Hot Spots on Dogs are Due to a Bacterial Overgrowth, but why is the Question…
A dog hot spot is when the dogs own skin bacteria overpopulates a certain area. This suggests that the immune defences are down, and something is happening to deplete the bodies resources that would normally keep this in check. The most common reasons are a food sensitivity, periodontal disease and underlying illness.
The solution to hot spots on dogs is threefold: Firstly, the hot spot needs to be treated. Secondly, the immune system needs to be supported and boosted back to full capacity. While the treatments are being applied you are going to find out what caused this condition in the first place so that it doesn’t happen again.
I’m Dr Conor Brady, a canine nutritionist that sees a lot of skin issues. Here’s what to do re your dog issue. How do I benefit? For the most part, articles like this get folk on to my site and it gets me some attention. If you need specialised help you can book me for a consultation. If I link to a product that is important for his recovery, I will track the link and get a tiny bit of that sale.
Treating Hot Spots on Dogs
1. Disinfect The Wound
We recommend clipping the hair away from the wound all the way to the good skin. Wash the raw wound in a natural antiseptic, such as colloidal silver (Sovereign Silver is a very popular brand, check out the reviews on Amazon).
Or, you can use a little diluted iodine. This can then be washed away with some green tea (a teabag in a cup of warm water is fine), which too is great for skin. If the wound is constantly oozing then you may need to be constantly disinfecting it, as much as every 2-4 hours.
2. Treat The Damaged Skin
Next, either apply some raw aloe vera (unbelievably effective for wounds and burns, pick up a real plant, cut a stem and squeeze the goo right on there, no need for products here) or a thin layer of manuka honey (careful here, a lot of fakes on the market, go by the reviews, here’s the best praised Manuka on Amazon), on to the wound. Both are anti-bacterial but also excellent skin healers (though aloe mightn’t be as tasty!).
Take note, it may be necessary to stop the dog from licking the hot spot if it’s on their foot (put a sock on it and tape it on) or with a lampshade collar should the hotspot be on their chin or side. Don’t worry, it’s only for a couple of days while the hot spot dries up and the issue with the diet is taken care of. The licking is more habitual than anything, so don’t worry.
3. Boost The Lowered Immune System and Gut Flora
Now the immune reserves need to be back to fighting fit. To do this add some natural immune boosting substances to the dog’s diet, such as a nice natural multivitamin like kelp, brewers yeast or spirulina, and a good oil, such as, cod liver oil or even vitamin E from a natural health shop (dose according to body size as per human guidelines).
An out of kilter biome can result in all sorts of issues. Studies show the skin and likely gut microbiota play a colossal role in numerous skin conditions, with each year proving more and more links. Thus a little boost to the biome is a good idea at this point. Pick up some probiotics that are specifically made for dogs (find here on Amazon) as their flora is different to us omnivores.
Also, please know those dirty teeth are a constant drain on immune resources. Work on getting them nice and clean using raw meaty bones.
Now it’s patched up you Need to Remove the Most Common Cause of Hot Spots on Dogs…
The number one cause for hot spots on dogs is food sensitivity, with the number one food item to cause hot spots in dogs being wheat gluten. By removing wheat-based foodstuffs from the dog’s diet the issue of hot spots can usually be cleared up. So no more dry food, dental sticks, bread, pasta or cereal-based dog treats – not a crumb. This is not the only food that can cause this problem to arise, however. For more please check out the most popular article on our site Allergies in Dogs, this will explain to you the cause of and solution to your dog’s recurring skin issues.
Not All Hot Spots on Dogs are Hot Spots…
Not all hot spots are created by food, some are emotional / stress related so make sure to have a good think over what’s changed in the last few days. Others can indicate pain or discomfort somewhere else in the body, somewhere is accessible that they can’t lick so they lick their paws as they’re accessible. One poster on Facebook mentioned that, unbeknownst to the author, her dog had Cushing’s and had licked herself raw in one spot (something like a hotspot) until she was diagnosed and treated. If you can’t cure it quickly and easily yourself then please take them to the vet. We don’t want them suffering.
More on itchy skin conditions in dogs here.