Hot spots and other skin conditions are fairly common in dogs. They are sores that are red, oozing, hot to the touch and very itchy and painful for the pet. It is actually wet eczema that has become infected. The spots can spread rapidly. It's not uncommon to have a spot the size of a dime in the morning and the size of your fist in the evening.
The cause can be a allergies, toxins from the environment, bug bites, hair mats, scratching and damaged skin, or even the dyes and chemicals in their food. One of my dogs got hot spots after she had vaccination shots. Here are some simple natural treatments you can try.
If the condition gets worse or is extremely tender You may want to take your pet to the vets. This isn't meant to replace medical help if needed. Some holistic vets say you should not treat with prednisone, steroids, or cortisone. This will suppress the immune system. It stops the symptoms inflammation and itching, while the real underlying problem goes unsolved. This can later develop into more serious complications. Unfortunately I did this to one of my dogs. I took her in for her rabies shots. The doctor said she had to be updated on all her shots, plus he gave her a lymes shot because that disease is so bad in this area. Well my dog was sick that day and night. She felt warmer, she didn't eat, and all she did was sleep all day. I actually didn't feel very good just being by her. I got a headache, achy and felt like I was in a mental fog. Then she got hot spots. I didn't know what they were so I took her back to the vets. She got a steroid shot and some spray to put on it. That took a long time to heal. The poor thing also lost the beautiful soft fluffy texture of her fur. It became coarse and she developed lumps on her skin. Since then I started reading more about natural approach to animals. She now gets holistic food, she only gets shots that she has to have by law, and I switched vets. Now I treat hot spots naturally. I found out that they heal much faster with natural treatments. Clip, shave or trim the spot with clippers or with blunt-nosed scissors the hair off the hot spot. It is crucial that air can get to the spot. You may want to clip some of the surrounding area also because it can spread fast. The area needs to be dry, clean and have air.
Place a cool moist tea bag on the spot for a few minutes. The tannic acid and natural astringent will help dry up the sore. Apply this several times a day. Or you can place a drop of lavender essential oil on the tea bag before you hold it on your dog for about 5 minutes. Do this several times a day.
Never put a thick ointment on the spot. The infection can't breathe and will be suppressed, this prevents it form coming out of the body. This makes it much worse and can cause other problems.
Aromatherapy for pets
Lavender mist sprayed on the sore several times a day is very soothing. This is what I did for my dog this past week for a hot spot and it cleared up fast. It calming, healing, antibacterial, and analgesic. Just put a few drops of lavender essential oil in about 1/2 cup water, or tea and apply. I applied it about 5 times a day.
Lavender Oil diluted with almond oil or any carrier oil. Use 1 part lavender to 10 parts oil. Apply once a day. This also works well for mange or other skin conditions.
Calendula essential oil helps ease pain and soothes the area. Add a couple of drops to some water, or tea and spray on or mix with aloe and dab on with a cotton ball.
Chamomile essential oil helps wounds heal. Mix a couple of drops of essential oil with water, or aloe and apply topically. You can brew a strong chamomile tea and apply that to the spot. Or you could hold the tea bag on the spot for about 5 minutes.
Tea tree is best used at a 15% solution. Mix with water, tea, or aloe and apply to area.
15% tea tree solution
NO licking the spot. Some dogs lick so much they actually prevent it from healing.
Witch hazel will help cool the area. Do this 2 or 3 times a day.
Clean the area with a diluted mild soap. Rinse and dry.
Aloe vera gel works well for this problem also. I applied aloe with a drop of lavender in it morning and night. My dog actually stopped trying to scratch it. The live aloe plant works well too. Just break off a part of the leaf and cut it open. Apply the jelly part that you find inside. This has a slight green tinge to it and does show up on a white dog.
One person applied 2 tablespoons of fluid extract of goldenseal root with 1/2 cup of water and applied this to the infected area.
Goldenseal Powder can be mixed with aloe or water and applied to the sore.
Vinegar is listed as one of the things that help hot spots. I tried this on my poor dog and she almost went crazy. It stung! I would use vinegar on a newly obtained
sting, but never again on a hot spot.
Liquid garlic has been successful in treating hot spots when applied to the sore.
Comfrey can be added fresh or dried, mixed with water or aloe and applied to the infected area.
Grapefruit seed extract diluted in 5 or 6 parts water or tea and sprayed on infected areas works well for hot spots.
Bee propolis tincture is said to be helpful in healing these sores.
Zinc is important for building up the immunity system. Use 10 to 30 milligrams of chelated zinc. Use a smaller dose for smaller dogs. Or feed your dog some food that is high in zinc. ground pumpkin seeds added to the food would work.
Add Vitamin C to your pets food. Give 250 to 1000 milligrams twice a day to your pet. The amount is determined by the size of your dog.
Vitamin E also helps build the immunity system. Give from 100 to 400 IU a day. Again give according to the size of your pet.
1/2 to 3 teaspoons of Lecithin a day can help your pet overcome skin problems. Use the smaller dose for small dogs.
Most of these remedies will help many different kinds of skin sores. What worked best for my dogs was aloe and lavender. It was both soothing and healing. But what works for one dog may not work as well for another.
Hint if you don't have the essential oil and have the herb, make a tea with the herb.
These remedies are natural and safe. I hope this helps you. Be well and good luck. :)