Newfoundland dogs have beautiful, thick, waterproof coats—perfect for these cool-climate dogs that love the water. However, their double-layered fur can trap heat and moisture that leads to the development of hot spots. You may have noticed red bumps or sores on your dog's skin during grooming or after catching your Newfie scratching at himself. Here's how to prevent and treat those troublesome spots.
What are Hot Spots?
The term "hot spot" is an everyday term for acute moist dermatitis. It's also sometimes called summer eczema. Hot spots are warm to the touch and typically very itchy and painful to your dog. Afflicted areas can develop scaly patches and ooze fluid.
Hot spots tend to occur more often in summer when heat and humidity get trapped beneath your Newfoundland's dense fur, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. The bacteria can enter the skin through any nick or scrape, including tick bites. If left untreated, the small red bumps can develop into large open sores that become infected and pose a serious health risk to your dog.
What to Do About Them
If you've discovered hot spots on your Newfoundland, it's important to trim the fur around the affected area to expose it to air. Owners may be reluctant to mess up their Newfoundland's luxurious coat, but air has to reach the hot spots so they can dry out and heal.
Clean the hot spot and surrounding area with an antiseptic spray or cream. Hydrocortisone cream, prescribed by your vet, can help relieve itching.
It's crucial to prevent your dog from making a hot spot worse by scratching and licking at it. If your Newfoundland doesn't leave his hotspots alone, you'll have to place a plastic cone around his neck or use other means to prevent him from reaching the irritated skin.
Carefully monitor the affected area for signs of healing. If the condition gets worse or spreads, a visit to the vet is in order. Prescription topical medications or oral antibiotics are often prescribed. For stubborn lesions, cold laser therapy can help to speed up the healing process.
Preventing Hot Spots
It's tricky to avoid hot spots since just about any skin irritation can set them off, but there are a few things you can do to help. Using an antiseptic shampoo on your dog can help to keep bacteria levels down. Also, always make sure your Newfoundland's coat is thoroughly dried after bathing or swimming. Giving him a short haircut in the summer and a cool place to hang out can also assist in cutting down the frequency and severity of hot spot flare ups.