Hot spots can be caused by anything that irritates the skin and initiates an itch-scratch cycle, but the most common irritants are fleas. Other causes are allergies (flea, inhalant, food), parasitic disease (sarcoptic and demodectic mange), anal gland disease, poor grooming, tick and mosquito bites, burrs, and summer heat. They are most common in long-haired and heavy-coated breeds, and are more prevalent during the summer months.
Typical locations for "hot spots" are the side of the face and the flank areas.
What to Watch For
Typically, your pet will exhibit the following:
Diagnostic tests are needed to recognize acute moist dermatitis and exclude other diseases. However, your veterinarian can usually make a preliminary diagnosis based on a history of rapid onset and the clinical appearance of the lesions.