Is your dog constantly itching and scratching, scratching and itching? Have you noticed that the area scratched is always the same? Is your dog getting bald spotted areas that enlarge because the dog does not leave these areas alone? If you answered yes, to all the above then very likely your dog is dealing with a very annoying condition known as a ”hot spot”.
Hot spots are usually hairless areas that are about the size of a coin. These areas present as inflamed, terribly itchy and painful because the dog tends to lick, bite and scratch at time, further irritating and aggravating them. These areas if left untreated also may be easily infected further complicating things down the way. But what can owners do to help poor Fluffy overcome the terrible itchiness and give their dog some well earned relief?
For mild cases, owners may help their poor dogs at home by using some of the following home remedies:
- Give them a trim
Even if the dog has already thought to make the area become hairless, it will not harm to help by further trimming the area. Doing so helps clean the place clean and dry. The lack of hair will ensure the spot remains less moist, since hair tends to collect bacteria and the licking may retain moisture for sufficient time to allow the bacteria to start thriving.
Get now a cotton-ball and pour some diluted Betadine solution over it and dab it gently for two times a day on the hot spot. Some dogs may react to this as it may be quite painful but most will do fine. If your dog seems to not collaborate try at another time or get veterinary attention especially if your dog tends to become aggressive when dealing with pain.
- Antibiotic Creams
Some plain Neosporin applied to the area may help keep infections at bay. Try to prevent your dog from licking it off. While Neosporin is not harmful when ingested in small quantities, you want to have the skin exposed to it so to better absorb it and be effective. Keep an eye on your dog and tell him or her to leave the area alone for some time.
A very strong and concentrated green or black tea may expedite healing. This is thanks to the presence of Tannic Acid. Prevent trouble by using only cool tea bags, as warm tea bags may cause burns and further aggravate the injury. -Aloe Vera This miracle plant offers a nice natural and refreshing gel that soothes the skin and provides relief.
- Vitamin E
This vitamin often comes in a capsule form that can be opened and the enclosed gel may be applied directly to the hot spot. Vitamin E supplements given orally may also be helpful, consult with your vet for proper dosing instructions. -Bitter Apple This helpful product characterized by a very bitter sour taste, effectively discourages dogs from biting and licking hot spots. While this spray cannot be applied directly on the hot spot because it may burn, it can be applied carefully to the area surrounding the hot spot. Most dogs are deterred from the horrible taste.
- Elizabethan Collars
Sometimes the ultimate solution is to invest in an E-collar. These are those typical ”lamp shade” collars that prevent dogs from reaching the offended area. They usually are sold at vet offices and must be properly fitted in order to work well.
While hot spots may show signs of getting better after a few days of treatment, consult with your vet should the area not heal or start to appear infected . Signs of infection usually are a foul odor, the presence of pus, swelling and warmth and significant pain. Sometimes hot spots may not be properly treated at home because they are caused by underlying causes such as bug bites, allergies or skin sensitivites that must be addressed.
*Disclaimer: All remedies suggested are not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your pet is sick please refer to your veterinarian for a hands on examination. If your pet is exhibiting behavior problems please refer to a professional pet behaviorist.