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Golden Retriever Hot Spot Treatment

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What Are Dog Hot Spots


Before we get started on how to treat a hot spot, we need to first know how to recognize one! In short, hot spots are angry looking sores. They are characterized as being red, hairless, inflamed areas of skin that are warm to the touch and very painful and itchy for your dog. They’re relatively easy to spot as most often the area exudes pus and can be foul smelling. You’ll probably notice your dog obsessively itching, licking and biting at the area.

You may also notice that they seem to appear out of nowhere. This is fairly typical as these sores start out as small circular patches that enlarge rapidly – frequently within a matter of hours. This is caused by your dog licking and biting at the area due to the extreme discomfort.

How To Treat Your Dogs Hot Spots At Home

If the dog’s hot spot is small, non-painful, recognized early, and uncomplicated, it may be possible to begin treatment at home with over-the-counter products such as topical sprays, medicated shampoos, herbal therapies, and more. The important thing is to ensure that itâs a pet-safe product, in which case it never hurts to call your veterinarian for approval. Whatever you do, do not use human topical products, as they may be toxic to dogs when licked and ingested. For example, zinc oxide, which is often found in human skin ointments, can be toxic when ingested.

Here are some at-home treatment basics:

  • If the area is small and non-painful, carefully and gently clip the fur that is covering the area â this allows air and medication to reach the wound.

  • Keep your pet from licking the area. You guessed it, get out that cone of shame.

  • Apply a warm, moist compress to the area three times daily for five to 10 minutes to keep the area clean, calm the tissues, and encourage good circulation. Allow the area to fully dry before applying anything topically.

  • Use only pet-safe, veterinary-approved, over-the-counter treatments. As always, it is best to consult with your veterinarian prior to starting any home treatment.

  • Do not place any bandages or wraps to cover the area â you want the area to âbreathe.â

  • Alleviate the itching or irritation that started the whole thing in the first place â get to the bottom of the source. Otherwise, youâll be faced with a losing battle.

Golden Retriever Hot Spots Treatment The Different Processes

Initially, as a pet owner, taking your Goldies to the vet is the first thing to do that may come into your mind as Golden Retriever hot spots treatment. This is most likely true if you and your Golden Retriever experience hot spots the very first time. In the first place, doing that would be really a big help because procrastinating may even make this dogs skin condition worse.

When you visit the veterinarian and ask him for assistance regarding this concern, a full examination of the dog will be performed. This will be very helpful in determining the root cause of the problem. Through that, the vet will specifically address the condition and conduct necessary hot spot treatment for Golden Retriever.

General Guidelines for Hot Spots Treatment on Golden Retriever

Normally, once hot spots occur on your Goldies, treatment for hot spots involves the following procedural steps:

  • Clean the hot spots and disinfect the area of infection.
  • Alleviate itching and promote healing by applying remedies whether an antibiotic hot spots treatment for Golden Retriever or natural home treatment.
  • Discontinue the Goldies licking behavior over the infected area until totally healed.
  • Determine the root cause and eliminate it.

Specific Approach for Treating Hot Spots on Golden Retriever

1-Trim the surrounding hair over the affected area
2-Eliminate the pus by using a moist cotton ball or gauze pad
3-Disinfect the affected area
4-Bathe your Goldies using a mild shampoo
5-Apply hot spots medication

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What Is The Cost Of Treating Hot Spots On Dogs

If you treat the hot spots with urgency then the costs should be relatively inexpensive. The main costs incurred would be from the veterinarians consultation and possible drug costs. However, if the hot spots are left untreated, severely damaged skin can die off and leave a wound. This can significantly increase costs as well as increase the time required to heal.

Treatment Of Hot Spots In Dogs

How To Treat Dog Hot Spots: Moist Dermatitis


The lesion must be cleaned thoroughly. Matted fur should be shaved off and away from the affected area. Because this can be quite painful, it is a good idea to bring the pet to the veterinarian where nurses can clean and shave the area. Some level of sedation may be necessary. A topical antiseptic such as chlorhexidine can then be used to clean the lesion.

Treating Bacterial Infection

Topical and/or oral antibiotics will often be administered. Antibiotic treatment may last 4 weeks or longer, especially if the infection is deep.

Treating Initial Irritation

Some cases of hot spots are idiopathic . More commonly, allergies to fleas, pollen or food are identified with a history and examination. Monthly flea treatments or hypoallergenic diets can address allergies. Regular grooming or keeping fur cut short can prevent matting, a common cause of skin irritation. Anxiety-induced chewing and licking can be lessened by introducing toys or chews and exercise and play.

Medications for Pain and Inflammation

Antihistamines may be prescribed to reduce itchiness and irritation. NSAIDS can be prescribed to reduce inflammation. A short acting corticosteroid may be administered one time to make the patient more comfortable and promote healing . Gentamicin/Betamethasone sprays are often prescribed to spray on the lesion daily.

Dietary supplements

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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, help reduce swelling, stiffness, and joint pain in humans, and they can do the same for your dog….There are some of the available NSAIDs just for dogs: carprofen deracoxib firocoxib meloxicam animal neutering.

General Process For Getting Rid Of Hot Spots

  • Clean and disinfect the hot spot.
  • Apply an antibiotic or a natural remedy to relieve itching and encourage healing.
  • Stop your dog from licking the hot spot until it fully heals. Licking will spread the infection and make it worse!
  • Identify and remove the underlying cause.
  • Note: This is just a general summary. Each of these steps is outlined in greater detail below.

    An early hot spot on a dog’s head and neck

    cc-by flickr.com blumenbiene10542190593

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    How Are Hot Spots Caused

    Hot spots can be caused by allergic reactions, stress, mites, flea bites, poor grooming, ear and skin infections. Of course we cant forget about constant licking. Dogs who are bored often lick themselves creating a hot spot. Much of the time the hotspots turn red in color. Often they appear out of the blue and especially in the summer. Dogs will be constantly itching the area. Loss of hair is generally evident. Oozing skin can occur in bad cases.

    Video Answer: What’s A Hot Spot On A Dog

    Golden retriever dog reaction after tick spot treatment

    It is still an oddity in Australia but in many US states, medicinal cannabis medications including tetrahydrocannabinol the psychoactive component in cannabis are being used as a treatment for pets with conditions such as arthritis and epilepsy. It is a big and growing business.

    Male dogs can breed as young as 6-7 months though it is recommended that you wait until they are mature in mind and body which at a minimum I would say is 18-24 months old.

    The AKC will not recognize a litter sired from a male that is under 7 months of age or over 12 years old unless special documentation is provided.

    Technically a Goldendoodle crossed back to a Golden Retriever is also a Backcross , but in the Goldendoodle world the name of F1B is reserved for Goldendoodles bred back to Poodles only .

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    What Is A Hot Spot

    Canine hot spots are red, inflamed skin lesions also known as pyotraumatic dermatitis or acute moist dermatitis. These names accurately describe the inflammatory skin lesions exacerbated by scratching that appear quickly, ooze, and may contain pus. Hot spots can be found anywhere on a dogs body, but the most common sites are head, legs, and hips. These painful, smelly sores may be very obvious or may be hidden beneath matted fur.

    Usually You Can Treat Those Sores At Home

    Hot spots get their name from the warmth generated by the inflammation. Technically moist dermatitis, hot spots are most common in dogs with long or thick coats, such as Newfoundlands, German Shepherd Dogs, and Golden Retrievers. Dogs with drop ears and/or a hairy coat are most likely to develop this condition.

    Hot spots can occur any time of year, although warm weather usually causes more cases. Allergies and external parasites such as fleas are primary causes. Ear infections, often caused by wet ears from activities like swimming, can lead to hot spots under the ear. Its even more likely if a dog has drop ears.

    A dog who is swimming, wading, or even just out enjoying a warm summer rain who has a thick coat that does not dry fully is prone to developing hot spots. Any matted areas will hold moisture next to the skin and promote infections and sores.

    Anal gland infections can stimulate licking and chewing that leads to hot spots, too. The initial sore may be missed if you dont look under your dogs furry tail.

    Home Care

    Assuming the spot isnt infected, you can administer care at home:

    The moist, inflamed area is a prime site for secondary bacterial infections. If you see signs of infection your veterinarian may need to prescribe an antibiotic medicine or antibiotic cream.


    Hot spots arent inevitable parts of warm weather, but they do occur. Staying on top of developing sores can save you and your dog misery .

    What You Should Know

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    How Are Hot Spots Treated

    The goal in treating a hot spot is to stop the trauma and prevent the development of a deep skin infection, so the first step in treating hot spots is to stop the self-mutilation. But, how do you stop a dog from licking, biting, and scratching? Some options include:

    • an Elizabethan collar that stops the dog from chewing at the hot spot.
    • covering the hot spot with a sock or bandage to act as a barrier.
    • topical or oral steroids and antihistamines to reduce the itching. Consult your veterinarian before using any medications intended for humans as they are often toxic to dogs

    Often, it takes a combination of all options to stop the trauma.

    In the meantime, the underlying cause of the hot spot must be addressed.

    • If the hot spot formed as a result of impacted anal glands, they will need to be expressed.
    • If the cause is flea allergy, a flea control protocol beginning with a fast acting adulticide and continuing with a monthly product to control the entire flea life cycle will be needed.
    • If arthritis is the culprit, your veterinarian may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as meloxicam, carprofen, or deracoxib or other pain medications .
    • For inhalant or food allergies, your veterinarian can help you to begin avoidance or de-sensitization therapy and recommend a hypoallergenic food.
    • For ear infections, the underlying yeast or bacteria will be treated.
    • If poor grooming is the cause, seek a professional that knows how to handle a pair of clippers.

    What Causes Hot Spots On Golden Retriever


    Hot Spots on dogs are usually caused by an underlying condition that causes excessive licking or itchiness. They will excessively scratch or lick inflamed or painful parts of their skin to ease the discomfort. This can be a vicious circle as they will further spread the infection and make it worse.

    The most common causes of Hot Spots are:

    • Excessive chewing, scratching, or licking of skin area
    • Matted and moisty hair around lesions
    • Treatment for Hot Spots

    When you start suspecting your Golden Retriever might have a Hot Spot, act quickly and decisively. Any delay will cause worsening of the problem and will cause considerable discomfort and pain to your dog.

    The first thing you need to do is to visit your vet. He will then perform an extensive physical examination to determine an underlying cause. Once the main culprit has been found, your vet will prescribe appropriate treatment. In most cases, the dogs condition will improve rapidly. Typically it takes 3-7 days from the start of the treatment to resolve the Hot Spots.

    Few steps will help treat, ease, and prevent the spreading of the Hot Spots on your Golden Retriever.

    • Clean the infected area with antiseptic
    • Apply an Elizabethan collar to prevent further scratching and licking
    • Clip the hair around lesions to prevent matting
    • Use Antibiotics and steroids to treat and control secondary bacterial infections and inflammation

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    Etiology And Risk Factors

    • Causes – Hot spots are self-induced. The exact etiology is unknown, but anything that can initiate an itch-scratch cycle may predispose a pet to this condition. The animal is generally so intensely itchy that an area is traumatized in a very short period of time severe lesions can be induced within hours in some patients. Once the damage is started, a self-perpetuating cycle of itching and scratching/chewing is initiated.
    • Risk factors
      • Age – Young dogs seem to be predisposed.
      • Breed/genetics – Longhaired and thick-coated breeds are more often affected. Golden retrievers, Saint Bernards, Labradorretrievers, German shepherd dogs and Rottweilers seem to be predisposed.
      • Sex – No known risk
      • Geographic/environmental – Acute moist dermatitis usually occurs during the summer months during times of high temperature and high relative humidity.
      • Other medical disorders – Common underlying causes of hot spots include allergies, such as flea allergy dermatitis , atopic dermatitis, food allergy, parasitic infestations such as scabies and demodicosis, otitis externa, anal sac disease, post-clipping/grooming trauma, foreign bodies and contact irritants. Rarely reported causes of hot spots include dermatophytosis, drug reactions, autoimmune disease and vasculitis.

    Causes Of Anal Gland Problems

    One study indicated that anal gland disorders affect about 12 percent of dogs. Problems are seen less frequently in cats, but they are still possible. It is often difficult to determine why some pets suffer painful anal sac disorders while others do not. Obese animals do seem to have more trouble with their anal glands than do slimmer individuals, probably because extra body fat in the anal region lessens the pressure that passing feces applies to the glands. Similarly, pets who have chronically soft stools tend to be at higher risk of anal gland problems. Some individuals may be born with very narrow ducts that drain the glands, thereby obstructing the flow of anal sac material. Acquired damage to the duct can occur with perianal infections, trauma, allergies, or inflammation. Other potential causes include anal sphincter muscle dysfunction, distended anal glands, and overproduction of anal gland material.

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    Golden Retriever Skin Issues Made Easy

    So there you have it! Now that you know these common golden retriever skin issues, you know what to look out for.

    Thick undercoats make golden retrievers very vulnerable to skin issues. Especially if they remain wet. Trapped moisture and a natural disposition for skin issues can be a disaster. The key is to be vigilant and make sure youre checking your dog on a regular basis.

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    How To Treat Your Pet When Threatened With Hot Spots And Itchy Skin In Toronto

    The area needs to be shaved to stop the spreading.like a forest fire, a trench is made to stop the flames from spreading hence shaving the area larger than the wound, stops the wet skin discharge from spreading to the surrounding areas. The affected area is then washed and disinfected and sometimes washed with an Iodine based liquid. We may dispense a topical antibiotic/steroid to apply to the area twice daily as well as an accompanying antibiotic to dry the lesions. A head collar , T-shirt or light wrap may be recommended to detour the aggressive licking/scratching that may ensue. The skin wounds take about 2 weeks to heal and hair growth is complete in 12 16 weeks. Once your dog has had hot spot they can get it again.

    It is thought that dogs who dont completely dry after swimming or bathing may be predisposed to hot spots but we also usually see a run of hot spots with the dramatic weather change. The temperatures cools and rises quickly and the dog hasnt had time to acclimatize. At the first sign of your pet itching/scratching or excessive licking of an area..please contact your Veterinarian ASAP to stop it getting larger. The sooner the hot spot is diagnosed and treated, the sooner your pet will be comfortable again.

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