Do hot spots ever resolve themselves, or do they always require intervention?
In my experience, hot spots do always require intervention or they spread and become worse.
Do you take your GR to the vet for each and every hot spot, or only the big scary ones?
No, I don't take my dog to the vet for hot spots. I catch them early and I use Gold Bond Medicated Powder. I have always had 100% sucess treating her hot spots with this powder.
Other than being mindful of allergy and dampness conditions, can you prevent hot spots?
Hot spots can be prevented, yes. If your dog is prone to hot spots, I would change to a super premium dog food, and perhaps a grain free food. Also, be vigilant, know the condition of your dog's skin. Brush him, pet him everyday, catch the problems early and choose a treatment that works. Be careful with the fleas, make sure your dog is protected. Flea bites are notorious for causing hot spots. Take care to help your dog stay cool when the summer months get hot. And take his collar off indoors, especially if he's wet.
Is there like an anti-hotspot vitamin?
I'm not aware of one but I think Salmon Oil can generally be helpful with skin issues.
What do you guys do to prevent/treat hotspots?
I use Gold Bond Medicated Powder, Extra Strength. Comes in a green bottle. I use it at the first sign of trouble, even for a minor skin irritation or if I see my dog is itching a particular area repeatedly. Sometimes I use it just to cool her off when it's very warm.
I stay away from crappy high-grain dog foods. And in the summer months when she swims a lot, I bathe her regularly with an anti-fungal shampoo I get from the vet.
I brush her thoroughly everyday in the summer so I know what's happening with her skin. And I file her nails after I clip them so they are smooth ... so if she does scratch herself, she won't be so inclined to break the skin.