Hot spots are so common on dogs and they don’t discriminate against age or breed! Which means all dogs are susceptible to hot spots!
So how can we treat hot spots naturally and at home?
And shouldn’t we be taking them to the vet?!
As dog owners, it’s up to us to pay close attention to our dogs so that if anything unusual appears, we will know straight away and can treat it accordingly.
In the case of hot spots, they occur so fast and without warning that you really need to pay attention to if your dog is itching or scratching excessively and be sure to check it out immediately.
If you can catch a hot spot early, you really are able to treat it at home naturally and more often than not, it will go away after 5 to 7 days.
The key to healing the hot spot quickly is to be consistent with daily treatment, multiple times a day.
It’s not a one time treat and leave situation.
If you aren’t consistent with treatment or you weren’t able to catch the hot spot soon enough, the hot spot can become very painful and infected very quickly!! If the hot spot has become an increasingly large one and is all red, raw and infected, it’s always best to take them to the vet for immediate treatment.
To become a hot spot ninja, we have put together a really informative article so that you can know everything there is to know about hot spots and how to treat them naturally.
What is a hot spot and where are they found?
A hot spot starts off as a moist, raw (sometimes oozy) skin irritation or disorder that can commonly be found around the head, neck, bottom and paws.
Hot spots have also been known to show up in all areas of the body, so always pay attention to if your dog is licking, gnawing or scratching a certain area more than usual.
If untreated, the hot spot sore can begin to ooze pus that then dries to create a layer of infected crust that will be excruciatingly painful for your dog. When this happens, you will find it causes your dog’s hair to fall out and create a bald patch.
The hot spot can occur on all breeds of dogs but is especially common among long or thick haired breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Rottweilers.
A hot spot by any other name is surprisingly not called Juliet (ha!), but is also known as:
- Acute moist dermatitis
- Pyotraumatic dermatitis
- Summer Sores
- Moist Dermatitis
What can cause hot spots on dogs?
In short, what causes hot spots is moisture on the skin that creates a breeding zone for itchy bacteria to form and grow. As our dog scratches it, the skin becomes inflamed and the bacteria spreads causing a very painful hot spot for our fur baby.
So hot spots are what you would call a secondary skin infection because it forms due to either excessive moisture or excessive scratching that causes the skin to break and ooze blood or pus.
What can cause excessive moisture:
- Warm, humid weather
- Not being dried thoroughly after a bath or swim
- Walking in the rain
- Playing in water
- A matted coat that traps moisture on the skin
- Saliva that accumulates under the fur from excessive licking
- Licking and gnawing in the same spot (especially if they have an aching knee or hip)
What can cause excessive itching:
- Flea infestation
- Insect bites
- Ear infections
- Food allergies
- Environmental allergies
- Anal gland disease
- Dry skin
The other thing to consider is whether or not your dog is bored, anxious or stressed. Chewing and gnawing can also be a sign of emotional distress for your dog.
Turns out so many things can cause hot spots!! It really pays to keep a close eye on your dog for that reason. Especially in the warmer months as there is more humidity in the air and there’s usually more water involved.
To help prevent your dog from getting hot spots keep them well groomed and brushed regularly. Make sure all their tick and flea treatments are up to date (see our article on natural flea treatments HERE), and make sure to stay on top of any allergies they may have.
And the best preventative of all is to keep your dog’s immune system strong and healthy so that hot spots can be eliminated before they even become a hot spot! Immuboost is a wonderful and powerful natural supplement to keep your dog healthy from the inside – out.
How can I treat my dog’s hot spot naturally?
We love all things natural at Frank and Jellys and treating hot spots naturally is no exception! There are so many amazing natural remedies to keep your fur baby taken care of, healthy and happy.
In the early stages of a hot spot, the best treatment is cleanliness and killing off the bacteria causing the discomfort. Followed by allowing the wound to dry out.
Early treatment is mostly topical treatments so really easy for you to do at home.
If you find the hot spot progresses quickly, you may need to clip the hair around the wound so that you can treat it more effectively.
You can either take your dog the the vet for this, speak with your groomer or do it yourself if you are confident. Just keep in mind that hot spots can be extremely painful for your dog so you really want to be as gentle and careful as possible.
When treating your dog for a hot spot, remember that the healing process can take up to two weeks so you really need to stay vigilant when it comes to the treatment process. And whichever treatments you choose, the important thing is to keep your dog from scratching and licking the area you are treating or it will never heal properly.
Here are some natural remedies that we highly recommend (including 2 of our favourite Frank and Jellys products that every fur mum and dad should have in their home!):
- Leucillian – mimics the dogs immune system and is perfect for cleansing and treating the hot spot (see the video below)
- Colloidal Silver Gel – a natural antibiotic and antifungal antiseptic that will heal all wounds (see the video below)
- Steeped black or green tea – boiling the tea bag and then allowing the water to cool before treating the hot spot helps to dry out the infected area while gently healing the skin
- Aloe Vera Gel – nature’s incredible skin healer is perfect to put directly onto the wound to soothe and treat
- Tea Tree Oil – a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-itch treatment that is extremely effective at treating hot spots (just make sure your dog doesn’t lick or consume it as it’s very dangerous for the dog IF ingested)
- Lavender oil – a natural astringent that’s perfect for cleaning the hot spot while soothing the skin and helping to keep your dog calm (safe for your dog to lick)
- Witch Hazel – another powerful natural astringent perfect for cleaning, treating and healing the wound
- Calendula oil – containing high amounts of flavonoids, this oil is a fast acting anti-bacterial treatment with a soothing anti-inflammatory effect.
- Salt water – when in doubt or if you don’t have easy access to any of the other natural treatments, warm salt water can clean the hot spot while helping it to heal gently
What natural treatments have you got available? Do you use something else that works that we haven’t mentioned?
We’d love to hear about your experiences with hot spots and what you have found to work!! Information shared is a potential life spared. Leave a comment or email us at email@example.com.
Paws of Love,
Sarah (fur mum to Frank) xo
P.S. Are you in the Frank and Jellys ‘Doggy Detectives’ Facebook group? It’s a place where fur mums and dads go to make friends, test doggy products and share stories on best products. PLUS we always share tips and tricks as well as offering advice and sharing experiences when one of our furry friends is not well or not behaving! It’s great fun and it’s absolutely FREE to join! Come join the fun HERE xo.
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