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| Hot Spots | Otitis Externa | Demodicosis (Red Mange) | Breed-Related Dermatoses |
| Bacterial Diseases | Pyoderma | Colloidal Silver | Homemade Relief Remedies | Food Allergies |
| Combination D Tissue Salts Treatment | Skin General Links |

Note: First check with your Vet to see if there is a medical reason for the hot spot, such as a staph infection. If not, then your dog may be chewing from boredom or anxiety. The pain of their chewing or licking releases endorphins and other comforting neuro-chemicals into their blood stream, and this calms the dog. Spraying the hot spot with a numbing agent like Lidocaine should break the cycle. Orajel (baby teething pain medicine) spread around the hotspot is another way to break the cycle.

Hot Spots Can Appear Overnight

Hot spots are localized skin infections that are usually caused by a bacterium called Staphylococcus intermedius, although other bacteria can be involved. In most cases, the cause remains unknown, although they are often due to some underlying factor such as fleas, mites, bacteria, allergies, or irritants (e.g. a harsh shampoo). In some cases, a severe essential fatty acid deficiency may also be the cause.

It is suspected that increases in the temperature and humidity of the skin environment may play a role in the development of these skin infections. This is probably why hot spots tend to be more common in the summer than in the winter. Often, hot spots may occur after a dog has been swimming in a lake or river, likely because this changes the temperature and humidity of the skin microenvironment. Dogs that are prone to allergies also tend to get hot spots more readily than non-allergic dogs. 

At one time, all hot spots were thought to be the same and, as a result, were all treated the same way. However, research has shown that there are actually two distinct forms of hot spots (also known as acute moist dermatitis), namely superficial hot spots and deep hot spots. Correctly identifying which type of hot spot your dog has helps the veterinarian to determine the correct treatment and possibly even the cause. 

Superficial hot spots are, as the name implies, on the skin surface and appear as a moist patches of inflamed, ulcerated, itchy skin with matted hair. They are easily treated by clipping back the hair from the affected area, then cleansing with a medicated soap and water, followed by application of an appropriate topical medication. 

The second type of hot spot is the deep hot spot. It is quite different from the superficial form in that there is itchiness, ulceration and inflammation but also a very deep infection and oozing. Unlike the superficial kind of hot spot, these hot spots must be treated with antibiotics as well as topical treatment. They are seen most often in young dogs and in Golden Retrievers and Saint Bernard's.

Prevention is difficult, if not impossible, unless an underlying cause can be determined. If you cannot determine the cause, there are some things you can do to lessen the probability of your dog getting hot spots. 

For example, giving medicated bathes (e.g. benzoyl peroxide shampoos) on a regular basis may help prevent some cases from re-occurring. Supplementing the diet with an essential fatty acid supplement may prove helpful in others. Early detection of hot spots before they become serious is also an important part of any preventative program. Your veterinarian should be consulted if your dog gets a hot spot so that you can both work together to relieve your pet’s suffering, as well as determine a cause and course of treatment.

Skin medications for dogs include cephalexin, clindamycin, clotrimazole, enrofloxacin otic, gentamicin sulfate, nystatin neomycin sulfate, and thiabendazole.

Home Remedy suggestions that can be used until you can see your vet:

  1. Tea bag compresses (black or green tea) to help dry the area out. Tea can be used as a wash or as a compress.

  2. Internally, Echinacea, Vitamin C, Goldenseal, and garlic all help to boost the immune system.

  3. Domeboro's (Burow's) solution (aluminium acetate) - available over-the-counter at pharmacies to help dry the skin out. Can be used as a compress or as a spray.

  4. Rescue remedy cream or liquid applied directly on the hotspot.

  5. Keep it clean by dabbing it with a cotton swab soaked in an antiseptic solution such as Betadine Solution.

  6. Try a Bach Flower Remedy - Crab Apple. It is specifically indicated for skin problems such as hotspots. If the cause of the hotspot is emotionally-related, check into other flower remedies. There are many to choose from and can help heal the troubles that reside inside.

  7. Burow's Solution (aluminum acetate) three times a day will keep the area dry and promote healing. Burow's solution is available in pharmacies.

  8. Use Hibiclens Antiseptic Solution (confirm this with your Vet prior to use) several times daily. Swab with Hibiclens, then rinse thoroughly with plain tepid water. Dry surrounding hair with hairdryer on LOW heat.

  9. Dab with milk of magnesia to calm irritated skin.

  10. Spray Colloidal Silver onto the affected area several times daily.

  11. 1 quart water, 1 heaping teaspoon dried sage, 1 heaping teaspoon of thyme, ¼ tsp. Epsom salt... Boil everything together for 5 minutes then let it sit overnight. Strain off the herbs and refrigerate unused portion. You can add it to shampoo and make a "medicated" shampoo....also works for ant bites, red bumps, flea dermatitis, etc.

  12. Dab with organic apple cider vinegar.

  13. Saturate a cotton ball with witch hazel and apply on hot spots for several days.

  14. Apply vitamin E gel (buy the capsules and open them) to the hot spot twice a day.

  15. Calendula cream or hyper/cal (hypericum and calendula) cream applied directly to hotspot.

  16. Mix equal parts extra virgin olive oil and oil of thyme. Apply to the hot spot with a cotton ball. This will stop itching and prevent infection.

  17. Aloe Vera gel, freshly squeezed from the plant, helps to calm and heal. It can be ingested as well to work on the inside.

  18. Hydrocortisone creams - Some people advocate using a thin film of an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. I would recommend talking to your vet first - in general, creams and ointments only serve to "gunk up" the area and prevent proper drying if used incorrectly. Also, if the pet licks it, you want to make sure that it isn't toxic.

  19. Fleas and Teas - Fleas HATE Stash Earl Grey. Tear open a few bags, scatter the tea about on your carpet and vacuum up in a few days. Fleas will flee. Other folks have noticed that their pets love to roll in Stash-perhaps that's why!

  20. Mix a combination of one part lavender oil, one part Neem oil, to 9 parts almond oil. Apply to sores and infected areas once or twice daily.

  21. Mix ten drops of yellow dock extract with ten drops of Echinacea extract, dilute with four ounces of distilled water and apply. Yellow dock is effective as an itch treatment. Other herbs that help with itching are calendula and aloe vera. 

  22. Make up a mixture of three tablespoons fresh lemon juice mixed with two ounces of witch hazel and four ounces of distilled water: Add 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract and six drops each of tea tree oil, golden seal root, olive leaf extract, and pau d'arco. Keep away from the eyes. Spray or dab onto sores once a day.


| Skin Problems & Diseases | Atopic Dermatitis | Atopica | Dermatomyositis | Dermatology |
| Hot Spots | Otitis Externa | Demodicosis (Red Mange) | Breed-Related Dermatoses |
| Bacterial Diseases | Pyoderma | Colloidal Silver | Homemade Relief Remedies | Food Allergies |
| Combination D Tissue Salts Treatment | Skin General Links |


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