Although hot spots can occur at any time of year, the summer seems to bring on more occurrences between allergies, bug bites and swimming.
They’re painful, itchy, red, inflamed and seemingly pop up overnight. Hot spots come on quick and can be very painful and irritating to your pet, which leads to incessant licking on their part, making matters worse. And since they are a recurrent condition, once your dog gets one they are likely to continue to develop over time. The key is to recognize them and act quickly to dry the area, kill bacteria and heal the skin. Here’s how.
Stop the Itch
As with any condition, the earlier it is caught, the better. So if you notice your dog excessively licking, scratching or biting at an area of their body investigate it right away.
Nature’s Aid all natural skin gel for pets can be applied topically to reduce itchiness, pain and inflammation as well as help clean the area due to its antibacterial properties. Simply massage a dime or nickel-sized amount over the hot spot and let it absorb into the skin.
However, you are not in the clear just because the itch factor has been taken out of the equation, your dog is still likely to lick the area because something was applied there and they will want to investigate it. You could use a cone to prevent them from further licking and biting at the area or you could distract them with a walk, a chew or a game of fetch.
Remember to keep applying the gel several times a day over the next few days to a week to allow the hot spot to properly heal while keeping your pet comfortable and pain-free.
Cleanse the Skin
In addition to an anti-itch gel, treat your dog to a full body cleanse to relieve any underlying skin conditions and thoroughly clean out the hot spot. You want a shampoo that has both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties but is still nourishing to the skin. Our all natural pet shampoo and conditioner have these qualities and more. And as much as you want to dry out the hot spot, you do not want to dry out their skin as a whole as that will lead to increased itching and the possibility of developing more hot spots. Using both a shampoo and conditioner will leave your pet’s coat and skin clean, hydrated and healthy.
After the bath, dry your dog off completely, trim the fur around the hot spot and re-apply the anti-itch gel. Then let the wound breathe, dry and heal.
Preventing Future Hot Spots
Although hot spots are a recurring condition there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of repeat occurrences:
- Groom your dog on a regular basis
- Always thoroughly dry them off after swimming, a bath or being out in the rain
- Keep up-to-date on flea and tick medications as flea bites can be associated with hot spots
- Treat any skin conditions or sores immediately
- And keep hot spot treatments in your pet’s first aid kit so that you are always prepared to begin treatment ASAP
If you notice any abnormalities in your pet’s skin, if there is no improvement after a day or two or if your pet seems in distress take them to the vet for immediate care. Otherwise at home, natural treatments should clear up the hot spot in a few days to a week.