Hotspots and rashes in dogs usually start with hives or a red, moist, hairless area that your dog will not leave alone. Hotspots commonly start around the tail head or around the ears. As your dog continues to itch it, it will rapidly get bigger and grosser looking. It is not uncommon to see “hotspots” double and triple in size in just a few days. You can tell the difference between a hotspot and a cut, sore, or ringworm because a hotspot is very itchy and very wet, painful, and crusty.
Labs, Rottweilers, pit bulls, cockers, German Shepherds, Goldens, poodles, Maltese, Shih Tzu, and other allergic breeds of dogs can develop a pretty big sore in no time. It may start with some pretty intense itching at the tail head for a day or two and result in a big raw spot that is wet, slimy, and bloody.
The most common cause of hotspots are fleas or allergies. Fleas love to hide out where the tail joins the body. A few bites will cause hives which will start to itch. Our dogs will chew at the itchy skin so much that they will cause a bigger problem. The little rash turns into a great big rash with their help. Once the protective layer of dead skin (epidermis) is removed, bacteria can move in and make matters even worse. Staphylococcus will happily colonize the warm, wet, nutrient filled rashy area and secrete toxins that will kill skin cells, inflame the wound even more, and cause more itching and pain.
What should you do? First exercise extreme caution and get help when handling or touching a painful hotspot. Even the nicest dog may snap if you touch their painful butt. You may want to start with an aspirin or two depending on the weight of the dog.(check my free home remedy download.) Give that an hour then follow up with some over the counter cortisone ointment on the wound. Check real closely for fleas around the butt, neck, and on the belly. If the area isn’t too painful, a nice warm bath with a mild shampoo helps wash the goo and infection away, followed by applying cortisone ointment and Neosporin to the area to help with pain, inflammation, and infection. You can also use antihistamines for the pain and itch( Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra…check my free home remedy download on this website for treatments of common ailments, and dosages of over the counter medicine. I recently had a client start using Allegra for their itchy dog. I don’t have that one listed. The pills come in 60mg and 180mg sizes. The dosage is 1-2 mg per pound every 24 hours. For a ten pounder that means 10-20 mg, a twenty pounder needs 20-40 mg for relief, a thirty pounder needs 30-60 mg to feel better and so on.) Make sure to use a cone or other preventative so your dog can’t reach the tender area to chew or scratch it. Cones are sold at most pet stores. If you see fleas, you can bathe to get rid of the bulk of them, then use topical or oral monthly flea control for a few months to help control their numbers. Oatmeal shampoo once or twice weekly is helpful to soothe the area once pain and infection is under control.
Your dog needs an accurate diagnosis and treatment if it hurts, is sick, or is real painful. Take them to the vet or emergency if they are suffering. A severe abscess or skin infection can be life threatening if it gets out of hand. If the hotspot and symptoms are mild, then following my suggestions can help with the itching and pain until you can decide whether or not your dog needs expert treatment.
The other things that cause hotspots are breathing in or coming into contact with pollens, molds, grasses and FOOD ALLERGENS. The reason I wrote Dog Dish Diet is because of the success I have had when I teach people how to FEED THEIR PET TO AVOID THE VET. Feeding the right commercial food, treats, and human food makes a big difference. You can help treat and prevent these nasty hotspots and chronic ear infection by feeding the right mix of ingredients. When you order Dog Dish Diet from this website, you also get a free eBook that explains how to crock pot your own dog food. Do you want to know all of the ingredients in your dog’s food? Want to try an easy food trial to see if your dog feels better in sixty days? Want to try and see if you can decrease or eliminate using prednisone or atopica? Want to possibly reduce the amount of flea control your dog needs?Order Dog Dish Diet and your free eBook today!
Greg Martinez DVM wrote Dog Dish Diet; a book to help you “feed your pet to avoid the vet”. Your dog may have chronic skin and ear problems due to the food and treats you give them. Most vets are not taught to consider the effects of commercial diets in disease. Raw and holistic pet foods are often healthier, but costlier. In my book, I show you how to feed the right mix of commercial pet food and people food for a healthier pet.