Does Your Dog Have Hot Spots?

Hot Spots Treatment And Prevention

The poor unfortunate dog who gets hot spots!  Hot spots are areas of skin that become irritated and inflamed and are very uncomfortable.  They are usually circular in shape and are accompanied by hair loss, inflammation and sometimes a discharge of pus.  Hot spots are actually a form of dermatitis, and may be caused by allergies to fleas, diet related issues, or perhaps a behavioral problem in your dog.

Treating The Hot Spotreagan-hot-spot

It’s important to treat hot spots immediately in order to prevent them from spreading and getting bigger.  Once a hot spot appears, you should trim your dog’s hair away from the area so that the area will be easier to keep clean.   You can then clean the area with a mild antiseptic and dab the area with a cotton ball.  It’s helpful to apply a cool compress to the hot spot for five minutes three or four times a day to soothe the sore skin.  You can apply a bit of vitamin E oil because it is well known for its healing effects.  Dogs also benefit from the oil applied three times a day to help loosen the crusty areas that have formed and aid in healing.  In addition, you can dab the affected area with a cotton ball that has been soaked in cold hot-brewed tea because it contains tannic acid which aids the healing process.  This should be repeated 3 to 4 times per day.

It is an excellent idea to make an appointment with your veterinarian if the hot spots don’t go away within a short amount of time.  A good preventative for hot spots is to make sure that your dog is groomed on a regular basis and the hair is clipped short especially during the warmer months – this will keep debris and moisture away from the skin.

coconut oil ON dog bowlsHealthy Food And Healthy Oils

Be sure to feed your dog a healthy fat enriched diet, because if your dog is suffering from reoccurring skin conditions and has had a change in diet, he may need a daily vitamin supplement that contains fatty acids.  Fatty acids will speed healing and promote healthy skin and prevent further hotspots from occurring.   This fatty acid oils include oils like fish oil, krill oil and flaxseed oil.   In addition coconut oil also is helpful too because it has antifungal properties and can be used topically and internally (by administering it in your dog’s food).  (See my article on “The Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Your Dog” here:  )  Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides that complement the omega-3 oils by alternating different types of oil – you can then include coconut oil in there so that your dog gets a variety, and the benefits, of the different oils.

A good way to relieve allergies naturally, is to feed your dog a diet rich in antioxidants.  Antioxidants come in many forms and from foods like berries, green leafy vegetables, apples, spirulina, olive leaf, kelp, raw meat and organic organ meats (especially liver).  (See my article on “The Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables For Your Dog”  here: )

Vitamin C can be helpful for an extra boost but you should start as a low-dose given along with food and only for a short time until the hot spot goes away.  (By the way don’t expect that hot spot to go away overnight because it will take some time for the skin to heal and hair to grow back!)  You should make sure that you check the spots daily to see if the area is healing.  If the hot spot appears to get worse, consult your veterinarian immediately and don’t attempt to treat it further at home!

My Final Thoughts

The old wives saying still holds true that states,  “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.   In order to minimize the necessity of veterinarian and health costs for your best friend, its best to be proactive by feeding your buddy a healthy diet that contains fresh natural ingredients rich in antioxidants and fatty acids and adding a good quality multivitamin (like Nuvet Pet).   Don’t forget at least two good brushings a week to minimize tangles (especially in long haired dogs), and distribute all those good nutrients thru the skin.

I would love to hear your comments, feedback, stories and ideas.

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