The first time I crossed paths with “hot spots” was horrible. Here on my show puppy were these huge, wet sores. I immediately called the vet to correct the situation. However, this turned out to be a poor experience. First they shaved the sore and the messy salve they applied did little good.
Alcala’s search for a better cure begins
After many years of experience, we have this problem well under control. As a pet boarding and grooming facility, we needed to understand what was causing these “hotspots” and how to treat them. Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned.
First and foremost is to act before you have a full blown mess. When I first expect there might be a hotspot problem, the dog is given a medicated bath and carefully blow-dried.
Now carefully inspect the dog’s skin and pat a medicated powder onto the areas that are suspect.
Double check the dog’s skin throughout the day and apply medicated powder before going to bed.. Continue this procedure for the next few days. The powder I like is Gold Bond Medicated Powder. I am sure there are others that work well as well, but since I have had success with Gold Bond I will probably stay with it.
If your puppy gets damp or wet, a hand blow dryer will make easy work of getting him dry. Never put your puppy to bed damp or wet. In a well run boarding facility it is a must to check the dogs all the time.
If you live near the ocean (San Diego or Encinitas) or rainy climate, you must constantly be on guard.
The Dog Owner’s Guide has a good article on the science, cause and cure of hotspots:
Dusty has a superficial pyoderma, a skin infection known to veterinarians as pyotraumatic dermatitis and to dog owners as hot spots. Hot spots are surface skin infections caused when populations of normal skin bacteria grow and overwhelm normal resistance. They are generally circular patches that lose hair, can be swollen, may exude a smelly pus, and can be painfully itchy, causing the dog to scratch, lick, or bite to the point of self-mutilation. Untreated hot spots can spread and provoke a normally even-tempered dog to growl or nip when touched.
These troublesome sores can seem to arise in a matter of hours with no warning, but they do tend to follow a pattern that helps in predicting their occurrence.
Dog Owner’s Guide – Hotspots