Hot Spots are one of the most common skin conditions in dogs. Some breeds are predisposed to developing Hot Spots. Labradors, Rottweilers, St. Bernards, German Shepards, and Goldens are particularly susceptible due to their long, thick coat. So, it’s likely you will at some point experience Hot Spots on your Golden Retriever.
In this article, we will discuss everything about this condition, all the symptoms, causes, treatment, and means to prevent it.
What Are Hot Spots?
Medically classified as a form of acute moist dermatitis, Hot Spots are infected areas of the skin that appear abruptly with no early warning signs. Hot Spots can occur anywhere on the Golden’s body, but they are most commonly located on the neck, face, hips, or limbs.
Left untreated, these red, itchy, and inflamed areas of the skin will double in size in a matter of hours and can spread rapidly to the rest of the dog’s body.
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:
- Food Allergy
- Flea Allergy
- Environmental Allergy
- Dirty, mated, or moist coat
- Ear Infection
- Anal Glands Disease
- Stress or boredom
Symptoms of Hot Spots
It is important to note that many skin conditions have similar symptoms, so if you are worried your Golden might have Hot Spots, first visit your veterinarian.
Hot Spots are red, moist areas that are very itchy and painful. They may discharge fluid or pus that can lead to unpleasant, foul odor and matting of the surrounding hair.
These are the most common symptoms of Hot Spots:
- Redness of skin area
- Foul odor from lesions
- Inflammation of skin area
- Hair loss
- Dry Scaly Skin
- 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 dog’s 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
How To Prevent Hot Spots On Golden Retrievers?
As we mentioned above, treating Hot Spots is fairly easy and quick if you find an underlying problem. If you want to prevent the reoccurrence of Hot Spots, you need to pinpoint what caused them in the first place.
These are the things you need to pay attention to in order to prevent Hot Spots on your Golden Retriever:
- Hygiene and Grooming
- Good Allergy Management
- Parasite prevention
- Daily activity and exercise (to prevent boredom)
- Good treatment of skin infections
- A proper and quality diet
- Using supplements such as Omega-3 fatty acid, coconut oil, Vitamin E, etc.