Flea Bites: Allergic Reactions Can Cause Hot Spots
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Fleas - A Common Cause of Hot Spots

Fleas are horrible for any pet owner. They infest your home and your pet, creating a headache for you and incessant scratching and discomfort for your pet. However, if your dog has flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), fleas can create an even bigger problem for him.

FAD is a skin condition that dogs can get from just one flea bite. When dogs with FAD are bitten by a flea they can develop what is called a hot spot. A hot spot is a localized red itchy area that can be found almost anywhere on the animal. Prevention is critical when dealing with hot spots. By preventing the following three factors, you can help protect your dog from developing or worsening hot spots:

Use flea and tick treatments if your dog has FAD. When choosing a topical powder, spray, or once-a-month flea control product, be sure to choose a product that not only kills fleas, but also repels them. If your dog is sensitive to flea saliva, just one bite can set off an allergic reaction and possibly a hot spot. If a product does not repel fleas, then the fleas must bite the animal before they die. We recommend using K9 Advantix® II or Bio Spot® ACTIVE CARE SPOT ON® for Dogs for Dogs to kill and repel fleas.

Don't forget to treat your dog’s environment as well. Seventy percent of the time the flea is off the animal and in the environment. An effective environmental treatment involves treating the house, yard, and sleeping area of the dog with a product that kills the adult fleas (adulticide) and has an insect growth regulator (IGR). IGRs prevent the development of the flea through its life cycles. Adams™ Plus Flea & Tick Premises Protection offers all you need to control fleas in your home.

It' also important to prevent your dog from licking the hot spot. Licking too much can prolong healing, and it may bring added bacteria to the wound. A dog's tongue is slightly rough, so it is possible for him to lick off layers of skin, making the wound worse, which is why hot spots can grow so quickly. To help minimize the licking, choose soothing topical sprays, salves, or shampoos, such as our Itch Stop line or Septi-Soothe® Mist and Septi-Soothe® Shampoo. You may need to add a special collar like the ProCollar Protective Collar to keep your dog's tongue off the wound. If your dog's hot spot does not respond to treatment, have your veterinarian examine the animal.

Products We Recommend

Adams™ Plus Flea &
Tick Premises Protection

Drs. Foster and Smith
Itch Stop Series

K9 Advantix II

Related Articles: