by Sojos | March 12, 2013
Sometimes dogs’ skin and coat concerns go beyond the cosmetic. While proper care and feeding will help stave off a host of skin issues, sometimes it’s outside of your control. Problems like hot spots, which appear as itchy, bald patches, can cause your dog a lot of discomfort. Here are some of the key things you should know about treating this troublesome skin issue.
Hot spots, by their name alone, might make you think of the sizzling days of summer, but they can crop up throughout the year. However, if your dog gets acute moist dermatitis (the “official” name for hot spots), you’ll understand where the nickname came from. These warm, swollen, partially bald patches on your dog’s skin sometimes emit a foul smell or puss, and they’re extremely uncomfortable for your dog.
Licking and biting can become part of a cycle of itching and scratching that makes the condition worse, but there are many possible underlying causes, ranging from parasites and infections to allergies and other skin irritants. But no matter the cause, hot spots are something you want to cure as quickly as possible, to save your dog a lot of discomfort.
Rather than opting for the chemical antibiotics prescribed by many conventional vets, contact a holistic vet who will be able to offer insight and suggestions from a more natural perspective. Plus, there a number of home remedies are available to treat hot spots that you can discuss together.
Coconut oil - This multi-purpose oil can help with overall skin and coatmaintenance, but applied to hot spots, it aids healing.
Manuka honey - This particular variety of honey, made from the nectar of the manuka tree native to Australia and New Zealand, has exceptional antibacterial properties.
Neem oil - The oil, leaves and bark of the neem tree are used extensively in India to treat a multitude of health issues for humans and animals. Neem oil is antibacterial but strong, so diluting it in a one-part-to-one-part solution with a mild carrier oil(like almond) will make sure it’s not overpowering.
Oatmeal - A soothing oatmeal bath can help your pup feel better. Just make sure that the hot spots themselves are nice and clean, with no residue, after the bath and before applying a topical treatment.
Raw aloe - Cooling and soothing aloe can help mitigate the heat and pain from the hot spots.
Tea - Compresses of black, green or chamomile tea bags - brewed and then fully cooled - can be applied to the wounds for a soothing treatment.
Keep a close eye on your dog’s hot spots and do what you can to prevent him from licking or chewing them. The more carefully you monitor the problem, the sooner you’ll be able to find the right solution - and both you and your dog will be happy about that.