According to one of Sunny Saints’ trusted vets, Dr. Greg Martinez, your dog needs an accurate diagnosis and treatment if the dog is sick, or in pain, and he recommends taking 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 hot spot and symptoms are mild, Dr. Greg suggests, in Dog Dish Diet “Itchy Skin and Hot Spots in Dogs,” some basic steps to help with the itching and pain until you can decide whether or not your dog needs expert treatment. These basic steps include giving your dog aspirin or other pain reliever, over-the-counter cortisone ointment on the wound, checking for fleas, and a nice warm bath with a mild shampoo. He suggests following this with cortisone ointment and Neosporin to help with pain, infection and inflammation. He also lists several antihistamines that may be useful, and recommended dosages. But please, remember it’s always wise to check with your own vet to see what’s best for your saint.
If you want to try the natural route before heading to the vet, quite a few Sunny Saints' supporters recommend apple cider vinegar to alleviate hot spot discomfort. These are a few other sources that have also recommended applying it to hot spots, or as a shampoo or rinse:
Earth Clinic Folk Medicine/ Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs
Vetinfo.com/ Treating Hot Spots on Dogs with Apple Cider Vinegar
Animal Planet Pets 101/ Uses for Vinegar: Pet and Animal Care
Surprisingly, apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy used for more than just hot spots. Animal Planet mentions it for minimizing shampoo residue, ear cleaning, skunk deodorizing and even bee stings. You can also spray your dog with apple cider vinegar before going out for a walk, in order to repel fleas and ticks naturally.
Others have mentioned adding fish oil or Omega-3 supplements to their food to improve their coat and prevent itchiness. Switching to a quality dog food, possibly grain free, can also improve their overall health and allergies.
So, let’s raise a cup of cider vinegar to a hot-spot free summer! And please, share your experiences and successes with all of us. If you leave your comments here in the blog, it will be here for future reference for others!