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The weather is warming up, and coat blowing season is here. For those owners with double coated dogs, get ready to be completely covered with hair. In addition to hair, this also seems to be the season when dogs get the dreaded hot spots. If you don't have a strong stomach, don't click the following links for photos of hot spots.
Hot spots are essentially lesions on the skin that can be caused or started by a number of things. Licking or gnawing on the area tends to exacerbate the problem turning a small itchy spot into a full blown hot spot. Common areas for hot spots include the neck, under the ears, and around the base of the tail.
There are many methods of treating a hot spot described online, and I don't particular endorse any one of those. However, in my experience, less is more for hot spots. Like any damage to the skin, the dog will heal itself. I personally keep the area on my dog dry and clean. I will sometimes apply the spaniel ear cleaner solution to the area and fan dry. I'll check the area to make sure that it isn't infected once a day, and that's about it. Many vets will typically recommend that you shave the area, treat it with topical ointment, put the dogs on antibiotics, and make it wear an e-collar. While that might be the treatment for very severe or large hot spot, most dogs won't need such extensive care.
Other home remedies for hot spots I've found (I haven't tried them or recommend them):
Some ways to prevent hot spots are: