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The typical lesion is red and moist and can be very itchy and sore. Hair loss usually occurs when the pet licks and chews at the irritated area. However many hot spots are hidden under the fur in areas that pets can't reach with their mouths. These areas will be tender to the touch and can develop an odor once infection sets in. These areas need to be shaved and treated for proper healing to take place. This will allow the skin to breathe and help to remove some of the bacteria as well.
Dogs with heavy coats are most prone to hot spots, including Golden Retrievers and Collies. The problem can sometimes be related to a lack of ventilation through the hair.
It is important to identify the underlying problem so it can be eliminated.
In many cases hot spots can be related to fleas or other parasites as well as environmental allergies. Blood tests and skin scraping can be done to further determine the cause of hot spots.
It is not uncommon for pets to be prescribed antibiotics and medicated topical creams by a veterinarian to assist in the treatment of hot spots. Your pet may need to wear an elizabethan collar during treatment of the hot spot to ensure that they don't continue to irritate the area by licking and chewing at it.