20 September, 2016
Most dog owners know how painful hot spots can be for dogs. For the lucky or uninitiated, hot spots are areas of the dog’s skin that become irritated and inflamed and are very uncomfortable for our pups. These spots are usually a circular shape and are accompanied by hair loss, inflammation and sometimes a discharge of pus. Hot spots are a form of dermatitis and may result from allergy, flea infestation, behavioral problems or other causes.
It is important to treat hot spots right away to prevent spreading. Below are some steps of what to do once a hot spot appears:
- Trim your dog’s hair carefully from around the hot spot so the area will be easier to keep clean. Clean the area with a mild antiseptic and dab the area with cotton balls.
- Apply a cool compress to the hot spot for five minutes three to four times a day to soothe your dog’s sore skin.
- Soothe sore hot spots with a dab of Vitamin E oil. Vitamin E oil is well known for its healing effects and dogs can also benefit from the oil. Dab Vitamin E oil on the affected area two to three times a day to help loosen the crusty areas that have formed and aid healing.
- Dab the affected area with a cotton ball that has been soaked in tea that has cooled. Tea contains tannic acid which aids the healing process Repeat the process three to four times daily.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian if the hot spots don’t go away immediately.
The following tips can help prevent hot spots:
- Make sure your dog is groomed on a regular basis and your dog’s hair is clipped short, especially during warmer months.
- Feed your dog a healthy, fat-enriched diet. If your dog suffers from recurring skin conditions or has dull, thin fur, a change in his or her diet may be needed.
- Give your dog a daily vitamin supplement that contains fatty acids known as Omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids will speed healing, promote healthy skin and fur, and prevent further break outs of hot spots or other skin irritation. Oils high in Omega-3s include fish oils, krill oil and flaxseed oil.
- Coconut Oil has antifungal properties and can be useful both topically and internally… and it contains medium chain triglicerides that complement the Omega-3 oils. Alternating different types of oils is a good way to include coconut oil in your dog’s diet, feeding coconut oil one day and Omega-3 oils the next.
- One way to relieve allergies naturally is to feed a diet rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants come in many forms and from the following foods: berries, green leafy vegetables, apples, chlorella, spirulina, olive leaf, kelp, raw meat and organic organ meats (particularly liver).
- If your dog requires an extra boost, the use of high doses of vitamin C can help animals with suppressed immune function. Vitamin C should be started with a low dose given in the food about a quarter to one teaspoon depending on the size of your dog.
Don’t expect a hot spot to go away overnight. It will take a little time for the skin to heal and the fur to grow back. Check the spots daily to see if the area is healing. If the hot spot appears to get worse, consult your veterinarian immediately.
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