Hotspot: Friend or Foe?

Full Title: Hotspot: Friend or Foe?

Author: Katie Nelson

Date of Publication: November 9, 2016


Research Paper Text:

What is a hotspot? Not a hotspot to connect to the Wi-Fi, but a hotspot on your dog. A hotspot, also known as pyotramatic or moist dermatitis, is a part of the skin that has become inflamed and infected. The hotspot can be red and oozing which causes an itching sensation for the dog. Almost always if there is a hotspot the dog will need to wear a cone in order to keep them from licking or scratching the hotspot.

I was doing some research on hotspots on Cesar Millan’s page, and I learned that anything that would cause itchiness to the dogs’ skin can create a hotspot. Some common things that create itchiness, therefore creating a hotspot are common allergies such as grass, trees, weeds, and dust. Food allergies and even bug bites can cause irritation creating a hotspot. Once the hotspot worsens, a bacterial infection can occur which causes an odor of the infected skin.

How can hotspots be treated? Well, some people use home remedies. One woman commented on Cesar’s blog and said, “I cure my dog’s hotspot in 5 days using Oregano Oil. But if you don’t want to “try this at home” then you can just make sure the hair around the infected area is shaved or trimmed down so you can apply topical medications. Most of the time, ointments to soothe the itchiness and pain are given, but in some cases oral medication is prescribed by the vet if the infection lasts longer than a few weeks.

As a pet message practitioner, I try to think of any way I can to help a dog feel better. But when a dog is suffering from an infected hotspot, what can I do? If an owner brings their dog in for a massage and I see that there is a very raw and red hotspot, I will notify the owner and make sure they have been treating it. If they haven’t started the necessary treatment, I may not want to massage that dog right then and there. The dog may be very uncomfortable and not want to be massaged. After a few days of treatment and the wound looks better, then I will reconsider the massage. I also wouldn’t feel comfortable massaging over an infected area. But again, if they come back after a few days of medication I can massage the dog and maybe even allow the dog to feel a sense of comfort and relaxation. Hotspots can be very irritable and the dog isn’t allowed to scratch. A lot of tension and anxiety can build inside the dog’s body.

I visited a blog,, and read what he has experienced with hotspots. Hotspots indeed cause lack of energy and blood flow. What happens with areas do not get enough blood flow? They slowly die away. This can be very crucial. If your dog has a hotspot that isn’t treated correctly or right away, the infection can go into the muscles/tissues. The infection can start to break away the tissue and cause the muscle to deteriorate.

I love all breeds of dogs! Golden Retrievers are my favorite. They’re so loyal, intelligent, and have beautiful flowing, thick coats of fur! But dogs with thick coats, such as Goldens (mentioned), German Shepherds, and Cocker Spaniels are more likely to receive hotspots. But why? Simply because there is not a lot of “air flow” through the fur and more bacteria can build up. Hotspots are more common in the warmer weather but they can appear yearly.

To keep your dog safe from hotspots, get your dog groomed when they need it most. You can also feed your dog’s better food and even dog supplements. Always check your dog’s skin just to be safe. If your dog has longer, thicker fur make sure you’re grooming them yourself by brushing them, or taking them to the groomer more often. Hotspots aren’t fatal if you properly treat them, but they can get out of hand rather quickly if you wait too long.


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