Cart --
0 Items in Cart
Your Shopping Cart is Empty
TOGGLE

Dog Hot Spots: What is Flea Allergy Dermatitis?

What Do Fleas Have to Do With Hot Spots?

By Matt Popkin. January 01, 2011 | See Comments

  • expert or vet photo
    vet verified

    PetCareRx Staff Veterinarian

    DVM

Dog Hot Spots: What is Flea Allergy Dermatitis?

Flea Allergy Dermatitis, or FAD, can come from one single flea bite which can lead to your pet having hot spots. Learn how to prevent FAD and treat hot spots here.

All it takes is one flea bite to turn your dog’s life into a non-stop itchy nightmare. Seriously, just one bite can cause Flea Allergy Dermatitis, or FAD, which then can lead to dog hot spots and extreme discomfort for your pet.

What are Dog Hot Spots?

Dog hot spots are infected patches of skin, usually found in a circular shape. Most times, these hot spots start small, caused by a flea bite or another type of irritation. However, what was a tiny welt soon can soon become a big wound if your dog keeps scratching and licking at it.

And your dog is going to want to scratch at it. The hot spot is going to itch so much that it will drive your pet nuts!

Not to worry. There are several steps you can take to prevent FAD, and there are several treatment options available if your pet already has a hot spot.

Treat your pet for fleas

Treating your pet for fleas is the best way to make sure they don’t get FAD. Spot on treatments like K9 Advantix II and Frontline Plus for Dogs will kill the fleas currently on your pet, as well as the pest’s larvae. These treatments also provide a month’s protection with each dose.

Many veterinarians suggest that you treat your dog year round for fleas and ticks, but if you do not wish to do so, you can use our Flea & Tick Map, which uses historical weather data, to figure out when your region’s flea season is the most intense. If you choose to do this, you should begin treatment at least a few months before the peak of flea season to ensure your pet has proper protection.

Treat your home for fleas

Treating just your dog for fleas sometimes isn’t enough if there has been a big infestation. Fleas in your yard and your home can jump back onto your pet and make their life miserable yet again. These pests have a life cycle that can seem to go on forever, with some staying in the pupal stage for up to 12 months before emerging.

This means it can be important to treat your house for fleas. You can use various powders and foggers to get rid of the pests and their eggs, which may be in the corners and cracks of your home. In the most serious cases of infestation, your treatments for your house should be repeated every two weeks for six weeks.

In your yard, you can combat fleas by keeping the grass short and watering regularly. You can also use chemical remedies, such as an Insect Growth Regulator, to kill whatever flea population you might have living out there.

Treating the Hot Spot

If your dog already has a hot spot, you should take them to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet will hopefully be able to prescribe a treatment that will get your dog healthy again.

Before your visit to the vet, here are three things you can do make your pet more comfortable:

  • You can clip the hair around the hot spot to allow more air to reach the inflamed area.
  • You can use a gentle dog shampoo to clean the area.
  • You can prevent your dog from licking the hot spot, because their tongue carries bacteria and can be rough on the irritated area. In some cases, keeping your dog from licking the spot may require a cone collar.

Products Mentioned

K9 Advantix II
Frontline Plus for Dogs

More Flea and Tick Control Advice

Oral Flea Control: Flea and Tick Pills to Keep Your Pet Healthy
Spot On Flea Control: Which Treatment is Right for Your Pet?
How to Use Spot On Flea and Tick Treatment
Flea and Tick Medications: Comparison Chart
Why Use a Flea and Tick Spray on Treatment?

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

Was this article helpful?