Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Curing Hot Spots in Dogs

Doing Battle with Hot Spots
Seven Helpful Tips 

Every Spring as the pollen starts to emerge, my dogs come down with a skin irritation known as the dreaded Hot Spot!

This is a week old spot on Daisy
I have tried about every medicine from my vet, as well as, many homeopathic remedies. All I can say is that experience is the best teacher and what may work for me may not work for you. But If you are like me then battling this monster especially in a multi-dog house can drive you to try anything!

Hot Spot First Aid Station!
Tip Number 1: Checkout your dog's coat at least once a week especially during high allergy seasons.  Look for wetmarks on the coat from licking. This is a tell tale sign that something might be brewing under the fur. If you can catch it early then that is often half the battle. Very Important! When Daisy got her first hot spot, I let one of my older dogs who must have thought he was a Dr. in a past life lick the wound.  I thought how sweet it was that  he was tending to her. Wrong! No Licking from any source is a must!  Think dry wound!!!

Tip Number 2: As soon as you detect it, cut away the fur so that you have at least a 1 inch margin around the area.  I know you might be reluctant to do this at first because it will be ugly and it will take time for the hair to grow back. But trust me in the long run, it will be worth it to have done it so you can quit worrying over this spot.  The alternative might be to become like the character in Macbeth shouting "OUT DAMN SPOT!"  I have tried that too ...no luck haha.
Blue scissors for Pets, Black scissors from Sally's
There are three ways that you can remove hair. You can use an electric razor that you have bought for this purpose. Get a good one designed for animals if you can.  I bought a human one at the drugstore and it did not work.  The hair is often crusty and gooey and it ruined it on the first attempt...colossal fail! B. Go and have your vet shave off the hair. C. Buy a pair of hair trimming grooming scissors for dogs.  My dogs are afraid of the razor sound, but the trimming scissors do a nice job if you take your time. You have to be very careful not to cut them and make matters worse, but that goes without saying.

Magic Powder 
Tip Number 3: Clean the wound.  I have tried all kinds of things from Betadine to Betadine scrub to Hydrogine Peroxide. You will probably need to do this more than once a day if your dog can reach it to lick it. I also use a first aide powder because it seems to dry things out.
Love the spray!
I also like a cream like Panalog if things seem to be going south quickly.

Tip 5: Call your vet if it seems to be growing in size or does not improve.  He or she will probably prescribe an  oral antibiotic and in some cases an oral steroid like Prednisone.

Tip 6: Keep at it everyday! You might be tempted to let a few days lapse an let nature try to heal it.  Maybe? but it has never worked for me.

Think "ANTI" in your approach to healing. The big 3 are: antibiotic, anti inflammatory, antiseptic. You can also throw in antiitch too.

Hot Spot almost healed!
In closing, keep it dry, but not itchy, control infection, and be patient and vigilant.  This too will pass and hopefully you will only have one.

In my next post, I will discuss some natural remedies that I like and have found effective.

Disclaimer:  Call your Vet first, I am not a Vet, nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn last night. This should not be used as a substitute for seeking medical attention for your pet.
Thanks for checking in!