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Summer Hot Spots

Nope, I’m not talking about Jack’s Grill, the Sundial Bridge, or Turtle Bay. I’m referring to a canine skin condition called moist dermatitis, weeping mange, moist eczema, or hot spots, which most commonly occur in hot, humid climates. Hot spots are characterized by a yellowish center, surrounded by a ring of red, “angry looking” irritated skin, hot to the touch. The lesions are very painful, accompanied by intense itching and hair loss. They exude moisture and spread rapidly. What starts as a pinpoint size lesion can quickly grow to the size of a grapefruit within hours. The more your best friend scratches, digs and chews at this lesion, the faster it spreads. He may not be able to tell you, but your little hot shot has hot spots.

What causes hot spots, you ask? Well, as your beloved pal prances and tap dances through the warm days of summer, his feet are coming in contact with fungus and bacteria found in the soil. One little itch caused by a flea bit, ear problems, impacted anal sacs, or any minor skin irritation and the scratching begins. Here we go - the perfect host for a hot spot. Early treatment is very very important. Now would be a good time to share some of my hot spot remedies, right? Well, here we go….

To treat hot spots, first start by carefully clipping or shaving the hair around the lesion. Next, gently cleanse with any good anti-bacterial soap and rinse well.

Following is a list of remedies to try that you just might have on hand -

  • Betadine Solution: diluted, use as a cleanser 2-3x daily

  • Alovera Gel: relieves pain, moistens skin, and kills bacteria

  • Castile Soap: cleanse areas 2-3x daily

  • Murphy’s Oil Soap: works as an antiseptic and kills bacteria

  • Nestea (unsweetened): mix, cool, and use as a cleanser

  • Dove Unscented Soap: use as a cleanser

  • Black or Green Tea: brew strong, cool and apply

Found at most feed stores, my favorite remedies are-

  • Pierce’s All Purpose Nu Stock cream

  • Nitrofuroz Powder: great for moist lesions

  • Nitrofurazone Ointment: for dry lesions

  • Allercaine Spray: relieves pain and itching

  • Sulfadene Skin Medication is excellent!

  • Happy Jack Kennel Dip II: use as directed

Remember, rule of thumb: If a lesion is dry, use an ointment or spray to moisten. If a lesion is moist, use a drying powder or agent. Recovery can be slow due to licking, chewing, or biting at the itchy lesion. An Elizabethan collar or “cone” worn for a few days will expedite healing. To prevent hot spots, shearing your pal in late spring, weather permitting, or early summer will help. Brushing, combing, bathing and regular flea treatments are the best preventative, and will aide in early detection. If lesions do not respond quickly to your choice of home remedies, or if spreading continues, please see your vet as soon as possible to prevent a secondary infection. Have a wonderful, no hot spot summer! Questions or comments?

Chic Miller Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary 4301 Lower Gas Point Road

Cottonwood, CA 96022 530-347-0544

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