Dog Hot Spot vs Ringworm: How to Tell if My Dog Has Ringworm or Hotspot?

Dogs typically have hot spots or ringworm because of their living conditions such as pets being in contact with infected animals or people, as well as parasites and fleas. The symptoms of hot spot or ringworm include dogs having intense itching, hair loss, and redness on the skin. Let’s look at the differences between these two conditions, so you can decide which treatment is best for your dog.

Dog Hotspot vs Ringworm

Does my dog have hot spots or ringworm?

Hot spots are not ringworm. The two conditions have distinct appearances and treatments.

Potential underlying causes of hot spots are self-trauma, allergies, skin infections, or parasites. They are usually triggered by scratching, licking, or chewing the affected area and appear on the face, neck, or chest of dogs. Hot spots are large, red, and moist with hair loss around them.

Ringworm is a fungal infection caused by a fungus called Microsporum canis that is found in soil and on animals’ skin. It causes circular patches of hair loss on your dog’s body and sometimes his ears, tail and paws. Ringworm is contagious to humans so it’s best to keep your distance if you suspect your dog has it.

If you’re concerned that your dog may be suffering from either condition, a trip to the vet is recommended so they can properly diagnose him and prescribe the right treatment.

Here you can see the pictures of hot spots on dogs:

Here you can see the pictures of ringworm on dogs:

How do I treat my dog’s ringworm?

Topical medications can be applied directly onto the skin in the form of drops or ointments, which are then rubbed into the area of infection. Oral medications are typically given once daily for two weeks. These medications should be used as directed by your vet.

Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects dogs and cats. It’s highly contagious and can spread through direct contact with infected animals or their infected skin and hair, as well as by contact with objects such as grooming tools and bedding.

What can be mistaken for ringworm in dogs?

Many other skin conditions in dogs can appear similar to ringworm, including:

  • Bacterial dermatitis usually occurs as small red bumps on the skin with crusty scales around them. The bumps may be itchy or painful.
  • Allergic dermatitis is characterized by itching, redness, and inflammation at sites where your dog has been exposed to an allergen (such as pollen or dust).
  • Yeast infection is a common cause of skin irritation and itching that appears as small red bumps on the skin, often around the ears or between the toes.
Paw Licking, Ear Scratching, Ringworm: Simple and Cheap OTC Remedy

How can I treat my dog’s hot spot at home?

To treat hot spots on dogs at home, you will need an antibiotic ointment or cream as well as hydrocortisone cream or corticosteroid cream (for dogs).

The antibiotic ointment will go a long way toward preventing infection so it is important that you use it every time you treat your dog’s hot spot. It should be applied two times daily until the hot spot is gone completely.

The corticosteroid cream will help reduce inflammation and itching while allowing new skin cells to grow underneath the affected area of skin so that it heals properly.

When should I take my dog to the vet for a hot spot?

If your pet has a hot spot, we recommend that you have it treated as soon as possible. A hot spot is a localized skin infection that can become very painful for your pet if left untreated.

Here are some signs that your pet may need to see the veterinarian immediately:

  • Your pet has been scratching the area for more than 24 hours
  • There is pus or blood coming from the wound
  • The skin around the wound is red and swollen
  • The skin around the wound is warm or hot to touch

Does Benadryl help with hotspots on dogs?

The answer is yes, but only if the source of your dog’s hotspots is due to an allergic reaction.

Benadryl is useful in treating allergic reactions in dogs, but it’s not a cure-all for hot spots and other skin conditions. It works by blocking histamine receptors in your dog’s body.

It’s important to note that Benadryl doesn’t relieve pain or itching from hot spots or other skin irritations — it will just make them less severe. If your dog has a rash that causes intense itching, Benadryl may not be enough to help him feel better.

Skin Infection or Hotspot on a Dog

Conclusion of dog hotspot vs ringworm

Dog hotspot and ringworm are two conditions that can affect your dog’s skin. They are not the same thing but they have some similarities, which can make it difficult to tell them apart. The main difference between dog hotspot and ringworm is that hotspot is caused by excessive scratching, licking, and chewing; while ringworm is caused by a fungal infection.

The most common symptom of a canine hotspot is an itchy rash that looks like a bald patch on your pet’s skin. This can be on any part of the body, but it’s more common around the head and neck area. The rash will be red in color and will often have scaly, raised edges. It may also develop bumps or blisters within the affected area.

Ringworm symptoms include similar itching and irritation as well as circular patches of hair loss in various spots on your pet’s body. The patches are usually red or brown, though they may also be pink, yellow or white. They can be itchy but otherwise don’t cause any other symptoms.

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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