Summer and warm weather arrives and everything is coming up roses, right? Oh yeah, except for that problem that bothers your dog more in summer because it is hot and HUMID. Yeah, those circular shaped sores, often called moist dermatitis by your vet, that seemingly crop up out of nowhere.
That’s when you need to resort to a natural hot spot treatment for dogs.
Whether you call it acute moist dermatitis or superficial canine pyoderma, hot spot or hotspots, it all amounts to the same thing… a sudden onset of a skin infection, generally caused by the bacteria that is normally on the skin getting into a scratch, cut or bug bite during humid weather.
It is usually a roughly round shape, red, painful, and itchy. Though any dog can have one, it is more common on dogs that have underlying allergies.
There are several home remedies for hot spots, but here’s a natural way to treat hotspots that is simple and cost effective.
Natural Hot Spot Treatment for Dogs
Outline for Treating Hot Spot
So to summarize from the video, the process is pretty simple.
- First clip and clean the area.
- Then use antiseptic on the hotspot,
- and lastly, use a topical treatment.
You might need to add a step if the area on your dog is too sore and your pup won’t let you even touch the area. In that case, the dog may need some pain relief first, and a little time for the medicine to start working.
According to Dr. Andrew Jones (in the video), you can use baby aspirin for pain relief.
He notes that the usual standard dosage for dogs is 325 mg of aspirin per 40 pounds of body weight, which is one adult aspirin (NOT extra strength).
A baby aspirin contains 81 milligrams of aspirin which makes it about a quarter of the 325-milligram dose in an adult aspirin pill.
That makes it easier to break down, allowing one 81 milligram baby aspirin per 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight.
If you have trouble getting pills down your dog, and none of the usual tricks work (like putting pills in bread or peanut butter), there are also pill pockets available for purchase, or even dog aspirin that is chewable and often beef flavored. Of course, the latter two options are more expensive than using baby aspirin by itself, but you can decide what is the best method for your dog.
Preparing to Treat the Dog’s Hotspots
While you are waiting for the aspirin to help the dog’s pain, you could be making the antiseptic out of black tea. All you need is one bag of black tea and a cup of hot water.
Now I add another step not seen in the video. This black tea is used plain as an antiseptic in the first step of the process, then later aspirin is added to the tea to make a topical treatment.
Well, the aspirin dissolves better in the tea when it is hot, and since you don’t want to put hot tea on your already suffering dog (!), I divide the tea while it is hot. I leave about 1/4 plain to use to wash the area, then add the aspirin to the remaining tea (325 milligrams of aspirin (1 adult pill), or 4 of the 81 mg baby aspirin).
That way the tea has time to cool down so you can use it, but hasn’t gotten so cold it’s harder to dissolve the aspirin in it.
Remember, don’t put the tea on the dog while it’s still hot! (Kind of like checking a baby bottle, test a little of the mixture on your wrist to see if it has cooled down enough.)
Once the dog has pain relief, you’ve got your tea treatments made, and other materials gathered (clippers and gauze or other material to swab the area), it’s time to start the dog’s treatment.
Treating the Dog’s Hotspot
1. Clip the hair. Use clippers to clear hair away from the hot spot. If you don’t have clippers, use a pair of scissors to cut the hair as close as you can without nicking the dog’s skin. For myself, I find scissors don’t work as well because you can’t easily get as close to the skin, but sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got! (Though having a pair of dog clippers on hand is helpful now and then!)
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Make sure the hot spot is entirely exposed, with a border of clear skin so you’re sure you have the entire area exposed to air.
2. Cleanse the area. Next use a piece of gauze or something similar to soak up some tea and wipe the area clean. You can also use Chlorhexadene if you have some, and some people even use a little bit of dish soap in water.
The big thing is after you use the antiseptic, cleanse it off with water.
3. Topical Treatment. In most cases a hotspot is primarily a bacterial infection caused by moisture creating the right conditions for the bacteria to grow.
Because of that, it is important to let the area dry out since it’s the moisture that allows the bacteria to grow and keep the infection going (which is why it’s called acute “moist* dermatitis).
So although it’s a bacterial infection and you could use a topical antibiotic like Polysporin if you want, a simple topical treatment made of tea and aspirin mixture works well.
The black tea is an astringent to help dry up any excess moisture on the skin, with the additional 325mg of aspirin, or 4 of the 81mg baby aspirin in the tea.
All you need to do is dissolve the aspirin the black tea. It helps if the tea is warm.
When the tea-aspirin mixture is not in use, it can be kept in the fridge and then let it warm to room temperature before using it. (Instead of taking out the entire solution every time to warm it up, I just pour out enough to use for the one time. When I use a dose, I put another one out on the counter to be ready for the next round.)
Use it 4 or 5 times a day to dry out the hot spot. Just swab it on the spot and leave it.
Somewhere between 5-7 days the hot spot should heal up completely.
And that pretty well sums up this natural hot spot treatment for dogs!