Hot spots or acute moist dermatitis are inflamed, red spots that appear on a dog's skin and can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable. This results in the dog scratching, licking or even biting the bumps to relieve their discomfort but also results in the spots becoming infected. Hot spots therefore often result in large wounds that ooze pus.
But is a dog hot spot contagious?
Because it is a skin condition, there is a misconception that dog hotspots are contagious. But any person who owns multiple dogs will tell you that the hot spots can often only affect one dog in the pack and leave the others entirely unaffected.
This is because there is no evidence to suggest that a dog hot spot contagious. However, if multiple dogs are presenting with these uncomfortable spots, one of the underlying causes may be responsible or an infection of the area can result in the spread of dermatitis. It is therefore essential to identify the cause of the problem before hot spots become a condition that can affect more than one dog. Some of the underlying causes include:
1. Ticks And Fleas
Ticks and flea bites may result in this skin condition and cause the dog to scratch and lick. However, it is very, very important to know the difference between a bite from a parasite and a hot spot. Bites may leave raised, red bumps similar to hot spots but should not be moist or oozing pus. Flies can also aggravate the condition.
If a dog has a particular sensitivity or even an allergy to fleas, it is far more likely that they will get hot spots while other dogs in the pack remain largely unaffected even though they also have fleas. Speak to a vet about eliminating ticks, fleas, and flies that could be causing hot spots.
2. Heat And Moisture
Hot spots are far more likely to occur in hot and humid climates and in the summer than in the cold. If weather is the root cause of the condition, then it is more than likely that more than one dog will become affected. Providing a dog with a way to cool down in summer and keeping the skin dry can help prevent hot spots from occurring.
Some breeds of dog are far more likely to get hot spots than others. Dogs with particularly sensitive skins will succumb much faster than dogs with tougher or hardier skins. Short hair dogs with sensitive skins are just as likely to suffer as dogs with long coats although matted coats can aggravate the condition.
Hot spots are more likely to occur in dogs that aren't bathed and groomed regularly. With long hair dogs, it is recommended to keep a shorter coat during the summer months and cut their hair on a regular basis. Daily or twice daily brushing can also help alleviate the itching associated with hot spots and even prevent them from occurring.
It is recommended to bathe your dog at least once a week but preferably twice a week in the warmer months. Use a soothing and calming medicated shampoo, like that from Banixx, that can be purchased from a vet rather than regular dog shampoos that can irritate the skin and make the condition worse. In particularly humid conditions, it is recommended to dry the dog after bathing.
If a dog already has hot spots, it is essential to disinfect the wounds regularly. Bacteria that infects the wound can result in the condition spreading and it is important to keep it under control.
So is a dog hot spot contagious? Prevention is always better than cure so to take the necessary steps to eliminate the causes.