Hot spots on Labradoodles, or acute moist dermatitis, are inflamed, infected areas on a Labradoodle’s skin. These patches can be red, itchy, and oozy.
The best way to treat a hot spot on your Labradoodle is to catch it early, keep it dry, and prevent your dog from licking or scratching the spot. With quick at-home treatment, you might be able to avoid visiting the vet.
Let’s take a closer look at hot spots on Labradoodles, and how you can easily treat them at your own home.
What Is Hot Spots on Labradoodles?
Hot spot is a common term used to describe a wet, oozy skin lesion that some Labradoodles might experience.
When a hot spot begins to manifest, it might resemble a red scrape or pimple. As a dog licks or scratches at it, the lesion will grow in size and start to appear like a damp, seeping wound.
As a hot spot heals, it will cover itself with a thick scab that resembles the texture of dinosaur skin (my whimsical non-medical term!).
In many instances, it’s best to let the scab remain undisturbed once it forms. Avoid the temptation to pick at it because doing so could exacerbate the hot spot.
Hot spots aren’t always indicative of an infection, but if left untreated, they can develop into one.
A few years ago, my Labradoodle Monty developed a hot spot that I believed I could handle on my own, but it persisted.
During our morning stroll, we unexpectedly encountered our vet. He examined the lesion and quickly observed inflammation and an underlying infection. Monty was prescribed a course of antibiotics and a topical treatment to aid the healing process of the hot spot and the associated bacterial infection.
If you observe inflammation around or beneath your Labradoodle’s hot spot, it might be wise to consult your veterinarian. Additionally, if your pup has a hot spot that you’re treating at home and it doesn’t begin to form a scab within a few days, reaching out to your vet would be advisable.
What Can Cause a Hot Spot on Labradoodles?
Many Labradoodles will never experience a hot spot in their lifetime. My Labradoodle, Monty, is the only one in our immediate circle of friends who gets them, and we have 5 Labradoodles together. He tends to get hot spots in the summer, typically after a swim and staying damp for an extended period.
Typically, a hot spot can originate from various skin irritations such as:
- Insect, flea, or tick bite
- Grains of sand or dirt caught in their fur
- A minor scratch that becomes itchy
- Food allergies
- Ear infections
- Persistent licking due to stress or anxiety
Regardless of the primary irritant, continuous itching, relentless licking, or chewing can lead to the development of “acute moist dermatitis.”
That’s why it’s crucial to examine your Labradoodle’s coat and skin daily, and swiftly address any skin irritation that might escalate into a hot spot. Preventing a hot spot is generally simpler than treating one.
If you’re spending time outside or venturing into wooded areas with your Labradoodle, ensure they are protected with a flea and tick preventative. You can also use a natural flea and tick repellant like Wondercide (affiliate link) for both your Labradoodle and yourself.
Are Labradoodles More Prone to Hot Spots?
When discussing their susceptibility to hot spots, it’s essential to understand that hot spots, or “acute moist dermatitis,” can affect any dog breed. However, breeds with thicker or denser coats, like Labradoodles, might be more susceptible.
A Labradoodle’s coat, which can range from curly to wavy, can trap moisture, dirt, and allergens, creating an ideal environment for hot spots to develop. Especially after activities like swimming or playing in wet conditions, if the coat remains damp for extended periods, it can increase the risk.
Moreover, any underlying skin condition, allergies, or frequent skin irritations can further predispose a Labradoodle to hot spots. Regular grooming, prompt drying after getting wet, and routine skin checks can help in early detection and prevention.
How to Treat Your Labradoodle’s Hot Spots at Home
The best approach to hot spot treatment for Labradoodles is to detect it early, keep the area dry, and prevent the dog from scratching or licking the affected spot.
The first sign of a hot spot might be because the Labradoodle is scratching or when you’re petting the dog and feel the moist area.
The impacted spot typically feels damp and elevated. Personally, I promptly take out the clippers (I prefer the ones from Wahl) and trim the surrounding fur. Cutting the hair around the hot spot is crucial as it allows air to reach it, aiding the drying process.
After trimming, clean the spot using an antiseptic wash to counteract potential skin infections.
I’ve personally heard a lot of vets recommending a skin cleaner named Hibiclens which is highly effective and can be found at most pharmacies or on platforms like Amazon.
How to Treat a Hot Spot at Home:
- Gently trim the fur around the affected areas using clippers.
- Cleanse the spot with an antiseptic wash.
- Ensure the area is dry.
- If necessary, utilize an e-collar or inflatable collar to stop the Labradoodle from aggravating the area.
When going to a vet they will usually trim the fur to let the area breathe and to gauge the extent of the hot spot.
Following an antiseptic cleanse, the vet will then employ a cortisone injection to the spot. The primary goal of this is to alleviate the itchiness, as scratching can exacerbate the condition.
The cortisone injection provided rapid relief, alleviating much of the discomfort and reducing the inflammation.
Lastly, a vet can prescribe GentaSpray (available only via a prescription) and advises spraying the affected area every 12 hours for 7-10 days or until healed.
GentaSpray is remarkably effective in treating hot spots. If your Labradoodle frequently suffers from this issue, consider asking your vet about the spray. Always carry it with you on pet-friendly trips to ensure you’re always prepared.
How to Prevent Your Labradoodle From Getting Hot Spots in the Future
If you’ve reached this point in the article, you’re likely well-informed on how to prevent hot spots in Labradoodles.
After your Labradoodle takes a swim, enjoys a bath, or gets drenched in rain, it’s essential to dry them promptly. Given the Labradoodle’s dense coat, it’s especially crucial to thoroughly dry areas like the neck and ears.
Post outdoor activities or swimming sessions, inspect your Labradoodle’s coat for ticks, burrs, scrapes, or any irritants that could prompt itching or lead to incessant licking.
You can effortlessly do this by petting your Labradoodle, concentrating especially on the denser patches of their fur.
While examining your Labradoodle, it’s a good practice to brush them as well. Consistent grooming can significantly aid in preventing hot spots.
If you observe your Labradoodle licking or scratching a specific area more than usual, inspect that area closely.
Consider cleaning the area with a gentle, unscented dog wipe or spritzing it with something like the Earth Bath spray. The spray contains tea tree oil and aloe vera, known for their soothing properties, which can preemptively address the itch before it evolves into a hot spot.
Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners
I hope this article has helped you just a bit in everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years, I’ve tried many different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!
These links are affiliate links, so if you do end up using the links, I will earn a commission. But it’s products that I use daily myself, and I have the utmost praise for.
Dog Food: Every dog needs to eat correctly, and finding the best food for your dog can be challenging, as the market is absolutely flooded with products. But since 2015 when the company was founded, I’ve been using Ollie Petfood. With their product being tailor-made to suit every dog’s specific needs, and as my dogs love the product, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a product I will continue to use for many years more. If you use my link you can get 50% off your first order.
Dog Training: If you’ve ever owned a puppy, you know that it requires a lot of training to grow into a well-behaved adult. Brain Training for Dogs has helped me immensely with the mental training part of raising a dog, and it’s something I strongly recommend you consider.
Grooming: If you have a dog in your home, you’re going to need a brush, and for this, I recommend a Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. For that price, you simply can’t beat this brush for everyday grooming.
If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!