Summer Hot Spot

dogs, pets

Lucy in the golden light during our morning walk.

Fayston, Vermont.

Summer is full of indulgences, but yes, one can have too much of a good thing.  Too much ice cream gives me a stomach ache. But too much swimming for a water dog? About a month ago, my golden girl Lucy came down with a case of hot spots. Although I’ve owned a series of dogs, I’d never seen it: Hot spots look like a nasty, crusty rash with open sores. They are caused by a bacterial infection.

The weather had been record-breaking hot in the beginning of July. We do not have A/C. To keep her cool, I filled a kiddie pool for Lucy to splash in, plus I took her swimming.  She didn’t dry well in the humidity, and I’m sure she also had some itchy bug bites as we all did. The bacteria had their own summer party on Lucy.  It was a rager.

By the time I figured out what was bothering Lucy and that she had to go to the vet, it was the weekend. The infection had spread to behind each ear, on top of her head, and she also had a patch on her left hip. She was seen right away on Monday. To clean the infection, the vet shaved the area around the sores – standard procedure.  However, she looked like a Barbie that had been given a haircut by a toddler.

She was put on a course of oral antibiotics and I had to clean the sores with antibacterial pads twice a day. I felt terrible that I had helped the infection to spread when I petted her head and rubbed her ears.  The part on her hip was likely spread by her scratching. Linus and Charlie were unaffected.

The rash eventually cleared up and her hair is growing back.  I’ve been reluctant to take her swimming. Today she went back in the water. She looked so incredibly happy.

Maybe I can have a little ice cream.


Lucy swims for the first time after her “hot spots” cleared. If you look closely, you can see where she was shaved by her ear.



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