Dog Hot Spot Recipe

axelsroseJune 26, 2010

I have 11 dogs and used to work for my Vet. This is a home-made hot spot spray that really works. Make in what ever quantity you need, it keeps for months.

1 part water

1 part baby oil (unscented if possible)

1 part plain old Listerine

Mix and put in spray bottle. Spray affected area 2-4 times a day. Use until hot spot is healed. This can be used on fresh or old hot spots, as long as they are not infected or have not become maggot infested. If your dog is outside and has hot spots, please check them every day. Maggots can quickly infest these wounds and become a real problem. When I was at the clinic we would see several dogs each summer with maggots in their hot spots. One Newfoundland was bad enough that it was euthanized. The Listerine works to prevent infection and the flies don't like the smell of it. The baby oil holds the mix to the skin and prevents the skin from drying out and pulling ( think road rash or carpet burn- how they pull and hurt when they dry out) and the water mellows the Listerine so it doesn't burn so bad. I have never found anything that works as well as this mix. There should be marked improvement within a day or two, but continue to apply until scab is loose, so no flies get to the wound. Hope this helps!



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Susan thanks. I hope I never let my dogs get to that point, but its a good post.

I would never let a hotspot get to the point of having maggots.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 1:12AM
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Great post Susan. I'm still amazed how stupid some people can be to let their pets suffer. Sad to say but the dog is no longer suffering and away from the jerks that owned him and he's running free at the Rainbow Bridge.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 8:16AM
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Thanks for the info. Bo has licked a raw spot on the top of his foot. I asked vet if it was like a hot spot. She said it was a hot spot.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 12:13PM
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Augie (Aussie) and I just returned from our vet. Yesterday we were going for a run and DH smelled something awful. Pus-draining mess under Augie's collar about 8" long. Couldn't tell if the skin had been slashed and needed stitches. Emergency vet clinic was closed...(imagine that!)

So, I soaked washrags with water and wrapped them with an ace bandage until the crusties could be washed off with antibacterial soap. I could see the entire area was a "hot spot". Sprayed with EMT and dressed the area for the night so he couldn't scratch any further.

This entire mess began when he was shaved a week ago. No definite indication except he went from a 10" long haired Aussie to a buzz cut. Vet said collar and short hair bothered him or he got razor burn.

We feel awful but he never laid around in the evenings scratching and scratching. Spent every day outside with DH building a deck. Have the right meds now but I just know we are going to Animal Cop jail like those embeded coller idiots!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:59PM
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What is a hot spot?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 8:02PM
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Carmen read this article :>)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 8:04AM
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Thanks, Christine

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 8:36AM
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I didn't realize that a 'hot spot' was just a generic name for a sore the animal doesn't allow to heal. So, it isn't a specific skin disorder, am I right?

I have always used 'Bag Balm' for all kinds of injuries on cats and dogs (chickens too) and even on infants. My grandson had a rash on his face when an infant and nothing worked whether it was prescription or OTC. I used Bag Balm on him and in two days the rash was gone. My son-in-law went nuts when I suggested it since it is formulated for cow teets, but was a believer when it worked so quickly. We have had success with this for decades on all sorts of skin injuries.

Good product to have in your medicine cabinet!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:23PM
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Thanks Christine1950 for the link. It as really good info!

In "layman's terms" a hot spot is a reaction of the skin to irritation. It can happen any time of year, or from any kind if irritation.

bgaylene52 - My cocker gets them from being shaved too! Tell your groomer to sharpen her clippers and oil them! Dull clippers that are working hard to cut the hair will get hot and irritate the skin. Or find someone who will hand scissor your dog. It costs a little more but will end the problem.

My Bulldog mix gets them from spring pollen, usually chewing her feet. My Pitbull mix gets them from the grass all summer long, again chewing her feet and my Dalmation gets them from Wheat in anything she eats. If you find your dog chewing its feet, look between the toes and pads. They may have a hot spot there. I have also known of dogs that got them from a reaction to flea bites.

Hot spots can happen very quickly. If you find your dog has one and it is caused by fleas, it is best not to apply a topical flea killer, like Advantage or Frontline unless you have been instructed to do so by your Vet. It states clearly on the label not to use on broken skin. You will need to seek the advise of the Vet as the best product to use to kill the fleas with an open wound present.

Ok, back to the hot spot identification. Sorry I got off subject a moment. Hot spots are tricky. They can happen anywhere on the body, but the most common places are feet, back at the base of the tail and belly. BUT I have seen them on faces (other dogs licking an irritated spot), around the rectum, under armpits, under the tail, under collars and on the neck (not chewed on but scratched with toenails). So look them over carefully or watch and see what area they are working on. Dogs who have hot spots are often uncomfortable, panting and very distracted. They may be laying asleep and suddenly wake up to chew the area. Fleas also seem to like to frequent hot spots, maybe the skin is just softer there, who knows.

A hot spot will be red, inflamed, hot to the touch, often moist(from the chewing and the lymph leaking from the wound)and elevated. If you have ever had an allergic reaction and gotten hives, this is very similar to what hot spots look like. They can be the size of a pea or huge, covering the entire belly or back. At times it is difficult to see the skin, that is where observing your dog comes in. We had a German Shepherd come into the clinic with a huge hot spot, it's entire back end from rib cage to thighs were affected. The dog was white with a dense coat. You could see the red inflamation under the coat, but the maggots disappeared in the dogs white coat. But when you got him in a quite place, you could hear them. It was creepy. Please understand this was a severe case, but it does happen.

Be especially careful in hot, humid summers. A hot spot can appear in just hours. Flies are attracted to an open wound leaking lymph and in 24 hours their eggs can begin to hatch. PLEASE if you ever see maggots on your animals PLEASE PLEASE see the Vet. Maggots are nasty and will not just eat the damaged tissue. They can and will burrow into healthy tissue. Years and years ago, someone brought me a puppy that had been doused in soda. It had been dumped and was too young to be away from it's mother. In it's weakened state and with the soda, the maggots really worked him over. They had burrowed a hole next to the rectum. Luckly, they had not gotten through to the intestines and we were able to save him. It is very very difficult to remove maggots once they have entered the body cavity.

I hope this info helps. Thanks! Susan

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 5:39PM
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BTW.. my Mocha is prone to allergies, which is why I feel Cali Natural for the last 9 years. We've tried switching foods, but then the hotspots come back. We are resigned to having to feed him (and thus the others) better than ourselves! (Thank goodness we don't have kids to put through college!)

That said, in particular, in late June, Mocha ALWAYS gets a hotspot on his tail. The vet and we think it is likely an allergy to SOMETHING (god knows what) growing in our back yard - 1/2 acre. We don't know what, but sure enough, this month he is already licking at his tail and have found a hotspot (open sore) the size of a quarter.

It happens every year (We got him at 8 wks, he is 9 yrs old now). Sometimes it requires antibiotics to treat if we haven't caught it soon enough. The biggest clue is the "licking". It can progress within a few short days. Sometimes we catch it in time to treat with topical antibiotics and all turns out well after we get past June.

The treatment posted by the OP is something I definitely may try.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 2:08AM
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Our lab had a bad reaction to insect bites on her head and it was just getting worse. Took her to the vet and he shaved all the spots to let air get to the wounds. Also gave her a steroid shot and antibiotics. In just a couple of days, the wounds are drying up and she has stopped scratching.

As for the Listerine blend the vet said 'absolutely not'. The oil keeps the wounds from drying out and healing. Same goes for Bag Balm in the case of hot spots.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 12:59PM
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I switched to Inova dry dog food last year and this year tried an herbal tonic from "Animals' Apawthecary" called "Spring Tonic". Ingredients are: extract of Nettle Leaf, Licorice Root, Burdock Root and Eyebright Herb. Inactive ingredients: vegetable glycerin, distilled water and grain alcohol. 1oz.bottle costs $12.99, you give the dog 10-12 drops two or three times a day. I only give it twice and on a spoon of food (Inova wet).

For the first summer of this senior(rescue)dog's life since I've had her(9yrs), she is practically itch-free. And I had tried everything the vet had to offer until I worried she was getting too much that her liver was being damaged (she takes Sam-e and Milk Thistle for that now). It could be that the better food is finally kicking in or it is the tonic. Whatever, I'm staying the course as long as it makes her feel better.

As far as the groomer goes, yes - I always suspected the clippers may be one of the culprits! She would come back red and itchy. I read about it online somewhere that dull clippers can cause problems, so now I tell my groomer to not shave her close. I also take the medicated Sulfodene shampoo with me and have her bathe my dog with it.

I also keep "Happy Jack" skin balm spray on hand in case of a flare-up.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 3:19PM
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Old post, I know, but thought I would clarify a few things for those who stumble upon as I did.

I have a dog that is allergic to the world. She gets hot spots that will make your toes curl. What Susan (axelsrose) describes is actually a very mild form of a hot spot. For the first timer of a dog with hot spots like mine, they would believe there was something else seriously wrong by her description.

My dog gets them on her sides, chest and even the neck. One of the worst ones she ever had was on her neck and she has neck folds. This made life horrible for her because she was in severe pain. She couldn't shake or anything.

Hers are very large beefy red, wet wounds that leak. I don't think that lymph is the cause of leakage, but maybe. I'm a human nurse who specialized in wound care and was a nurse for over 23 years who retired recently. It's what we would simply call serous drainage.

Someone mentioned that their vet said not to use the spray. I'm no vet, granted, but given that I've worked with those hot spots so often, I would likely disagree. They get crusty and are susceptible to infection. The listerine would be a good anti-infective and the oil would relieve the stinging.... probably. Granted, I've never used the mix, but I have heard a great number of people who swear by it. Breeders, trainers, etc.

Remember that vets and doctors are not God. They make their opinions known, but how many of you have heard of a second opinion. Why would that be necessary if vets and doctors were right 100% of the time? Think about that. I see so many people who insist that their doctor said such and such. So what? Do the research yourself. That's what I tell everyone. Become informed!

That said, I usually use a spray bottle of what we call "normal saline" (you can buy it at any pharmacy, just ask the pharmacist) that is cool or you can just use cool water (not icy) to gently flush and cleanse the wound, then pat it dry.

It is true that it heals faster when dry. You can also put your hair dryer on no heat, plus low speed, and blow on it about 12-18 inches away, 2-3 times per day.

The one thing wounds LOVE are oxygen. I don't recommend covering them. I know a lot of people don't want that drainage on their couch or whatever, but covering it will make it take longer.

Finally, get a cone or an inflatable collar (so long as it's not on the neck) to keep them from scratching or licking them. They have soft cones now and the inflatable is a little less humiliating. lol! However, depending on the size of the inflatable, they may still reach certain areas. I have one of each on hand.

Hopefully this helps someone. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Drainage Explanations (I'm sure humans and dogs are similar)

This post was edited by magnoliasouth on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 15:45

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 3:41PM
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