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Harper1234's avatar

Are there ways to heal a "hot spot" on a dog?

Asked by Harper1234 (545points) April 3rd, 2019

I have never dealt with this before but my little schnauzer has a spot she keeps licking and biting on and it is getting raw. Can’t really afford a trip to vet so what can I do?

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22 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Here is the AKC’s list of causes of Hot Spot (they are different and may require different fixes)

Some of the more common causes of the itching/hot spot cycle are:

Flea allergy dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis
Parasites (especially scabies and mites)
Food allergies
Contact irritants
Anal sac disease
Ear or skin infections
Foreign bodies
Constant licking due to stress or boredom
Irritation after grooming

See if you can find a Vet School in the area; they may have low cost clinics.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Protect it – cover it if possible, and give it time to heal.

My daughter’s dog had rubbed an area raw – the vet gave the dog antibiotics for the infection and drugs to calm him down.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I had a dog with that once and we used topical antibiotic and a no lick spray.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My dog got those due to flea allergies. We have her Claritin. She was a Border Collie. Also, maybe some topical Benedryl for a quicker fix. Check to make sure it isn’t toxic first, though.

MrGrimm888's avatar

If you can shave the hair from the affected area, it will help. Shave the area, and about an inch or less around it. If it is scabby, clean it several times a day, and keep it dry.

If the dog just won’t leave it alone, you should be able to buy an e-collar. Keep it on the dog until the spot clears up.

Benadryl can be given to dogs orally. It has to be just benadryl though. On the back of the box, the only active ingredient should be diphenhydramine HCI.
Dosage is 1 mg per pound (for dogs.) Most tablets come in 25 mg form. For example, a 50 lb dog will need two 25 mg tablets. If the dog weighs less than 25 lbs, you will need to find the liquid form, usually for children. It should come with a little device to measure the amount.

You can also apply small amounts of triple antibiotic ointment to the area.

There are indeed multiple “don’t lick” sprays on the market, but they may further agitate the area.

Try to stay away from anything with alcohol in it.

If you find any fleas, it’s bath time. If there are a lot, you may need to get a good flea prevention. Make sure that it is specifically designed for your dog’s weight.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^As you may recall, I worked as an EMT at an Emergency Veterinary Hospital for almost 10 years. I don’t usually like giving specific medical information, but this was a pretty common doggy problem. The vet would probably have just clipped and cleaned the area, and recommendations would have been similar, but more expensive.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OH! I was going to ask if you were a vet in another life! No, I don’t recall that, but I’ll remember it going forward. I don’t look to be getting another dog again, though. ;(

Harper1234's avatar

I clipped the area without getting my hand bit off…and cleaned it and put ACV
on it (she won’t lick that off) and gave her the Benadryl which really helped.
Also some bones to chew to keep her occupied. Going to give her a good bath
later on to make sure no outside pests on her. I hate to wrap it because it needs
to dry out. I have some people no itch antiseptic spray I might try after bath.
This is stressing me out more than her I am sure!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree…no need to wrap it.

The Benadryl will put her to sleep you know. I mean, not permanently but it will make her sleepy.

With Dutchess it was just a question of getting it under control. We had to give her meds for a few days until it was completely gone. Even a small spot left behind would start the whole miserable cycle all over again.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@MrGrimm888 I don’t recall ever hearing that either Grimmy. #impressed #gotojelly

seawulf575's avatar

Where is the raw spot? On the leg? The side? The butt? The location could put you on a different avenue. My dog, for instance, had a spot on his butt that he was licking raw. It looked awful and he couldn’t leave it alone. I did take him to the vet and found out it was a food allergy. We had recently started a new food and it caused his butt to itch. Got rid of the food and got him something different and voila! it healed up.
One thing to remember is that if he is licking it raw, there is a huge chance of infection happening. Keep a close eye on it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@seawulf575 I switched my dogs to salmon based food and they no longer have any skin issues. One used to get hot spots and never has since the food change.

Harper1234's avatar

This is the first one she has had and she is 11 years old and stays in the house.
The spot is in the crease where her leg attaches to her body….where it bends.
I got some hydrocortisone dog spray at a big box store that is itch relief it says.
I have taken her outside today for it to get air and she sleeps alot and rolls up
in a ball when she does so it doesn’t get much air then. I guess just keep an eye
on it. She was my dad’s dog before he died so she is very dear to me.

seawulf575's avatar

Does she let you get a good look at the spot? Is there a small cut or a tick? Worst case, I would see if I could get one of the lamp shade collars for her to keep her from licking. Then continue with the hydrocortisone and use some tribiotic ointment as well. Do that for a few days and you should see the spot heal up.

RocketGuy's avatar

We put a cone on our dog, then put antibiotic/steroid cream onto the hot spot. Takes a few days.

Harper1234's avatar

ok….her hot spot doesn’t “smell” right. Does that mean infection? I don’t want to miss anything but don’t want to make a bigger issue out of this either. Friend says go with my gut feeling.

seawulf575's avatar

It might mean infection. You really need to get her on some antibiotics or at least put some antibiotic ointment on it and keep her from licking. I recommend the cone collar.

Harper1234's avatar

Taking her to vet tomorrow as it might be a bacterial or yeast infection and i need the cone for anything to work anyway.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Good call, better safe than sorry. Let us know what happens please. Whats the dos name?

MrGrimm888's avatar

Typically, dogs lose their appetite when febrile. That being said, it could be something other than a hot spot.

Sometimes, vet visits primarily help the owner. Just to know that it’s not a big deal.

Hopefully everything works out well.

seawulf575's avatar

Let us know what the vet says!

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