Animals: Hot spots

‘Hot spots’, or acute moist dermatitis, frequently affects dogs and can drive an animal crazy, not to mention its owner.

These areas of itchy dermatitis (as seen in the photo) can be difficult to control and drive an animal (and its owner) crazy from scratching. Our dog, a Shetland collie, developed a number of them on his back and abdomen (like the lesions in the photo) and abdomen, so I Googled for an answer to the problem.

One dog owner suggested the following: 

  • Trim the area around the hot spot.
  • Clean the area and pat dry.
  • Apply hydrocortisone spray or hydrocortisone cream [Not good for a licking dog].
  • Prevent the dog from biting, licking or scratching the area by putting a plastic cone around its neck.
  • When all else fails take the animal to the vet. (Expensive).

(This photograph is of another dog with hot spots showing what these lesions look like.)


The dog-carer's approach seemed a little complicated, so I sprayed a little wheatgrass extract (a great wound healer for animals AND humans alike) over Ollie's hot spots instead. Initially, he kept on scratching, but a few minutes later, he was lying comfortably on his back, legs splayed, fast asleep.

There was no further scratching, and after a couple of days the “spots” had completely disappeared.

Dr. Chris Reynolds.

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