Golden Retrievers are beautiful dogs. Like other breeds, they have health problems that they are prone to. Some breeds have bloat issues, others have breathing problems, and Golden Retrievers tend to have skin issues. In particular, they have a problem with the condition that is commonly called hot spots on dogs.
These problematic and often unsightly sores are caused by everyday behavior and can be easily treated at home before they get worse. The key to recognizing and treating hot spots on dogs is to act early with the basic knowledge like what causes them, what makes them worse and how to heal them.
Hot spots, also known as acute dermatitis, start as small skin irritations, commonly seen in Golden Retrievers. At first it is an odorous, raw area of the skin. Once a dog starts licking or biting at the irritation, it can quickly spiral into something much nastier. The moisture in a dog’s saliva makes the area moist, smellier and a general haven for germs and bacteria. Sometimes a hot spot is caused from boredom, a lick granuloma, or an area that a pet licks and chews on excessively, or it can be caused from a scratch, cut or bug bite.
Hot spots can easily spread once a dog starts exacerbating the problem. If you notice your pet starting to display signs of licking or biting the same area excessively, examine their skin for spots and irritations. The best way to treat hot spots on dogs is to look for this behavior and nip it in the bud.
Once you notice a hot spot on your Golden Retriever’s skin or another skin problem, consult your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to provide insight into why this hot spot may have started and its severity. In addition, they may prescribe an antibiotic or antihistamine to treat the issue. An untreated hot spot can spiral into a serious infection so getting medical care is critical to contain it and protect your pet’s health.
Furthermore, they may have home treatments you can use at home to help keep them at bay if your dog’s personality or activity level (or lack of it) supports these problematic areas.
Some easy ways to manage hot spots on dogs like Golden Retrievers are:
+ Shave the hair around a hot spot to keep the irritants down and remove moisture from the area
+ Clean the area around a hot spot regularly once identified, up to every two hours, to keep moisture and bacteria away from the open wound
+ Never let your dog go to sleep wet after bathing or swimming
+ Healthy diet to promote balanced skin and hair health
+ Regular brushing during the summer helps keep the undercoat off of the skin
+ Clean your dog’s ears regularly to keep moisture from collecting in their floppy ears
+ Keep up to date with flea and other pest treatments so your dog’s coat does not get infected
If you keep this informal checklist of grooming and diet guidelines close at hand, it should significantly help with managing the hot spots on your Golden Retriever. However, if you keep active with this list and your dog still suffers, you should make a follow up appointment with your veterinarian.
Your pet may be suffering from a dietary or environmental allergy. These allergies can manifest in their skin as rashes, which causes them to chew or lick on their skin to alleviate the itch. If the issue is an allergy, your veterinarian can recommend dietary changes or other treatments to help minimize allergies.
Hot spots are unsightly and often painful open sores on a Golden Retriever’s skin. These infections often occur during the summer when heat and humidity are at their highest and dogs just want to cool off. Learn the warning signs of hot spots on dogs and basic at-home treatments to keep your dog’s skin happy and healthy so they can enjoy the summer with you.