Tuesday Tips

Summer woes…otherwise known as hot spots can be a real pain in the neck…literally. Blech. We hate ’em. And, according to Sam who is surprisingly immune to the wonders of super healing dog saliva, they can lead to all sorts of health problems.

hotspot1Sometimes known as acute moist dermatitis, hot spots can be caused by any number of reasons, i.e. allergic reactions, insect bites, fleas, ticks, mites… but you can guarantee that bacteria will be front and center like a kindergartener’s pageant when it comes to this annoying condition. Any dog can suffer from hot spots, but dogs with thick coats, allergies, dirty or moist skin tend to suffer from them more often, and dogs with decreased immune systems will also suffer from hot spots. What exactly are hot spots? Glad you asked. Frequently moist, this condition is manifested as an inflamed/infected area that is painful and itchy and is aggravated by licking or chewing the area.

Treatment however can be simple but first should start with disinfecting the site. Frequent cleaning is absolutely critical and necessary before healing can take place. Trimming or shaving the surrounding fur is recommended and will keep any buildup of weeping sores from getting matted in the fur.

Around the Ranch, we use this handmade salve recipe to which we add lavender, lemon and Melaleuca essential oils to treat hot spots. This salve has become a lifesaver around our house. We started making it earlier this year and the good news is, it’s easy to make and works for both (wo)man and beast. We’ve used this healing salve on dry rough paws, abrasions, cuts, and even on burns. Given how amazing it is, it’s become our favorite go-to solution for just about any malady. We know some peeps will prefer to use any number of commercial treatments on hot spots and that’s perfectly fine, too. The bottom line for all of us is making our fur-kids feel better with this summer time condition and then finding out the underlying cause so they don’t get it again. Naturally if the hot spot doesn’t heal in a reasonable amount of time, you should consult your vet.

Have you been vexed by hot spots lately? How did you treat them?

Live, love, bark! <3

31 thoughts on “Tuesday Tips

  1. Shadow used to have one hot spot that just kept coming back; but it went away about two years ago and so far hasn’t returned. **Knock on wood!** If I remember correctly, I used Vetricyn on it the last time, as well as putting the cone around her neck so she couldn’t lick at it while it was healing. I’ll have to check out the salve, though. I switched to Yardley’s English Lavender hand soap early this year because the skin on my hands was so dry. After about a week, they were healed and have been fine ever since.

  2. No hotspots, but we do have a paw licker in the house. And he can sometimes lick those paws raw. I think it’s the arthritis, he’s heading to the vet next month, so we shall see. I’m checking out that salve because I’m all for as natural as possible. 😀 Thanks and if Sam is the one with the hotspot, I sure hope he’s feeling better.

    1. Some of the research suggests dogs chew/lick exactly because of arthritis pain. That salve has been a real life saver for both of us. Sam hasn’t had a hotspot but has had abrasions that needed help in healing. My skin is so sensitive and ultra-dry and it’s been fabulous for me. It’s been the base with argue addition of different EOs for pain including arthritis pain in joints. A real “dog-send.”

  3. Thankfully, neither of the boys have ever had a hot spot. I don’t know how we got so lucky since Newfies are notorious for getting them! Great recipe!

  4. Arty is prone to hot spots and the resulting bacteria infections. We finally got it under control with weekly baths and daily Apoquel(during allergy season).

  5. Hi Sam! Hi Ms. Monika! To gather the ingredients would be a bit expensive for Mom right now. We saw that you can purchase the salve from that website but it was expensive. So, we think you should make a bunch of smaller size containers and sell it to all of your friends BOL!

  6. Cody is the only one here who sometimes gets hot spots and his are due to allergies. We usually have to have him on Pred a few times a year (cats tolerate Pred quite while, whereas dogs don’t)

  7. Even when we were still living in the hot and humid climate down south in Karnes City, our dogs never suffered from this. I hope Sam won’t, either, being so well cared for.
    Have a great day,

  8. Cole has skin eruptions that never heal. We have a salve from the vet but he wipes it off. Some haven’t healed in many years and the vets won’t take them off.

  9. Thanks for the recipe, my friends are always asking what to use on hot spots. do you shave the area or just put the salve on over the fur? Were does one find the oil Melaleuca, I never heard of it.

    1. Trimming/shaving hair is best especially if the wound is weeping or has any puss. Melaleuca is more commonly known as tea tree oil. As with all essential oils, it is important to use high quality brands. Make sure to use quality essential oils that are: (1) not greasy feeling on the skin, (2) disappear on a sheet of white paper when dry, (3) don’t dissolve in water, (4) doesn’t smell like alcohol, (5) doesn’t smell rancid. Make sure ‘essential’ is part of the identification on the label (‘lavender oil’ is merely perfumed oil). If the Latin name of the plant is included on the label chances are good the contents are higher quality. Let me know if you have other questions.

  10. Itchy spots are a pain in the neck, the thigh, the face, the paw, and the tail around here. I’m itch-free right now, but Mom saved the recipe for the future and also to give to the mom of one of my friends. Thanks!

    Love and licks,

    1. Excellent Cupcake, it’s a good one to have around. My mom has very sensitive skin and this has helped her a lot. It’s worked great for me with various issues I’ve had too. We both love it. Glad you’re itch free right now. 😊
      ~Your fur-iend,

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