common symptoms of a hot spot in dogs include:

  • Redness and swelling: The affected area will appear red, swollen, and inflamed.

  • Itchiness: Your dog may constantly scratch or bite at the affected area due to itchiness.

  • Moisture: The area may be moist or ooze fluid, which can make it difficult for the skin to heal.

  • Hair loss: Due to excessive licking or biting, the fur around the hot spot may fall out.

  • Foul odor: The hot spot may emit an unpleasant odor due to the accumulation of bacteria in the area.

  • Pain: Your dog may show signs of discomfort and pain when you touch the affected area.

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What Causes Dogs to Get Hot Spots?

Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are caused by a variety of factors.

  1. Bacterial or fungal infections, allergies, skin irritations, chronic ear infections,

  2. Hormonal imbalances

  3. Even behavioral issues such as excessive licking or chewing.

  4. Insect bites

  5. Flea infestations

  6. Poor grooming

  7. Skin trauma

  8. Moisture left on the skin from bathing, swimming, or other activities


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All of these can lead to irritation, which then causes your dog to scratch, bite, and lick the affected area, leading to further irritation and the development of a hot spot.

Hot Spot Treatment for Dogs

1. First, you should bring your pet to a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Hot spots can be caused by a number of factors, such as an underlying skin condition, an insect bite, or an allergic reaction, which can all require different treatments. The vet will be able to diagnose the cause of the hot spot and provide the appropriate treatment.

2. Keep your pet away from any known allergens or irritants.

This could be anything from pollen to fleas, so if you think you know what is causing the reaction, try to remove it from your pet's environment.

3. Keep your pet's skin clean and dry.

Bathe your pet regularly with a mild shampoo to help remove any allergens or irritants that may be causing the reaction.

4. Use a topical cream, ointment or spray to help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.

If it is a fungal or bacterial infection, you can use puainta Anti-fungal spray or Zinc Oxide Ointment. If your dog or cat has itchy skin, take chlorpheniramine maleate. 

If you want to know more about medicines, you can click this.

5. Oral Antibiotics

In some cases, oral antibiotics may be prescribed with a topical solution. Cephalosporins (such as Keflex), fluoroquinolones (such as Baytril or Cipro), and penicillins  (such as Amoxicillin and Clavamox) are the most common types of oral antibiotics used to treat hot spots. All are effective against a wide range of infections. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions for the proper administration of these medications, and always complete the full course of antibiotics to keep the infection from returning.

Hot Spot Medications for Dogs

Your veterinarian may prescribe a combination of antibiotics to remove the infection and topical cream or powder to soothe inflammation and itch. Commonly prescribed medications include:

  • Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Polymox, Trimox): Amoxicillin is a commonly prescribed broad-spectrum penicillin antibiotic used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, including those of the skin. It is available in pill form.

  • Clavamox (Amoxicillin, Clavulanate Potassium, Synulox, Clavaseptin): Clavamox is essentially a stronger version of Amoxicillin. It is specially designed to keep bacteria from forming a resistance to it, and it is most commonly used to treat infections of the skin and soft tissue. It is available in pill form.

  • Enrofloxacin: Baytril is a broad-spectrum fluoroquinolone antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. It works to reduce bacterial pathogens and therefore inhibits bacterial replication. It is available as injection or flavored tabs that most dogs will enjoy taking.

  • Cephalexin: Cephalexin is an effective broad-spectrum bactericidal antibiotic indicated for a wide variety of bacterial infections, including those of the skin, bone, bladder, and respiratory tract. It is available in pill form or as an oral suspension solution.

  • Neo-Predef: Neo-Predef is a triple-action antibiotic, topical anesthetic, and anti-inflammatory powder. It works to relieve itching, swelling, and inflammation while also treating the infection.

  • Tresaderm: Tresaderm is a topical antibiotic solution used in the treatment of fungal or bacterial infections of the skin and ears. Tresaderm works to kill the infection while reducing inflammation.

  • TriTop: TriTop is a topical anesthetic ointment that has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. It treats infections and provides relief from itching and irritation. It can either be used short-term or long-term.

6. Introduce a healthy diet for your pet, as this can help reduce the risk of skin allergies and other health problems. Make sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean water for your pet to drink.

How Can I Treat My Dog's Hot Spot At Home?

Topical Ointment

To treat a dog's hot spot at home, you should first clip the fur around the affected area. This will help the area to heal and prevent infection. You should then clean the area with a solution of 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water, followed by an antibacterial shampoo. After cleaning the area, you should apply an antibiotic ointment or hot spot spray for dogs to the area twice daily. You should also cover the area with a clean bandage or sock to keep the area clean and dry.

Natural Therapy

To begin, start by cleaning the affected area meticulously. Trim the hair around the hot spot gently to prevent further moisture buildup and enhance air circulation.

Next, employ a soothing approach by applying a cool, damp compress directly to the hot spot. Leave it in place for 5-10 minutes, repeating this process several times a day. This practice serves to diminish inflammation and bring comfort to your pet.

For a natural remedy, consider brewing herbal tea using ingredients such as chamomile or calendula. Once the tea has cooled, gently apply it to the hot spot using a clean cloth or cotton ball. These herbs possess anti-inflammatory properties and offer a soothing effect.

Another beneficial option is to apply pure aloe vera gel, free from any additives like alcohol. Aloe vera is known for its calming and healing properties, making it ideal for treating the irritated skin.

Additionally, you can choose to apply coconut oil to the affected area. Coconut oil is endowed with antimicrobial attributes and can provide relief to the irritated skin.

Can A Dog's Hot Spot Heal On Its Own?  

In some cases, a hot spot can heal on its own if the cause of the hot spot is addressed. However, it is best to seek advice from a veterinarian to ensure the hot spot is treated properly and to prevent further complications.

What is the Duration of Healing for Dog Hot Spots?

Similar to their rapid onset, dog hot spots also exhibit swift healing. If you're pondering the recovery period for a dog hot spot, it hinges on factors like your dog's well-being, the treatment employed, and their individual physiology. Typically, the mending process commences within two to three days after treatment initiation. Subsequently, your dog's hot spot is likely to completely heal within 7 to 10 days post-treatment.

Dog Hot Spot Healing Stage

1. The First Stage Of A Dog Hot Spot Healing Stage

This stage begins with the development of the hot spot, which is often characterized by redness, swelling, and intense itching. The affected area may feel warm to the touch and can be quite painful for the dog. The dog may frequently lick or chew at the area, exacerbating the condition.

A protective bandage or cone may be applied to prevent your dog from licking or scratching the area.

Treatment Measures

Antifungal shampoos, topical antifungal creams or sprays, and oral antifungal medications prescribed by a veterinarian.

2. The Second Stage Of A Dog Hot Spot Healing Stage

Oozing and Exudative Stage

As the hot spot progresses, it may become moist and start to ooze a clear or yellowish fluid. This stage is marked by the presence of discharge and crusting. The area may appear wet and sticky, and the dog may continue to scratch or lick the affected spot.

Treatment Measures

Continued use of antifungal shampoos, topical antifungal medications, oral antifungal medications, and in severe cases, oral corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs may be prescribed.

3. The Third Stage Of A Dog Hot Spot Healing Stage

Drying and Scabbing Stage

With proper treatment and management, the hot spot will begin to dry out. The oozing and discharge will decrease, and a scab will form over the affected area. This scab helps protect the underlying skin as it heals. It's important to discourage the dog from scratching or picking at the scab, as this can delay the healing process.

Treatment Measures

Regular application of antifungal shampoos, continued use of topical antifungal medications, and follow-up visits with a veterinarian to monitor progress.

4. The Fourth Stage Of A Dog Hot Spot Healing Stage

Healing and Hair Regrowth Stage

As the hot spot continues to heal, the scab will gradually fall off, revealing new, healthy skin underneath. The redness and swelling should diminish, and the dog's discomfort will lessen. Hair will start to regrow in the previously affected area. The time it takes for complete hair regrowth can vary depending on the severity of the hot spot and the dog's individual healing ability.

Treatment Measures

During the healing stages, it's essential to address the underlying cause of the hot spot to prevent its recurrence. This may involve identifying and treating any allergies, managing flea infestations, keeping the area clean and dry, and providing appropriate wound care as advised by a veterinarian. In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe topical or oral medications to aid in the healing process.

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How to Prevent Hot Spots in Dogs?

Preventing hot spots in dogs involves a combination of good hygiene, proper grooming, addressing underlying health issues, and providing a comfortable environment. Here's how you can help prevent hot spots in dogs:

Regular Grooming

Brush your dog's coat regularly to remove loose hair and prevent matting.
Bathe your dog using a gentle, appropriate dog shampoo. Over-bathing can strip natural oils from their skin, potentially leading to dryness and irritation.

Keep Your Dog's Skin Dry

After swimming or a bath, thoroughly dry your dog's coat to prevent moisture from causing skin irritation.
If your dog tends to get wet from rain or other activities, make sure to dry them off as soon as possible.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Provide a balanced and nutritious diet to promote overall skin health and immune system function.
Ensure your dog is getting proper hydration by providing clean, fresh water at all times.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can lead to excessive scratching and licking. Provide a safe and comfortable environment for your dog, and consider using techniques like positive reinforcement training to reduce stress.

Trim Nails

Keep your dog's nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching and injuring their skin.

Provide Comfortable Resting Areas

Make sure your dog has a clean and comfortable place to rest, with proper bedding to avoid pressure sores and irritation.

Flea and Tick Control

Use appropriate flea and tick preventatives as recommended by your veterinarian to prevent infestations that can lead to itching and skin irritation.

Here is a general guideline for deworming dogs:

  • Puppies: Puppies should be dewormed starting at two weeks of age, and the process should be repeated every two weeks until they are around 8 weeks old. After that, they should be dewormed once a month until they reach six months of age.

  • Adult dogs: Once a dog reaches six months of age, a regular deworming schedule is typically recommended every three to six months, depending on the risk factors in their environment and lifestyle.

  • Pregnant and nursing dogs: Pregnant dogs should be dewormed before giving birth to reduce the risk of transmitting worms to the puppies. Nursing dogs should also be dewormed to prevent the transfer of worms through their milk.

The specific deworming medication can vary depending on the type of worms that need to be treated. Common deworming medications for dogs include:

  • Pyrantel pamoate: Effective against roundworms and hookworms.

  • Fipronil: Effective against scabies mites, adults, larvae, ticks, fleas, lice, and eggs.

  • Albendazole: Effective against various types of worms, including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and certain protozoa.

  • Milbemycin oxime: Effective against heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.

  • Abamectin B1: Effective against heartworms, intestinal worms, and some external parasites.

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Dog Hotspot vs Ringworm 

Ringworm on a dog typically appears as a round, red, scaly patch of skin with a bald center. It is usually itchy and can be red and raised, or flat and scaly. 

A dog hotspot is a wet, irritated area of skin that can be caused by many things, such as an allergy, an insect bite, or a bacterial skin infection. Hotspots are usually moist and hairless and can be red and inflamed.

What Does Ringworm Look Like On A Dog?

Ringworm on a dog typically looks like a circular patch of skin that is reddened, scaly, and bald. It may also appear as raised bumps on the skin. In some cases, the affected area may be itchy or painful. In severe cases, the lesions may be accompanied by secondary bacterial infections, which can cause a foul odor and discharge.

RelatedWhat Does Ringworm Look Like On A Dog


How to Stop Dog From Licking Paws Home Remedy?

Some things. The one he likes needs a puppy cone to stop the licking so you can clean the area properly, they apply an anti-itch spray to help heal, and the cone prevents him from licking the medicine. This could be an allergy to shampoo or outdoor allergens or even dog food ingredients. Treat as above and if it doesn't start to heal after a few days, visit your vet to find out why.

What Can I Spray on My Dog to Stop Itching?

There are a few different sprays you can try to help stop your dog from itching:

Apple cider vinegar spray: Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply it to your dog's itchy spots. The acidic properties of the vinegar help soothe and relieve itching.

Aloe vera spray: Aloe vera gel can help reduce inflammation and soothe itchy skin. Mix a small amount of pure aloe vera gel with water in a spray bottle and apply it to your dog's itchy areas.

Oatmeal spray: Oatmeal is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help calm and soothe itchy skin. Cook some plain oatmeal and let it cool, then strain out any solids and put the liquid in a spray bottle. Apply it to your dog's itchy areas.

It's always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before using any new products on your dog's skin, especially if your dog has any underlying medical conditions or is on medication.

How Long Do Dog Hot Spots Take to Heal?

The healing time for a hot spot on a dog can vary depending on the severity of the lesion and how quickly treatment is started. Generally, hot spots can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to fully heal.

If the hot spot is caught early and treated promptly, it may start to improve within a day or two. However, if the hot spot is left untreated or becomes infected, it can take longer to heal.

To promote faster healing, it's important to keep the affected area clean and dry, and to prevent your dog from scratching or biting at the spot. Your veterinarian may also prescribe medication, such as antibiotics or corticosteroids, to help speed up the healing process.

Overall, if you notice a hot spot on your dog, it's best to seek veterinary care as soon as possible to prevent further complications and promote faster healing.

Do Hot Spots Scab When Healing?

Hot spots are a common skin condition in dogs that can cause redness, inflammation, and intense itching in a localized area. When hot spots begin to heal, they may scab over as part of the natural healing process.

The scab forms as a protective layer over the injured skin to prevent further damage and infection while new skin cells regenerate underneath. As the healing process progresses, the scab will eventually fall off on its own, revealing new, healthy skin underneath.

It's important to avoid picking or scratching at the scab, as this can disrupt the healing process and potentially lead to infection. Instead, it's best to keep the area clean and dry and follow any treatment recommendations from your veterinarian to help your dog heal as quickly and comfortably as possible.

How Stop Dog Licking Paws?

Keep your dog's paws clean and dry: Regularly clean your dog's paws with a mild, pet-safe cleanser and dry them thoroughly after walks or outdoor playtime.

Provide distractions: Give your dog plenty of toys and chews to keep them occupied and distracted from licking their paws.

Consider using a bitter spray: Some dog owners find success in deterring their dog from licking their paws by using a bitter spray or cream. These products are designed to have an unpleasant taste and discourage your dog from licking their paws.

Use a cone or booties: If your dog's paw licking is particularly severe, your vet may recommend using a cone or booties to prevent your dog from accessing their paws.

It's important to remember that excessive paw licking can be a sign of an underlying health issue, so if your dog's behavior persists or worsens, it's best to consult with your veterinarian.



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