Hot spots, also known as Summer Sores or Moist Eczema, can make a dog and its owner miserable. The wet, skin lesions appear and grow larger by the hour.
Dogs most susceptible to hot spots are those with heavy coats and histories of allergies, ear infections, flea infestations, irritated anal sacs, matted hair and tangles, but any dog can be afflicted.
Most dogs that suffer from hot spots usually have allergies or have been bitten by insects, such as ticks, mosquitoes, and especially fleas.
The most common locations for hot spots are the legs and feet, flanks, and rum, but these localized infections can also appear on ears, neck, and chest.
To help prevent these infections:
Keep dogs free of fleas.
Comb often to keep hair loose and tangle free.
Rinse out all shampoo after bathing. Dried shampoo residue can cause itching and irritation.
Sometimes adding an Omega Fatty Acid supplement to the dog's diet can help with many dermatological problems.
If a hot spot has started:
Hot spots require immediate veterinary attention as they can double their size overnight and make pets miserable. They require professional treatment of hair clipping or shaving, cleansing, cortisone and antibiotics.
To keep hotspots more bearable before getting to a vet here are some tips that dog owners have found helpful:
First wash the area in a mild water-based astringent or antiseptic and dry.
Apply a very warm compress with a wash cloth with as hot of water as can be used without burning.
Apply regular Listerine with a clean cotton ball.
Gold bond powder. Shake into hand and then apply to itchy spot. Works immediately.
Soak hot spot with Epsom or sea salt solution.
Dry and dust with corn starch if irritated.
Aloe Vera gel, freshly squeezed from the plant, helps to calm and heal.
Saturate a cotton ball with witch hazel and apply on hot spots.
Apply a mixture of baking soda and water to the affected areas
In severe cases, a veterinarian may suggest the use of an Elizabethan collar to prevent the dog from scratching and give the spot a chance to heal.
Author: Marilyn Pokorney, Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment. Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.