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Published: Oct 13, 2011

There are a number of skin issues that can plague our canine companions. VCA Animal Hospitals reports that hot spots are a condition that causes a dog to intensely chew and lick an area on its skin. Many times this behavior starts after a dog has been bitten by insects like ticks, fleas, biting flies or mosquitoes.

When a dog bites and licks the area continuously, it tends to cause a large, raw and inflamed area on its skin. The site is moist and painful, and may expand as a result of the licking, which breeds bacteria.

VCA suggests that owners take their dog to a veterinarian health clinic to address the initial cause of the hot spot. Tick and flea medication should always be administered as a way to reduce both an infestation of pests and the chances of hot spots. After a cause is determined, the dog will be put on antibiotics or other appropriate medications and the area around the site will be trimmed to allow the moisture to dissipate. reports that owners may consider trimming or shaving long-haired dogs during the summer months as another way to prevent hot spots.