Remedies for Hot Spots on Dogs

June 8, 2008

Dog's chest with bald spot.It works! Steep 2 tea bags in 1/2 cup of boiling water; add 1 cup of alcohol; dissolve 2 aspirin tablets in the solution; apply to the area with a cotton ball; let dry thoroughly. Apply 2 to 3 times a day as needed.


By Tammy from Fort Mccoy, FL

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September 16, 2004

My yorkie/poodle 10 yr old dog starting getting hot spots about a year ago. It is destroying his life, his skin, his fur and I don't know what to do. I have tried used tea bags, still working on that. Maybe it takes time.

The vet used to give him cortisone injections but it barely worked at all and only for about 2 days. I don't know how my dog even sleeps, poor thing. I have always kept him healthy, he's strong, active, and on Frontline for fleas. At one time the frontline seemed to stop working so i took him off for a month, put him on Advantage, that didn't work well and now he's back on Frontline. But he still has a small case of fleas.

I think that is causing him to chew at his back and have red skin and lose hair. All of his life he was flealess. Now I can't seem to figure out what is going on. Here is the strange thing!! I know that fleas when dying may have a slight odor. But when I give him a bath and I have tried baby shampoo, oatmeal, and other shampoos, his skin starts to bother him. He whimpers so I just pour more water on him to comfort him. He loves to be warm... But I have noticed every time that the lather of soap has a very unpleasant bleach smell, almost that of gasoline.

As soon as he is bathed and brushed and pretty he goes back at his skin and looks like a dirty mangled up mess. He knots up his hair from excessive CHEWING.

Can somebody tell me what is going on?! This dog is my baby, and this time I don't have any way of helping him. I have a feeling that baths now hurt him. Sorry about the drawn out problem. Just thought all those details were important.



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September 16, 20040 found this helpful

Hot spots can be caused by many different things, bacteria, mange, ringworm, allergies, fleas, mites, scabies, all kinds of things. Whatever the poor little guy has, if your vet hasn't been able to give you any results, I'd consider calling another one.

Cortisone doesn't cure a problem, it just makes it so they don't itch so bad so don't damage themselves as much. It works well for a dog that is allergic to flea bites and is in the process of getting rid of the fleas.

If you think it is the fleas, there is a cortisone pet spray that seems to sooth spots. It might help. But you still must get rid of the fleas or the problem will just come back.


It might be best to bathe him with just warm water because the shampoo might be aggravating the problem if he wimpers after the soap has been put on him. I've never heard of a smell like that but it might be a symptom of something, a vet would know that.

Hope you find a way to make your little pal more comfortable.
- Susan

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By Vicki (Guest Post)
September 17, 20040 found this helpful

I would definitely find another vet. There's no excuse for the vet not helping your poor dog. I know my vet has always been on top of anything I've brought him & I've always had dogs. It could be anything, like Susan said. It also could be an allergy caused by the shampoo, something outside or any amount of things including fleas. If you never had a flea problem before has something changed like a neighbor who has a flea problem now? You have to get rid of them on the dog & in your house at the same time.


There's a ton of info. about getting your house free of them on this site. Personally, I haven't had a flea problem for a long long time & I don't use anything. I also wouldn't put any of the chemicals mentioned on this forum on my dog. They are strong poisons that can affect a dog's health short & long term. As far as allergies, dogs, just like people, can develop them at any age when previously it wasn't a problem. I would explore all options.

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By jonnie (Guest Post)
September 17, 20040 found this helpful

I had a dog that had a horrible "hot Spot" as well several years ago. I kept Neosporin on her and I had to put a "collar" on her to keep her from continuing to chew at herself. I agree w/the other writer, you need to consult the vet and your baby may need a shot of some type. But you definatley need to keep her from chewing at the spots. I also kept my dog wrapped w/and ace bandage to keep the spot protected while the ointment was on her.


The collar I am talking about is the kind that looks like and lamp shade. It does not allow the dog to reach back and "dig" at themselves. Good luck! Oh by the way if the dog has long hair keep it trimmed around the "hot spot" too. Just so you can keep that area very clean.

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September 17, 20041 found this helpful


Have you tried anything with tea tree oil? I am an Independent Watkins Associate, and we carry a product called Botanical Pet Shampoo. The shampoo contins Aloe Vera, Lemon Oil, Tea Tree Oil, and Silk Amino Acids/Vitamin E. The Aloe Vera helps with moisturizing and conditioning the coat, the Lemon Oil cleans and acts as a flea repellent and smells great, the Tea Tree oil has mildly antiseptic properties, and the Vitamin E is a source of protein and an antioxidant moisturizer for a shiny coat and healthy skin. If you would like me to send you a catalog with the information, I can. Just e-mail me.

Trudy Powell

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By (Guest Post)
September 17, 20040 found this helpful

My dog had hot spots for years. We went through the cortisone, allergy pills and home remedies. My vet finally diagnosed it as a yeast infection. He gave a shampoo called Malaseb. You bathe them with it and leave on for 10 in the bath. Then rinse it off. Now his skin is great. No hot spots. Hope this helps.

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By Linda (Guest Post)
September 17, 20040 found this helpful

Have you thought about the food you are feeding your dog? Most of the average dog food that you can buy today is made from bad ingredients. Much of it is the left over inedible parts of chickens such as the bones, feathers and body parts, etc. Alot of grain hulls and otherwise unuseable stuff. Not much nutrition in it and in my opinion, a lot of harmful stuff. I think most people would be shocked if they knew what is in the food that they feed to their dogs and cats.

When my daughter was small we had a dog with really bad skin problems. The older she got, the worse the problem got. Nothing seemed to help and her life at the end was pretty miserable. Back then we did not know much about dog food quality and fed her the cheap stuff.

Today my daughter has an enormous love for dogs and has researched dog food ingredients extensively. We have 2 chihuahuas and 3 mixed breed dogs. One of the chihuahuas has skin problems and putting her on a "premium" dog food has taken care of the problem. We use Eukanuba brand. All of our dogs have beautiful, shiny coats and none have any skin problems.

This alone may not take care of your problem since there may be health or flea problems making it worse. However, I think it will be a good beginning and it certainly can't hurt.

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By linda (Guest Post)
September 17, 20040 found this helpful

It sounds like your poor dog has some major allergies going on. Could be food, fleas, shampoo or even laundry soap from towels, bedding or your clothing. Allergies are hard to discover-you may have to try an elimination diet. Also, have you tried giving him over the counter Benadryl? Since he is a little guy, check with vet as to dosage. Maybe a half tab or so will be right, (Buy the generic).
Editor's Note: 1/2 tab sounds like too much to me because he's a tiny dog. Be sure to ask the vet first.

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By jodi (Guest Post)
September 17, 20040 found this helpful

Our little girl Stubby had the same problem an one thing that might help your little one is a product called Bag Balm. One thing it will not hurt if they lick it as this is made for mother cows udders that are if it wont hurt the baby calfs it will not hurt our little ones (I check with our vet..he said it was fine to use) then what we did an it also work was to mix 1/3 Listerine mouth wash with 1/3 Baby oil
an 1/3 water an keep in a spray bottle. this has help so much an so fast too. I do hope this works for your little one. yes they are our little babies an when they hurt or uncomfortable so are we. I also check with our vet for the spray an he said it was fine

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September 17, 20040 found this helpful

I agree with Vicki - this vet has had a very good chance to solve the problem. You sound like a caring owner - change vets!



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By gazookeeper (Guest Post)
September 18, 20040 found this helpful

Give your baby a zinc tablet (the kind you could take too ) every day. Zinc always helps skin problems & it's cheap.

Jeffers vet supplies (you can order online) has something called "luv drops" that helps too. It's a vitamin supplement in a treat form.
Another option is go to a health food store. They have homeopathic remedies that work naturally with no side effects. Look for sulfur pills-they work on skin problems. They are tiny and dissolve in their mouths.

I also agree that you should find another vet.

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September 18, 20040 found this helpful

It sounds like you have gotten some great advice from the other posters. I always use baby shampoo watered down by half and 10 drops of tea tree oil added to the shampoo, this will heal the spots, its an anti-fungal oil, but very very strong smelling, it could be what you are smelling if you vet has put your dog on a specific shampoo, tea tree is related to the Eucalyptus tree.tea tree oil also works for keeping fleas away. But with any information you get your homework first, call another vet in the area and see if they can give you info over the phone. whats good for a lab may not be right for a small dog. our vet gave us a pink goop to put on the hot worked well. Good Luck to both of you

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By K9 (Guest Post)
September 18, 20040 found this helpful

It sounds like the fleas may be your problem. Some dogs can have 1 flea & it will really cause problems. You might also try a vingar rinse. It helps to kill bacteria. Also giving him a Fish Oil supplement would be good for his skin.

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By LPFUSCH (Guest Post)
September 18, 20041 found this helpful

My cat had this problem as well. We treated and treated him for fleas and he is an indoor cat and has never been outside in his life. Well after numerous visits to the vet because he kept getting sick and vomiting, his skin was a mess he had almost no fur left on him and he kept having hairballs. It finally became apparent that he did not have fleas he was allergic to poultry by products. The vet had very expensive food and gave me the first bag free to try. Let me tell you his problem cleared almost overnight.

Within one week he had fur again, had not vomited, showed no sign of scratching and was his old self, however he is a piggy. However the cost of that food would sink us with in a month or so our budget is that tight. I went to my local pet quarters and showed them the bag the vet gave me they had a similar by product free brand at half the price. It's called wellness and they have it for dogs as well as cats. It may be that your poor puppy is allergic to his food, dear. Try it may just be the answer you are looking for.

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By Grandkub (Guest Post)
October 11, 20040 found this helpful

My 13 1/2 year old multi-lab has dealth with hot spots for the past 7 years. Sometimes though was stress, not too often fleas but now with his age just want to keep him comfortable. Even now seems to have a ganglion(sp??) over his shoulders. Taking him to the vet tomorrow.

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March 11, 2018

We have a 6 month old German Shorthair Pointer. She has recently developed these red spots on her stomach. I don't know what it is or what it's from and I haven't had her to a vet for it. It clearly itches because she'll lick n lick at it even sometimes biting at it.

Does anyone have an idea of what I might be dealing with or any home remedies that would help stop the itch and or cure this?

An itchy red spot on a dog's belly.


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March 13, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

This could be from a food allergy or even from fleas. It can also happen from the type of soap you wash the dog with. Clearly your dog has an allergy to something and it needs to be looked at. For now you can use some Apple cider vinegar to apply to the spots. This won't harm the dog in anyway and will help to stop some of the itching and biting the dog is having now.

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March 5, 2015

I have a Pit Bull. What can I use for hot spots? She is loosing hair at the back of her legs and her tail. Any home remedies at all out there?

By Sherry


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March 5, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

If your dog is losing hair, the irritation has been ongoing for awhile so she needs help that you can not provide. Your dog's problem requires a vet examination to determine the cause and probably medication to treat the area.

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July 25, 2011

What can I use on my dog that has hot spots on his skin? He is always scratching and biting his skin. Thanks, I need some hope.

By Melvina

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May 16, 2011

My 7 year old Dachshund has a hot spot. She seems to lick the inside of her back leg too much. I am trying to use a home remedy. She is taking Omega and a little Benadryl. I just started her on tablespoon of yogurt. Help, I don't want another vet bill. Thanks.

By Reda

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January 27, 2017

Hot spots, or moist eczemas can result from allergies, bites, stress licking, and more. As your pet continues to chew and scratch the irritation progresses. This is a page about using corn starch for dog's hot spots.

A dog biting a hot spot on his side.

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