Symptoms & Signs of Hot Spot on Dog (Canine Acral Lick Dermatitis)
PetWave | Dog & Cat Information

Symptoms of Hot Spots in Dogs

Effects of “Hot Spots” – From the Dog’s Point of View

Hot spots are very painful for the dogs that are suffering from them. They usually start with some sort of allergic or hypersensitivity reaction or joint disorder that is irritating and itchy. This, in turn, causes the dog to lick and chew incessantly at the affected area, which most typically is on the top side of the lower legs and/or on the paws; the front legs and feet are the most common sites of hot spots. As the dog keeps licking in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve its discomfort, the sores will become deeper and pain will replace the itchiness.

Symptoms of “Hot Spots” – What the Owner Sees

Owners of dogs with hot spots know that their dog has something abnormal going on in the affected area. The dog’s chronic licking, chewing and bothering at the site of the hot spot cannot go unnoticed, unless of course the dog is kept outdoors and doesn’t spend a lot of time with its owner. Attentive owners of dogs suffering from hot spots may notice one or more of the following signs:

  • Compulsive licking and chewing at a particular area of skin, typically on the top of a lower front leg or paw (but can be on a hind leg or elsewhere on the dog’s body)
  • Raised, rough, reddened, plaque-like lesion, typically on the top of a lower front leg or paw (but can be on a hind leg or elsewhere on the dog’s body)
  • Signs of pain, possibly from a joint injury or disease in the affected area
  • Reddish-brown saliva staining around the hot spot site
  • Oozing, ulcerated, pus-filled drainage tracts coming from the hot spot site
  • Foul smell coming from the hot spot site
  • Swelling around the hot spot site

Dog’s at Increased Risk

Large breed dogs seem to be predisposed to developing hot spots. These include the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Newfoundland, Doberman Pinscher, Great Dane, Irish Setter and German Shepherd Dog.

Source: PetWave


Dog Flies (External Parasites)

Flies in Dogs: Learn about Flies, including how they can affect your dog, and what...

Entropion in Dogs

Entropion in Dogs: Learn about Entropion, including how it can affect your dog, and what...

Dog Cryptorchidism

Retained Testicles in Dogs: Learn about Retained Testicles, including how they can affect your...

Dog Flu (Canine Influenza)

Canine Influenza Virus in Dogs: Learn about Canine Influenza, including how it can affect your...

Strokes in Dogs

Strokes in Dogs: Learn about Strokes, including how they can affect your dog, and what...


Dog Health Dog Health
Learn about the most common diseases affecting dogs
Puppy Training Getting a Puppy
A new puppy in the house can cause quite a whirlwind of excitement
Dog Breeds List of Dog Breeds
Comprehensive list of dog breeds with specific breed information

Find a Dog Breed?

With so many dog breeds to choose from, sometime it's easier to seach based on certain characterisitcs.

Caring for your Dog?

There is more to caring for your dog than just feeding it. Find out all you need to know to make sure your pet stays healthy.

Training your Dog?

A dog's behavior plays a key role in making a great pet. Training your dog makes a happier dog, and you will be happier too.

Ask a vet?

Have a question?
Ask a Vet Online NowSM

Ask a Vet

About Us | Review Board | Badges | Tell a Friend | Bookmark this Page | Submit Feedback | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Dog Health | Cat Health | Dog Training | Cat Training | Dog Care | Cat Care | Dog Adoption | Cat Food & Diet

Advertise on - A Pet360 Media Network Partner

Become a Fan of on Facebook Become a Fan on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter Email Friend about Tell your friends about PetWave

© 2015 PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. PetWave disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information view our Terms of Service.