The attractive coat of the German Shepherd can unfortunately be quite attractive to parasites too. Beneath the coat on the skin itself, hot spots can be created by skin infections, which can arise from a poor diet or from an infected cut.
Other posts on this site discuss:
- looking after the coat of the German Shepherd
- maintaining a good diet (within the “coat” article), and
- caring for German Shepherd ears.
Flea and similar parasite infections are best dealt with by regular flea treatments from the high street or pet shop. The other main precaution is to make sure your dog gets a bath and/or thorough brushing after swimming or running near bushes, etc.
Minor lesions in the German Shepherd skin will usually heal quickly. They can be treated with antiseptic cream but in many cases a few licks from your dog will heal them quickly. If an infection hasn’t been discovered previously, excessive licking is usually the first clue of something more serious, and if it is not a parasite then it could well be that a “hot spot” has been created through infection of the lowest skin layers. Common antibiotics will normally cure these but any difficulty arises through your dog’s continuous licking of the area.
The most practical solution is to cover the area in a way that prevents your dog tearing any covering off, which can be a challenge. Depending on where the cut is, either wrapping and taping the area with gauze may work, or a sock on a foot or leg, or even a jumper or tea shirt to cover the torso. The other common solution is to apply the cone-like collar to prevent your dog getting at the infected spot.
Callouses are the other common skin problem but usually only form in older dogs through constant rubbing, often due to the dog’s posture when sitting or lying against or on a hard surface. Although callouses can be treated and discomfort eased with creams or veterinary treatment, in many cases they will simply reform and become a fact of the older dog’s life without being a major problem.