How to Treat Hot Spots With Preparation H


Hot spots are lesions typically found along the side of the chest, on top of the head or over the hip. These can become inflamed and can be irritating and painful for a dog. Hot spots are often caused by an allergic reaction to insect bites, typically those from fleas. Applying Preparation H to the area can help stop the irritation and heal the wounds, but it won’t stop the hot spots from reappearing.

Things You'll Need

  • Clippers
  • Soap
  • Elizabethan collar
  • Preparation H

Treating Hot Spots

  • Trim the hair around the area of the wound. Clip the hair over and around the wound so that air will have access to the wound, helping with the healing process and clearing the way for applying medication. If the dog is in pain, he may need to be sedated during the treatment process for hot spots.

  • Clean the wound. Use a non-irritating soap, shampoo, Bigeloil or aloe and lanolin baby wipes to clean the wound area. Rinse the area with warm water after cleaning the wound.

  • Spread Preparation H evenly over the area of the hot spot. Cover the entire area of the wound.

  • Prevent the dog from causing more damage to the wound by having him wear an Elizabethan collar so that he cannot get to the affected area. If you do not want to use an Elizabethan collar, clip your dog’s toenails and tie socks to his back paws to prevent further damage when he scratches at the area, according to

  • Stop the hot spots from returning by treating the problem behind the hot spot. If fleas are the problem, keep your dog on a flea control program, and keep his hair trimmed short. Hot spots below the ear are typically caused by an infection in the ear, which should be taken care of at the same time you are treating the hot spot.

Tips & Warnings

  • Repeat these steps daily.
  • Depending on the area of the hot spot, you may need to express the anal glands or clean the ears regularly.
  • Antibiotics or painkillers may be needed in severe cases.
  • If you don't see any improvement after the second day of treatment, have your dog seen by a veterinarian.

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  • Photo Credit the dog image by hupper from
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