Golden Retriever Hot Spots Treatment: Golden Guide 2021!

Even dogs may experience various skin issues especially if you own a dog breed that has a beautiful, thick coat. Included in the list of these dog breeds are, no doubt, the Golden Retriever. They generally have a lustrous, long thick coat that makes them really adorable. Because of that, they are highly susceptible to have hot spots. With that, it is very important as a pet owner to know the Golden Retriever hot spots treatment.

In this blog post, we detailed the different approaches for the treatment of hot spots on Golden Retriever. To deeply understand what treatment you’ll have to employ, we also have here a quick overview of it discussing the causes of hot spots and their symptoms. So, if you are ready to give your Goldies the care that they need, check on it below.

Golden Retriever Hot Spots – Quick Overview

Hot spots are generally a skin condition in dogs in which the area of infection looks red and have moist, itchy, and painful. It may emit a bad smell because the formed pus resulted from inflammation or bacterial infection. This is basically a type of pyoderma in canine and commonly known as the summer sores or canine acute moist dermatitis.

golden retriever hot spots treatment
Image courtesy of Dogs First

The good thing is that hot spots are just only affecting the outer skin layer of the dogs including the Golden Retriever. Because of that, it is not generally considered as canine’s skin infection. But, there is bacterial presence over the dog’s wound surface. This dog’s skin condition can able to multiple two times its original size for only about an hour. If not treated, hot spots can spread all throughout the dog’s body.

How do hot spots occur on Golden Retriever?

Generally, moisture is the main accountable for the occurrence of hot spots on Golden Retriever and on any dog breed. There are cases that moisture, especially those that are trapped under the thick coat of the doggy may not fully dry out. This will eventually lead to the dog’s skin irritation afterward. The moment the dog continuously scratches, licks, and bites his skin, he may actually acquire hot spots.

The Golden Retriever’s coat is usually thick which can highly trap moisture. Thus, it is also a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to reproduce, multiply, and then cause infection. Continuous and aggressive scratching may distribute the infection to other skin areas of the dog.

Here are the predisposing factors that contribute to the occurrence of hot spots on Golden Retriever:

  • Environmental allergies such as household cleaners, chemicals, tick bites, mold and pollen, and even dog shampoos
  • Flea allergy which commonly affects the tail area of the dog
  • Ear infection
  • Moist coat
  • Painful body areas
  • Boredom or stress

How do you know if Golden Retriever has hot spots?

Basically, the most common dog’s body areas where hot spots may be seen are the limbs, head, and hips. However, it can spread all over the other parts of the dog’s body. Unfortunately, most skin conditions in canines elicit almost similar symptoms. That’s why noticing any unnecessary changes in your Golden Retriever’s body or behavior needs immediate attention.

Go to the vet right away in case you notice any one or more of the following hot spots symptoms:

golden retriever hot spots treatment
Image courtesy of Dogster
  • Continuous chewing or licking of a particular area of the dog’s skin
  • Dry skin with scaling
  • Foul smell
  • Hair loss
  • Itchiness and painfulness in one area
  • Matted or moist hair on the area of lesions
  • Oozing pus
  • Skin inflammation
  • Swelling and redness of the skin

Golden Retriever Hot Spots Treatment – the Different Processes

Initially, as a pet owner, taking your Goldies to the vet is the first thing to do that may come into your mind as Golden Retriever hot spots treatment. This is most likely true if you and your Golden Retriever experience hot spots the very first time. In the first place, doing that would be really a big help because procrastinating may even make this dog’s skin condition worse.

When you visit the veterinarian and ask him for assistance regarding this concern, a full examination of the dog will be performed. This will be very helpful in determining the root cause of the problem. Through that, the vet will specifically address the condition and conduct necessary hot spot treatment for Golden Retriever.

General Guidelines for Hot Spots Treatment on Golden Retriever

Normally, once hot spots occur on your Goldies, treatment for hot spots involves the following procedural steps:

  • Clean the hot spots and disinfect the area of infection.
  • Alleviate itching and promote healing by applying remedies whether an antibiotic hot spots treatment for Golden Retriever or natural home treatment.
  • Discontinue the Goldies licking behavior over the infected area until totally healed.
  • Determine the root cause and eliminate it.

Specific Approach for Treating Hot Spots on Golden Retriever

Below is a more detailed way on how to treat the hot spots on a Golden Retriever. Somehow, the steps indicated here are quite similar to that of the process taken by the veterinarian. Meaning to say, you can follow these steps if you are confident enough that you can address the hot spots problem of your Goldies all by yourself.

1-Trim the surrounding hair over the affected area

Initially, before employing any treatment for Golden Retriever’s hot spots, it is advisable to trim the hair around the area of infection. Doing that, it will generally prevent the dog’s hair from getting in touch with the wound thus worsening the infection.

Clippers or scissors are helpful tools in doing this step. Just make sure that you will clip about few centimeters from the wound. Also, be very mindful while clipping the hair of your Golden Retriever. It should be just above the area of the affected skin to avoid further damage to it. Remember to be very gentle while doing this because the Goldies skin is already damaged.

2-Eliminate the pus by using a moist cotton ball or gauze pad

Wet the cotton ball or gauze pad with warm water and gently wipe the pus away from the wound. Keep in mind that you it is very much important to remove all the pus from the dog’s wound prior to proceeding into any Golden Retriever hot spots treatment. This way it will prevent the pus from pushing deeply into the wound and may even worsen the infection.

3-Disinfect the affected area

Using a sterile saline solution, disinfect the area of infection and clean the wound. Apply the sterile saline gently through a light to moderate pressure in order to irrigate the dog’s wound.

4-Bathe your Goldies using a mild shampoo

Continuous scratching may generally result in spreading the bacteria all throughout the body. This will then contribute to the development of hot spots in other body areas. Bathing the Goldies as part of the Golden Retriever hot spots treatment is very crucial as it may clean out the loose bacteria.

It is highly recommendable to brush their coat and make sure that to break up the trapped hairballs. Also, use a medicated shampoo such as diluted chlorhexidine in bathing your Golden Retriever. However, if the medicated shampoo is not available, dog shampoo may still work.

5-Apply hot spots medication

Once your dog is already clean, he is now ready to be treated with some medications. You can apply an antibiotic cream or mild steroid cream over the infected area. Neosporin is an effective antibiotic ointment that can be safely used for dogs. However, the concern in using this is the licking behavior of the dog which may have the possibility of ingesting the ointment. So, watch after your dog if you will be using this hot spots treatment.

6-Consider your dog wear an Elizabethan collar
Image courtesy of The Dogington Post

Basically, an Elizabethan collar is a great help in preventing your Golden Retriever to lick or chew the area of infection. But, make sure that there are no hot spots around the neck as the collar might worsen the infection located on the neck area.


The time of recovery from the treatment of hot spots on Golden Retriever highly depends on the severity of the infection and on the kind of treatment applied. In case the veterinarian immediately applies the treatment, expect that the hot spots may heal for about 3 to 7 days from the first day of treatment.

Moreover, always clean the area of infection. Keep in mind that daily cleaning of hot spots for every two hours on the first two days of treatment may be of big help in increasing the healing. If you already notice that the oozing stops and begins to dry, only employ a simple cleaning approach. No need to apply the antibacterial ointment for this period.

Knowing that, give the treatment about 1 to 2 weeks time for the healing process to completely finish. Additionally, wait for another 3 to 4 weeks for the fur to grow back normally. Regardless of who is handling the treatment, whether you or the vet, it is very important to keep the vet always informed about the dog’s healing progress.

Home Remedies for Golden Retriever Hot Spots Treatment

Some pet owners are in doubt in applying antibiotic treatments to their dog’s condition. Not because antibiotic is not an effective treatment, but because of the possible risk that it may contribute on dog’s health. Luckily, there are natural options that you can use in treating hot spot on Golden Retriever.

The general guidelines of hot spot treatment are still the same. You still need to begin with trimming the surrounding hair, pus removal, disinfection of the area, and bathing the dog. But this time, the step of applying a medicated antibiotic ointment will be replaced by the following natural alternatives.

Aloe Vera Gel

Prostaglandin is the main component of aloe vera and acts by reducing inflammation. Due to that, aloe vera gel helps in relieving itchiness or burn on the skin. It also contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which make it an effective hot spot treatment for Golden Retriever. Vitamins are also present in aloe vera thus promoting skin healing.

To use this natural treatment for hot spots on your Goldies, follow these steps:

  • Thinly apply aloe vera gel, either brought from the store or directly from the aloe leaf. In case you will be using the gel from the leaf, only apply the clear jelly excluding the sap.
  • Gently rub it on the affected skin area until no longer slimy using a clean finger.
  • It is generally recommended to do the application about two to three times a day until the hot spots fade away completely.

Moreover, do not forget to put the Elizabethan collar on your Goldies so that the licking behavior and possible ingestion of aloe vera gel would be prevented. Keep in mind that aloe vera may be harmful to dogs once taken internally.

Black Tea

The anti-bacterial property of the black tea should be highly credited to its tannic acid content. This main component of the black tea is responsible for inhibiting the progression of staph biofilm. Due to that, the staphylococcus bacteria would be having a hard time developing a colony within the dog’s skin.

Here are the simple steps that you should follow in applying the black tea hot spots treatment:

  • Steep a bag of black tea and let it cool afterward.
  • Apply the wet bag of the black tea over the area of skin infection. You may also consider squeezing out the liquid inside the tea bag over the affected area.
  • Let the excess liquid of black tea stays there and do not wipe it off. Moreover, do not also let your dog lick it.
Coconut Oil

Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial are, among the many others, the benefits of using coconut oil as a natural hot spot treatment for Golden Retriever. Dry and itchy skin may be addressed immediately. It generally contains nutrients that fasten the healing process and, unlike aloe vera gel, coconut oil is highly safe for dogs if ingested. Just simply rub an ample amount over the area where hot spots are located.


Soothing the dryness and itchiness of the skin are the functions of oatmeal. The saponin component inside it naturally acts as anti-inflammatory and natural cleanser. It also exfoliates and eliminates oil and dirt as well.

If you opt to apply oatmeal as treatment for Golden Retriever’s hot spots, do the following steps:

  • Make around one to two cups of old-fashioned oatmeal into fine powder. Ensure that the oatmeal is 100% pure and does not have added sugars or flavorings in it.
  • Pour on warm water over a tub and mix the ground oatmeal.
  • Let your dog soak in a tub with the oatmeal mixture for about 10 minutes. Massage the oatmeal mixture into your dog’s skin while inside the tub.
  • Rinse your dog thoroughly with warm water and towel dry afterward.
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature and bacteria are not fond of growing over an acidic environment. Moreover, the process of skin healing is highly attributed to the number of vitamins and nutrients that it contains. Lactobacillus is a bacterial component on the mother of organic apple cider that competes directly with the staphylococcus bacteria.

If you have an available one in your kitchen cabinet and you want to immediate address the hot spots of your Golden Retriever, follow these steps of apple cider vinegar hot spots treatment:

  • Dilute the apple cider vinegar into equal parts of water.
  • Put a little amount of the apple cider vinegar dilution into a cotton ball and apply it over the area of infection.
  • Do the application every few hours on the first night. Reduce the frequency of application when the skin of the dog gets better.

Keep in mind not to apply the undiluted vinegar directly to the dog’s open wound as it will generally sting. Immediately switch on to another treatment method in case your dog gets upsets upon the application of this natural treatment approach.

Ways to Prevent Hot Spots on Golden Retriever

There may be instances that the Goldies may experience more than one hot spot outbreaks over their skin. Noticing this, the best thing to do is to identify the underlying cause of the condition and addresses it from there. But, if you are not lucky enough to find the root cause of hot spots, do not worry as there are preventive measures that you can do to avoid it from occurring.

Good quality dog diet

Generally, the health of the dog’s skin reflects what they eat. Raw meat and raw-bones diet naturally keep their skin in good shape. Moreover, if you want to feed your Golden Retriever with natural antioxidants, give them fresh fruits and veggies that are safe for dog consumption. In case you cannot avoid giving commercial dog food, try the premium quality hypoallergenic food brands.

Give them proper supplementation

Aside from a good diet, don’t forget to provide your Golden Retriever with supplements like Vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Vitamin E

A very popular antioxidant, vitamin E supports the elimination of itchiness of the dog’s skin. In case there is a recurrence of hot spots on your Goldies, consider poking a hole over the vitamin E capsule. Pour on a drop of it over the dog’s food.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Another antioxidant supplement that is crucial in maintaining the excellent condition of the dog’s skin is the Omega-3. This fatty acid highly prevents the recurrence of any skin problems in dogs. A daily dose of it may generally do the job.

Just a friendly reminder here, do not give vitamin E and fish oil together as supplementation for dog skin care. The combination of these two will lead to blood thinning. So, it is better to ask the vet’s advice first prior to giving any supplements.

Monitor other activities

In addition to the above preventive measures, here are some of the things that you should have to monitor so that hot spots on Golden Retriever may be prevented:

  • Allergy control and management
  • Daily exercise and outdoor activities
  • Good dog hygiene and regular grooming
  • Physical and mental stimulation
  • Prevention of parasite infestation
  • Treatment for other skin infections

Final Words

Hot spots are another type of skin condition in dogs such as the Golden Retriever. This may be painful for the Goldies and requires immediate attention and care. Luckily, treatment for the hot spots on Golden Retriever can be done safely and effectively at home. Just strictly follow the general guidelines stated above.

Regardless of the specific method that you want to employ, whether the application of medicated treatment or using the natural alternative approach, it is always best to consult the veterinarian first. Moreover, do not forget to inform the vet of the progress of the healing process. Doing those steps strictly will help your Golden Retriever to be a healthier and happier pooch.

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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