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I have a golden whom I groom rather rigorously in every season but winter. We live in an area with lots of burdock, and I brush him as often as twice a day when the snow is not covering the burdock.

I just want to process what happened and ask advice, so this might be long.

Last weekend we were out ALL day, and he had a great time. He was wet and covered with burdock. So, after the kids were in bed, I got his comb and started in on the burdock. That's when I discovered the mud on him was actually cow poop. It was 8 pm, I was tired, he was tired, it was chilly, etc. I put off bathing him until the morning. This also means he did not dry very fast because the combing also usually helps him dry out. This is the first time I have ever left him in this state overnight. First thing in the morning (6 am), I had him in the tub and washed him thoroughly. And here comes my next mistake- I still did not comb him out. I knew he would not be tangled beyond the burdock, and he is much easier to comb when his coat is not so very wet. So, we had another day out and about, he got more burdock in his coat, he got wet again, and so on. That evening, I finally sat and combed him out. He had a little spot on his belly by his back leg that looked irritated, but I did not think much of it.

In the morning, as I was combing him again, I noticed the spot looked angrier and that there were a few more spots. Two days ago, I shaved his tummy until I could not find any more spots. I clipped around an ear that has a little spot. I've been cleaning everything with cool water and hydrogen peroxide and feeling like a neglectful animal minder. I cannot believe how fast these spots formed and spread.

My question is this- Would combing him the first night have prevented the hotspots? He has never had one before, but I have also always combed him and gotten him pretty dry before bed. All the spots are obviously better; nothing looks angry, his tummy skin is white, and he has quit bothering his ear. What could I do to prevent this in the future if combing is not adequate? Do I need to make sure all his bedding is extra clean to keep from re-infecting?

Please share your wisdom.
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