Late summer and early fall are the seasons for hotspots in many dogs. This time of year, double coated dogs are preparing for a shed. The build up of old hair, coupled with the wet weather seen in many parts of the US and fall allergens, leaves the skin primed for this moist eczema type condition.
Hotspots are frequently found under hanging ears, such as on a Golden Retriever or Newfoundland, or near the tail head or flank. You may notice a bad odor or simply see your dog licking and chewing at the area. When you look closely you will find a moist, red and inflamed area. Immediate attention can greatly speed the healing of hotspots.
First, clip or trim the hair around the area. Hotspots on dogs are notoriously painful and hairs rubbing across the area will irritate your pet even more. Then, apply an astringent type cleaner. Chlorhexidine solutions are excellent. Once the area is cleaned, gently pat it dry.
Next, it’s important to apply a spray or ointment to help speed healing and hopefully keep your dog from licking or rubbing at the area. Conquer Wound Spray and Vetericyn Hot Spot Spray are good choices. Dermacool HC Spray may be needed for hotspots that are especially inflamed.
Check the area at least twice daily to see if it’s drying up. Meanwhile, groom your dog thoroughly elsewhere to prevent any new hotspots from appearing. Check carefully for any signs of external parasites as these can exacerbate hot spots.
You should also consult with your veterinarian about ways to prevent hotspots in the future such as dietary supplements, regular use of a topical parasite medication (i.e. Frontline Plus or K9 Advantix II) and better grooming techniques.