Thursday, September 26, 2013

Natural Home Remedies For Hot Spots

by Dr. Greg Magnusson, DVM

Dermatitis caused by plastic water bowl

Epsom Salts

The healing properties of Epsom Salt have been known for generations. Gentle soaking of just about any infected area of skin with Epsom Salts – including feet, feline acne, hot spots and more, once or twice daily, discourages infection, reduces swelling, and promotes healing.

Epsom Salts are available OTC at any human pharmacy. To apply use a folded cloth applied gently to the affected area, or if the hot spots are under the feet, soak feet in a saturated solution, meaning add as much of the epsom salts to a warm-hot bowl of water until no more will dissolve, then soak for 5-10 minutes. DO NOT LET YOUR DOG DRINK THE WATER.

Add oil to your dog’s diet

Treat dry flaky skin by feeding oil. A simple way to treat dry skin and dandruff is to add a complete oil to your pet’s diet. Corn, safflower, peanut, and sunflower are examples of oils that contain all the essential fatty acids.

Dogs can be given one to three teaspoons with each meal, depending on size. But remember that more is not better since oils are quite fattening, and some dogs can develop pancreatitis if fed too much fat.

Here is more information on choosing which Omega-3 or Omega-6 oil might be best for your dog.

Severe case of active moist eczema on a Golden Retriever. Photo petMD

Oatmeal bath soaks

Soothe itchy skin with an oatmeal soak. A mixture of oatmeal and water can be rubbed onto the dog’s skin to help relieve dryness and soothe itchiness. The oatmeal should be left on the skin for approximately ten minutes and then rinsed off with warm water. Baby food oatmeal makes a great, inexpensive soak, and commercial human infant soaks are available if you want to soak your whole pet.

Corn Starch

Dry moist wounds with corn starch. From a client: “I have found that washing the area with a lightly salted water, thoroughly drying, then applying cornflour (cornstartch) cleared up my dogs rash within days, he had been constantly scratching even after he had been flea and worm treatments, his skin was not broken. I found this very effective from early detection.”

Wipe the allergens right off!

Wipe allergens off your itchy dog. The simple act of wiping the dog or cat down with a wet towel when they come in from outside can really help decrease percutaneous absorption of allergens.

The real answer to hot spots is to follow your veterinarian’s advice.

How do veterinarians treat hot spots?

Veterinarians generally treat hot spots by:

  1. Clipping all the fur off the hot spot, continuing sideways until you can see normal skin on all sides
  2. Prescribing an oral antibiotic that is appropriate for whatever kind of infection your vet thinks your pet has
  3. Prescribing appropriate topical cortisone and/or antibiotic / antifungal therapy
  4. Prescribing anti-inflammatories and/or antihistamines, either by injection or oral prescriptions, appropriate for your pet.

As satisfying as treating hot spots feline acne puppy acne and other skin conditions at home can be, your veterinarian should remain the final word on proper treatment of your pet.

Reprinted with permission from Leo's Pet Care, 10598 N College Ave # 200, Indianapolis, IN 46280 | |

Greg Magnusson, DVM describes himself as Leo's daddy. Public educator, mender of wounded bodies, healer of troubled souls, veterinarian in Indianapolis at Leo's Pet Care - out to change the world for one little boy...
Contact Dr. Magnusson via his Leo's Pet Care Facebook Fan Page or @IndianapolisVet on twitter.

Articles by Dr. Magnusson:
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What Causes Bladder Infections in Dogs?
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Why Does My Vet Want To Xray My Dog?  

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