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Canine Hot Spots

(Moist Dermatitis/Eczema)


Canine hot spots, also called acute moist pyoderma, or moist eczema, are raw patches on the skin, which can suddenly appear within an hour or two. They are usually caused by a bacterial infection. They can appear anywhere on a dog's body, and it can rapidly spread, but most commonly appear under a dog’s ears, on his rump, or near the rectum area. Most of the time these hot spots can be cured with oral and topical antibiotics. They most often occur in the hot summer months. A dog that is wet, dirty and/or matted is more susceptible. Fleas, ticks, and burrs can cause them or allergic reactions due to food allergy, flea allergy, atopy, parasites (such as mange), anal gland problems, localized inflammation of the skin from clipping and grooming, or skin infections.

A dog with a hot spot will often bite and scratch at the area. The area becomes moist, red, raw, and may pus, forming scabs. In longer haired dogs, the area usually becomes matted from the discharge. Painful, itchy lesions often appear, causing the dog to chew and lick even more. This can cause thickened skin and scarring.

The area around the hot spot should be shaved, allowing air to hit it so it will scab over. The dog must stop scratching, licking and biting the area in order for the hot spot to heal. A topical antibiotic can be applied, however take care the dog does not lick it off.

MTG (Mane Tail Groom) is a product that can safely be used and has proven to be effective on hot spots when applied once a day.

It is important to find the underlying cause of the hot spot in order to prevent future lesions from occurring.

Day 1

"On Wednesday, when I got home from work, my English Mastiff was moving really slowly around the house. He didn't want to eat. He would cry if my other dog bumped him. I was really afraid it was his hips. Both hips seemed swollen. Thursday I took the day off work and took him to the vet. Before we left though he ended up biting at his leg enough to make it bleed (picture attached). Took him to the vet."

Day one after being shaved

"The vet shaved the hair off his leg to make sure there was no wound or anything. So he has a severe infection in both legs. He is on antibiotics for two weeks to clear it up. He was also given an anti-inflammatory shot while we were there. I am assuming something to help with itching and pain. He takes two pills, two times a day until it’s gone."

"A breeder recommended a solution of 1/4 c. Listerine (for antiseptic properties), 1/4 c. of Witch Hazel (for anti-itch properties), and 1 c. water to be mixed into a spray bottle. You spray the area and then sprinkle Vagisil Feminine powder (for antifungal properties) over the affected area."

"Other people use Tinactin spray. They said it works really fast to dry out hot spots and stop the itching."

"Others swear by Medicated Gold Bond Powder to keep the spot dry."

Hot spot on an English Mastiff, Day 3 of treatment

"I put the peroxide in a spray bottle to make it easier for me to apply. I also bought some Gold Bond Medicated Powder to help with the itching. He seems OK today. He lets me touch the area and it feels very crusty, like it’s scabbing up, which I think is a good thing."

Hot spot on an English Mastiff, Day 4 of treatment

Hot spot on an English Mastiff, Day 5 of treatment

Hot spot on an English Mastiff after 2 weeks of treatment

"It’s looking much better. It doesn’t hurt him at all; he lets me brush the hair that is starting to grow in. I think it itches him ‘cause he really enjoys it. He is still on antibiotics. Has about a week or so left of that."

Hot spot on an English Mastiff after 2 weeks of treatment



This dog was treated by shaving the hair generously around the hot spots and cleaned with antibiotic soap. The scabs were scrubbed off. The dog was completely dried with a hair dryer and sprayed with antibiotic spray. The dog felt better the next day and the skin started to heal.



Untreated infected hot spot on a dog—Under the scabs it was pussy and hot with rotting flesh.

Untreated infected hot spot on a dog

Untreated infected hot spot on a dog

Untreated infected hot spot on a dog

Untreated infected hot spot on a dog

Untreated infected hot spot on a dog

Untreated infected hot spot on a dog

Untreated infected hot spot on a dog


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