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Published: Apr 20, 2012

If your dog is frequently licking a specific area of its body, you may notice a red, irritated lesion develop on that spot over time. These are frequently referred to as hot spots on dogs, and although they're relatively harmless, they should be treated by a veterinarian right away to avoid infection or other complications.

Dog hot spots may indicate the presence of fleas or ticks on dogs. They may also develop from mosquito or other insect bites the dog has scratched, licked or chewed on over time. Hot spots may also be the result of an allergic reaction, especially if they recur over time.

Veterinarians will likely treat both the underlying cause of the problem and the hot spots themselves. Pet owners may be given some type of topical cream and possibly oral medications to relieve the itching and treat the lesions. An Elizabethan collar for dogs is almost always required to prevent additional licking and chewing and to allow the lesions to heal. The vet will also likely give information on tick prevention and flea control for dogs, or possibly run allergy tests if a reaction is suspected as the cause.

Going to the veterinarian is especially important for this condition, because the hot spots can begin to spread if the dog is allowed to continue licking the spots in question.