Topical Hot Spot Treatments
: Calendula can be used to treat hot spots caused by various types of skin irritations. It comes in many forms: cream, salve, oil and lotion, teas and tinctures.
This well-known herb can reduce itching and inflammation and promote quick healing of skin tissue. And the best part is, it’s is extremely effective for calming the itch.
You can buy calendula products at any health food store. It’s safe for your dog to ingest if he licks it too. For hot spots, you’ll want to avoid tinctures made with alcohol as they can sting or irritate the area.
Apply calendula liberally on the affected area and repeat as often as needed. You can also try this recipe.
Calendula Lotion Recipe For Hot Spots
What you need:
1/4 tsp table salt
1 cup of filtered water
20-40 drops of calendula tincture
Mix together the salt and the water. Add the calendula tincture.
Use a clean cotton ball to sponge the lotion onto the hot spot 2-4 times a day.
: Hypericum is also a great option for treating hot spots. Also known as St John’s Wort, this herb is useful when combined with calendula to reduce pain and inflammation, and to promote healing.
Hypericum and calendula tincture diluted in water (HyperCal) is an effective and relieving antibacterial wash for hotspots.
You can buy hypericum and calendula tinctures on Amazon or at your local health food store. Then put 12 to 15 drops of each in 1 cup of warm water.
Use the water as often as necessary to relieve the itching and keep the hotspot clean. Don’t forget to dry the area with a clean cloth when you’re done.
You can also buy HyperCal already made – just ask for it at your health food store and they’ll know what it is.
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3. Coconut 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.
If your dog has a tendency towards yeast infections, adding coconut oil can be helpful.
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.
You can give your dog 1 teaspoon (5ml) of coconut oil per 10 pounds of bodyweight, or 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds (13.6 kg) of bodyweight. But ease into it gradually, starting with about a quarter of this amount, then build up slowly.
Topical Hot Spot Cream Recipe
: You can make a topical cream with coconut oil and oil of oregano to fight the bacterial infection and calm and soothe the irritated skin.
All you need is coconut oil and oil of oregano.
To make it, blend together 5 drops of oil of oregano with 5 tsp of coconut oil. Apply it to the hot spot once a day.
4. Black Tea
: Hot spots on dogs tend to be pretty moist, so use black tea to dry up a hot spot.
The tannins in black tea can help stop the infection and help it heal.
Steep a black tea bag in 8 ounces of water. Let it cool. Then you can use either the tea bag or a cotton ball to apply tea to the sore. Hold it to the hot spot for several minutes or longer if your dog doesn’t seem to mind it.
No matter what the cause, there’s always a homeopathic solution!
Remedies commonly used for hot spots include: Apis, Belladonna, Calendula, Aconite, Pulsatilla, Graphites, Mercurius, Rhus tox, Arsenicum, and even Bach Rescue Remedy. We’ll talk about this in a moment.
You can buy homeopathic remedies at apothecaries and most health food stores, and at many online suppliers like Amazon (just “Google” the name of the remedy you’re looking for).
Homeopathic remedies also come in different “potencies” and you’ll also need to know which one to ask for when you shop.
Hot spots are acute and fast acting, which means they respond well to dosing with a 30C or 200C potency.
Ask for either of these potencies when you buy or order your remedies. One exception to this advice on potency is that if your dog is extremely distressed or uncomfortable, you can use a 1M potency.
Which Remedy Should Your Dog Get?
Homeopathic veterinarians prescribe remedies based on the physical and mental state of the dog and the remedy will vary according to your dog’s overall symptoms.
Hot spots appear quickly and have very specific symptoms, so this makes choosing the right remedy fairly easy. Here are the major guidelines to help you choose the right remedy:
Apis (Apis mellifica)
: Apis is often the most useful remedy to use for the early stages of hot spots due to their angry, itchy and violent onset (Apis comes from a honey bee so think of a bee sting). The Apis patient is often thirstless.
Hot spots that require Belladonna will appear and grow almost instantly and the skin will be bright red, hot and relatively dry. The dog will appear restless and irritated and will move away from heat. The Belladonna patient will usually seek water.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis):
Often, homeopathic calendula (not the herbal calendula recommended in the topical treatment) is useful for the healing stages of a hot spot.
Aconite (Aconitum napellus):
can be used for animals displaying a lot of anxiety and restlessness during the development of hot spots.
Graphites is an excellent skin remedy and will be necessary if there is a sticky discharge that appears like honey. These dogs can tend toward excess weight and the itch and discharge will be worse with warmth. The surrounding skin and coat may feel greasy and the hot spot will have a cracked appearance.
These hot spots will also have a yellow or even greenish discharge with a yellow scab. There may also be hair loss and bleeding around the lesion. These dogs will also want to move away from heat.
Rhus tox (Rhus toxicodendron):
Like a rash from poison ivy, the hot spot that requires Rhus tox will be red and very itchy with a pimpled rash-like appearance. There will be swelling and the hot spot will be hardened. These dogs prefer warmth and will feel better when out moving and walking.
For Chronic Hot Spots
If your dog suffers from chronic, recurring hot spots, especially if these seem to be due to mental or emotional causes, it’s best to consult your homeopathic vet, who may recommend other remedies.
Some commonly used ones are Pulsatilla, Graphites and Arsenicum album.
Countless other homeopathic skin remedies may be used for more chronic cases where hot spots recur and the mental or emotional picture is appropriate.
Bach Rescue Remedy can be useful on a daily basis in cases where there is prolonged household or environmental stress or where life or family changes are affecting your pet.
You can put a few drops in your dog’s water bowl, even if there are other dogs in your household (it won’t affect them if they don’t need it).
: In addition to these hot spot solutions, make sure your dog has lots of mental and physical stimulation based on his breed, age and health. Groom your dog often and eliminate the possibility of fleas. Provide fresh, spring water (with no fluoride or chlorine).
Again, remember that natural remedies like the ones recommended here are much safer and more effective for your dog than conventional medicines.
These natural solutions can help solve the issue that’s causing your dog’s hot spots, whereas most conventional “anti” medicines (such as antibiotics) just suppress the hot spot temporarily, and you’ll see it return later.