Hot spots are inflamed, sore areas of skin due to infection. They can leave your dog in discomfort and pain and, unfortunately, they can increase in size at a rapid rate. So it is essential as a dog owner to act swiftly. Hot spots usually increase in frequency during summer months, especially for those dogs who like to cool down in a not-so-hygienic pond.
Fortunately, all is not lost. There are a number of natural remedies that can bring swift and effective relief to your dog’s hot spots. The best thing about home remedies: though you must still exercise caution when using them, you don’t have to worry about the long-term effects of overloading your dog with strong drugs and medication. Read on to learn about some of the tried and tested methods that will alleviate your concerns and return your dog to full health.
Disinfect the Wound
Your dog’s hot spot is infected, so the first steps you need to take are to cut the dog’s hair to gain access to the wound and to fight the infection with a disinfectant. Once you have successfully trimmed back your dog’s hair, veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker recommends povidone-iodine, usually sold by the brand Betadine. It is effective in controlling skin bacteria, it has no side effects, and it’s an organic iodine. Plus, it can be easily purchased from both pharmacies and health food stores.
To apply the solution, dilute it with water until it reaches an “iced tea” color. Then apply the solution to the wound using a soft cloth. You will need to repeat this process at least twice a day, but as often as necessary to ensure the infected area is kept dry and clean.
Your dog’s hot spots will be causing them discomfort and their enjoyment of day to day life will be reduced, as they are regularly itching the infected patches. The application of specific herbal remedies can help alleviate itching and aid in fighting infection.
Rhus tox is a useful tool to have in the arsenal. Rhus tox comes from the poison ivy plant. Now admittedly, that doesn’t sound like the right sort of remedy, but it can be very effective. It comes in creams and ointments and application directly to hotspots may relieve discomfort. Graphites also can be an effective treatment to relieve itching from hotspots. It is prepared using a powdered form of pure graphite and can be applied as a cream that will soothe itching and replenish the infected skin.
Himalayan Salt Bath
This is a recommended treatment for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is safe and easy to use, posing no danger to your dog. Secondly, it is an effective anti-bacterial treatment that will fight against your dog’s infected hot spots. Himalayan salt is extremely easy to get your hands on: it can be bought from health stores and even some grocery stores. Don't worry about trying to find it because it’s bright pink. Dosage wise, add one teaspoon of the salt to one cup of warm water. Then gently wash the hot spot and dry with a paper towel. Repeat the process a few times a day. How effective is this? In less than a week you could have your hot-spot-free dog back.
Now you’re armed with the knowledge...
Hot spots can increase at an alarming rate, so a swift, effective response is vital. If you are concerned, seeking advice from your local vet is always advisable. But now you have an understanding of the risk hot spots pose, plus a number of ways to effectively combat them if they do arise. All three methods can be used separately or in combination with each other because they are safe and natural techniques used to combat the hot spot problem.