Spot a Hotspot on Spot!

Hotspots on Spot

As it heats up so does the propensity for your Spot to get a hotspot. Dogs with thick coats that love to go swimming, but tend to take a while to dry, are the prime suspects for a hotspot this time of year; but they can happen to any dog.  

A "hotspot" occurs when a dog’s own naturally occurring bacteria steps into overdrive, which causes a nuisance. Essentially, they are areas of infected and inflamed skin. As you can imagine, they are uncomfortable and sensitive to the touch. Hotspots appear as red, oozy patches of skin which can come on fast and seemingly out of nowhere.  They can pop up within a day or less.

There are two very important things you must do for Spot when he or she has a hotspot and those are; 1) Figure out the root cause' why did this pop up and how can I stop it from happening again? And 2) You need to treat the hotspot.

Causes of hotspots can range from prolonged exposure to moisture (like a dirty damp thick coated dog that doesn’t dry after swimming), to a compromised immune system.  So, it is very important to figure out why they are occurring. If from swimming or being dirty, those are relatively easy to prevent but a hotspot could be your pups way of communicating that his or her overall immune system is not tip-top, so off to the vet you should go.

Treatment can be done at home as long as you feel comfortable administering it. The best first action is to shave around the area to prevent fur from sticking to the oozing, open wound.  Be very careful not to touch the inflamed skin, but shave around so that a large enough patch is showing and revealing some healthy skin. Then you want to disinfect the wound, (again do so carefully with a soft cloth or gauze pad). Most importantly, use Betadine or Iodine. They are gentle, safe astringents that are not caustic or painful like hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. You can dilute the solution with water until it's the color of tea and apply multiple times in the first few days of treatment, (3-5 times at least). After disinfecting, you will want to cover with a healing topical solution such as calendula, colloidal silver, sovereign silver or honey. These will feel cool to the irritated skin and prevent new/more bacteria from taking advantage of such a "petri dish-like home".  Use a cone or preventative measure to keep your pup from licking the hotspot, as licking can add more bacteria and delay healing.

So, if you notice a red, oozing bald patch on Spot this summer, snap into action to help it heal and always do your due diligence to help prevent them in the first place.  

For more information on how to treat this and many other ailments, get certified in pet cpr and pet first aid through our online class at

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