Hot spots “acute wet dermatitis,” are red, moist, hot and irritated lesions that show up on your dog’s skin, mostly in areas prone to moisture and irritation like the head, neck, or hip. They can spread quickly and become a huge disaster in a short period of time. A cause is not always known, but in most cases it is the result of allergies (food or environmental), or from being bitten by insects (such as fleas or ticks). Hot spots can be painful and uncomfortable for your dog, but luckily, there are ways to prevent and treat them so they don’t turn into a major problem.
The best way to deal with hot spots is to prevent them from forming in the first place. To do this, learn what is causing them. In most cases, hot spots in bulldogs are caused by food allergies, meaning proper diet and nutrition is the best form of prevention. Feed your dog a high quality, grain free food (grains are the leading cause of food allergies). You can also have a veterinarian test your bulldog for environmental allergies and recommend a treatment. If allergies are not the cause of your dog’s hot spots, fleas or ticks might be the culprit. You can stave off these pesky insects topically with Diatomaceous Earth; a natural, non-harmful, food grade powder. No matter the cause, preventing hot spots is a lot cheaper and a lot easier on your dog than treating those that have already formed.
When a hot spot does form, you’ll need to treat it properly to avoid infection. Topical ointments treat hot spots particularly well. What has worked best for my bulldogs is Nu-Stock. To use Nu-Stock, apply a generous amount to the affected area with a gloved hand. (The product is quite smelly.) Repeat this every three days, or until the wound scabs and dries up. By this time the affected area may be completely bald but the nice thing about Nu-Stock is that it also promotes hair growth. Nu-Stock is also useful for cuts, abrasions, and various other skin conditions, so it’s good to keep it around even after the hot spot disappears.
Whatever the cause, managing hot spots is an important part of being a bulldog owner. The lesions are uncomfortable and can lead to other, more serious problems like infections. Thankfully, these problems are easy to avoid, and hot spots can be taken care of cheaply and effectively.