Hot spots are the most common skin condition in dogs among all the possible conditions. The wound of a hot spot can range in size with redness or irregular bleeding. This part of the dog’s skin will become muggy and can cause severe pain. There are many causes and symptoms of hot spots that must be checked to avoid any discomfort for dogs. Keep reading to know the details about an effective home remedy to treat a dog’s hot spots.
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What Causes Hot Spots in Dogs?
Hot spots are usually developed when bacteria infect the exposed part of the skin of dogs which can be caused by scratching and licking. The following are the most common causes of hot spots in dogs.
Several types of allergies (like food or environment) can cause hot spots in dogs, but the most common one is flea allergy. If the dog is allergic to fleas, then even one small bite can cause severe itching. This will lead your dog to start biting and scratching the wound. It will take a little time to develop a secondary infection, which may end up in a hot spot. But if they are not allergic, even multiple flea bites on their rump can lead to hot spots.
Stress or Boredom
Dogs might have a habit of chewing and licking in stress or boredom. This habit can damage the skin of dogs and develop a staph infection. Active dogs (like Labrador Retrievers) need daily walks and exercises and if owners do not have time to engage them in such activities, then these dogs might resort to nervous behaviors like licking, scratching, or chewing their paws.
There is a handsome chance that dogs will have arthritis from hip dysplasia if they are developing recurring hot spots over their hips. They lick their sore joints which leads to trauma to their skin kin and end up as a hot spot.
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It is quite common that dogs with thick and long coats are the most prone to hot spots. Some dogs may have a hot spot after swimming or bathing. Wet coats can irritate the dogs, and they might start scratching or licking the moist part which can further change into some sort of infection or a hot spot.
Mostly, ear infections are developed in those dogs who already have allergies (especially food or flea allergies). Dogs might also develop ear infections if they do not have an allergy. This infection causes ear itches, and the dog might scratch the skin over the canal. This will result in skin breaks and a lot of bacteria on it can cause a hot spot.
Symptoms of Hot Spots in Dogs
Hot spots usually start small, which means it can be difficult for the owners to spot the sore part especially if it is underneath your dog’s fur and the fur is also thick. Some of the most common symptoms that will help you to find hot spots are listed below.
- Skin redness
- Hair loss
- Excessive licking or chewing of the skin
- Unpleasant odor
- Broken skin
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Home Remedy to Treat Dog’s Hot Spots
There are some situations where you can’t take your dog to the vet right away. At that time, there are a few things that you can do to help in healing hot spots at home. The following are some steps of a home remedy to treat your dog’s hot spots.
Trim Your Dog’s Hair
Clip the hair around and above the infected area (hot spot) to stop it from converting into a wound or making the infection worse. For this purpose, you can use clippers or scissors. Take a clipper and clip at least a few centimeters all around the wound. Don’t be rough as it will cause major difficulties to heal the skin.
Remove the Pus Completely from the Wound
Take cotton and dampen it with warm water. Then gently wipe or dab to remove all the pus from the wound. Removing the overall pus is a major step before cleaning as it will avoid infections. Then clean the wound with another piece of damp cotton to make sure that all the pus is removed.
Disinfect the Wound
After removing the pus from the skin, the wound still looks badly infected. Clean or disinfect the wound using sterile saline. It can easily be available at any drugstore. Always use sterile saline at light to medium pressure which is between 4 and 15 pounds per square inch, to soak the wound.
Bathe Your Dog
There are chances that your dog starts scratching. This will result in developing hot spots in other areas within the next few days. So, to overcome this bath your dog to clean off some of the loose bacteria and allergens. Use medication or any dog shampoo while bathing your dog.
Use Antibiotic Cream or Ophthalmic Solution
To control local infection and to stop itching it is useful to use an effective antibiotic cream. Neosporin is an effective and safe ointment to use on dogs. But there is a high chance that your dog will lick it off. So, it is better to use an ophthalmic solution that has the same products as an antibiotic. Because the solution is a liquid, it will soak into the skin quickly and there is nothing for the dog to lick it off.
Use an Elizabethan Collar
An Elizabethan collar is a useful tool to keep your dog to avoid chewing or licking its irritated skin. It is useful to prevent dogs from causing self-trauma and making the infection worse. But if the hot spot is on the neck, then avoid the collars as it can worsen the infection.
Other Home Treatments for Hot Spots
There are also some other home remedies or treatments which are useful in dealing with hot spots.
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Coconut Oil
- Oatmeal Bath
- Black Tea
- Diluted Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Corn Starch
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