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Hot Spots
Natural Cures

Hot Spot Remedies

Last Modified on Aug 23, 2015

Apple Cider Vinegar   25  0   

Posted by Christy (Waxahachie, Tx) on 06/25/2007

[YEA]  I have a 12 year old dog named Shelby.She has suffered with hot spots and has lost quite a bit of her hair .I also have a 4 yr old named Madyson. The fleas at my house were taking over. Since trying the Apple Cider Vinegar, our lives have become better. No more fleas on my dogs or in my house. Shelby's hair has started to grow back. It has been fabulous!!! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful information. I have passed it on with hopes that many pets will live happy lives

Replied by Marie
Atlanta, Ga
Can you tell me how to do it. My email is hale7711(at)

Posted by Holly (Nova Scotia) on 08/26/2006

[YEA]  My Golden Retriever, Lewey,developed what the vet called a "Hot Spot" just seemed to appear out of nowhere. A few days earlier a canine aquainted to Lewey for some reason grabbed him on his left ear where this oozing, inflammed area is. I still question if this could have caused this? I read up on these hot spots and as little as a bug bite can bring it on, so how come a dog nip wouldn't? I had brought Lewey to the vet due to what it looked like. He checked him out and said he'd have to give him a cotizone shot, to relieve the itching, also prescribed an Fuciderm Gel with cotizone in it for a week. I was quite uncomfortable with the cortizone but I accepted it anyway. Well needless to say it did clear up some, but he still has a bit left. A couple of days I caught him itching it, so I immediately put an elizabeth collar on him to prevent him from getting at it. So as you can imagine it did not help it when he scratched it! Then I decided to take matters into my own hands. I have been treating Lewey with a hibitane antiseptic wash, then following that I proceed with the Apple Cider Vinegar. How many times a day should I use the vinegar? I do see some improvement, but my question is how long does it take to heal? Time will tell.

Posted by Patti (Marietta, GA) on 06/28/2006

[YEA]  My girlfirend Dee told me she was putting AVC on her dog's hot spots. After 1 day the spots turned white and after a week the hair was growing back from where the dog scratched it out. Had she gone to the vet it would have taken 3 + weeks for the spot to turn white and even longer for hair to grow back (not to mention a lot of money) She & I have Rottweilers and go though the hot spot phase every summer with our dogs. When she told me this, I checked the web and found your site. I forwarded the information to her to read and we now are firm believers in ACV's cures.

Replied by Mike
Houston, TX
Ask Dee if the spots turning white. Was that a dry healthy white or wet all most infected looking white?

Posted by Erika (Little Rock, Arkansas) on 06/01/2006

[YEA]  I have a chocolate lab that gets nasty hot spots on her butt about twice a year. On previous occasions I have taken her to the vet and they've given her corticosteroid injections that didn't work very well. Three days ago another hot spot began and I tried the ACV. Wonderful results!!! I've soaked the area twice a day and for three days the area is dried up and hair is already growing back. She does smell like a salad but it's definitely better than the alternative. Thanks for the tip!!

Posted by Ellen (Charles Town, WV)

[YEA]  About 2 months ago, I began using apple cider vinegar in Lady's water; 3T. to a gallon of water and also spraying it diluted on the areas that she had licked and chewed until they bled. I added brewers yeast and olive oil to her daily meal and used a cone on her head when I wasn't with her to stop the licking. I used a plain aloe and olive oil balm on the skin after the vinegar dried. She doesn't need the cone any more as her skin is great and her hair is growing back in.

Replied by Ruxton
Noblesville, In Usa
I add gentian violet to the ACV
Replied by Matthew
Burnt Ranch, Ca
Hey, I'm currently treating a hot spot on my bully, she's a pup so I'm really into the aloe idea, you're the first thread who used it with olive oil, did you use a 1:1 mix? Thanks
Replied by Robin
St. Louis, Mo
hey there, consider this.. Neem oil or spray, . Google it... Also Diatomaceous Earth a non chemical powder(dotn breath in clouds) that can be put on animals in the home, we can eat it... (food grade) and it kills parasites, it cuts them up, actually. I love Apple Cider Vinegar for Hot spots...
Replied by Lisa
Hattiesburg, Ms

I just wanted to share a really quick and easy remedy that helped cure a hot spot in my dog. I used some medicated Golds Bonds Powder and would lightly dust it over the wound after I had cleansed and used some other hot spot gel it really helped to soothe and treat the area and dried it as well. He was able to relax and sleep good.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil   1  0   

Posted by Fan (Pasadena, Ca) on 07/09/2011

[YEA]  As soon as the weather warmed up, my dog developed a large red spot on his back around his tail area. It was very painful. I cut the hair away, washed the area with half water half Apple Cider Vinegar and oil of lavender. It DID NOT burn or sting him, in fact I could tell it felt good. In one day all redness was gone and two days later it was scabbed over and not bothering him at all. I put this on him 2x per day and it resolved the problem. I also started giving him a spoon of coconut oil everyday with his food. It helps keep his skin and hair moist. Whenever I forget to give him the coconut oil, his skin gets very dry and he starts itching like crazy. It really helps to prevent skin issues when given regularly. It should be cold pressed coconut oil.

Replied by Sara
Lake Stevens, Wa
I have a golden retriever who gets hot spots regularly and this last ones gotten real ugly red and yuky looking can I do the ACV and water mix on it when its bad like that? It is already less red and irritated then it was a few days ago but am wondering when everyones saying they use it on hot spots if they are bad spots or not?
Replied by Charlotte
Ardmore, Oklahoma
What are the portions for each ingredients or receipt? I have a 6 lb. Poodle. Thank you! Charlotte
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Charlotte!

To start try 1:10 ratio -1 part ACV and 10 parts water.

Apple Cider Vinegar, DMSO   1  0   

Posted by Xanadu1jw (Memphis, Tn) on 11/17/2012

[YEA]  For hot spots I recently read something about DMSO curing them so I mixed up a solution of 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (with the mother), and a scant 1/2 cup 99.9% pure DMSO I got from the county coop (I've also seen it in horse supply shops). I used a small spray bottle to apply it to the hot spots that had my little beagle acting like he was 90 years old, using the bottom of the bottle to brush the hair forward and expose the spot better and then using the same bottom to rub the solution into the skin. He doesnt like the process and immediately tries to lick it off but this old dog is now acting like an energetic happy puppy again. I try to distract him with a few treats or walking after treating him so the solution has a chance to soak in. I apply it three times a day and in four days after starting he already has hair growing back into the area again.

I believe this solution would work for a cat also in that all of the ingredients have been used on cats with benefit whereas many natural products can harm a cat since their liver can't process some things like a human or dog can. DMSO doesn't smell good but is preferable to watching your dog/cat suffer and/or spending lots of money on ineffective things from the vet and the scent doesn't last all that long.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Epsom Salts   2  0   

Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn) on 12/13/2008

[YEA]  Suggestion for all those dogs (or any other animals) with hot spots:

Have any of you ever tried a saturated solution of epsom salts in apple cider vinegar to swab out those hot spots? Epsom salts has both healing and drying properties and the apple cider vinegar will even cure impetigo which is caused by streptococcus!

Just dissolve epsom salts(2 lb box for $1 at Deals or Dollar Trees) in Heinz ACV (about $2 gallon at Save-a-Lot) until no more will dissolve and swab those hot spots out about 4 times a day. I am sure that neither ES or ACV will harm your dog.

Replied by Yogi
Melbourne, Australia
[YEA]   My chow chow developed a hot spot near his tail that grew alarmingly fast. I tried 50% water 50% apple cider vinegar plus a tablesspoon of epson salts and his spot dried up in 2 days. Thank you for this solution. It worked a lot faster than vet prescribed medication! It was a lot cheaper. And there was no cream to get all over the furniture.
Replied by Colleen
Durban, South Africa
I have a staffie who suffers badly from hot spots. We have done the vet route countless times and spent huge amounts of money on him, only to have the hot spots return.

I was given a home remedy that definitely stops the itching and helps soothe him down almost immediately. I only need to apply it for a couple of days and the inflammation and oozing stops.

A tub of aqueous cream, a tube of Mycota foot cream, and a box of powdered flowers of sulphur. I mix half of each of the ingredients as I was not given the ratio for the mix. Tee cream is very cheap, and lasts for ages. Now when he sees us with the tub he comes and sits in front of us with his back turned so that we can put on his magic medicine :-)

Replied by Tate
Flint, MI
How many days is the hot spot treatment and how often for maintenance? He does not have deep oozing wounds though.
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Tate!

The original poster swabbed the spots 4 times a day. Try starting with that, and keep it up until you see the skin heal over.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide   1  0   

Posted by Lzyshampoo (Waterloo, On) on 10/18/2010

I used hydrogen peroxide, you can buy this at the local pharmacy 3% hydrogen peroxide. Put in a spray bottle and spray the spots. After a week or 2 they're all gone. I also feed her yoghurt mixed in with ACV (with mothers and organic). I used Nizoral shampoo as well. It has been 1 week and she's doing great smells a little still but hopefully it'll all be gone soon. Way better then the VET... I hate them. All they know how to do is rip people off.

Posted by Jewishmom (Casselberry, Florida) on 06/25/2009

[YEA]  My Silky terrior has suffered from terrible hot spots, including bleeding and terrible crying. I've brought her to the vet and put her on antibiotis, anti-hystimans, and cortozine cream,and special shampoo, and she would get better, for a while, only to get hot spots again. This particular time, I looked up home remedies and found your info on acv, and thought I would try it. The crying of Madison was so bad, I had to shut my bedroom door, I knew she was in pain. Well I tried the mixture of acv and h20 and of course she yelped,. because it was all open. She yelped for maybe five minutes and now, nothing. Only healing. The first application hurt her, but after that it was a breeze, and three minutes of crying, certainly beats twenty four hours a day(and that was what it was). I am spraying her twice a day now, and she doesn't think of licking it. First dose cured that. Thanks.. Hopefully we'll keep it under control with daily sprays.

Replied by Elizabeth
Tulsa, Ok
My Bulldog Bella has what I thought was mites. I treated her with peroxide and borax and it has not helpes now she scratches until bleeding all over. I looked up images of hot spots & that is precisely what it looks like! I have sprayed her with Apple Cider Vinegar and peroxide mixed in a spray bottle I felt so horriable that she was on fire! I have not done it again but I am wondering if it is okay to do when she is covered with open sores that bleed and puss. I am at my wits end. I have baught so many creams and powders and even tried head & shoulders (reccommended from vet tec that responded to a post I have on craigslist) I have used gold bond, triple antibotic ointment, anti- itch creams, conditioning dog shampoos, and johnsons 24 hour moisture baby wash. Please tell me what to do From step 1 to the end, I can not afford a vet my husband almost died on 1/31/12 haveing his colon partly removed he now has 2 colostomy's and has to have another surgery in a few weeks. We have 6 kids and a grandbaby being born today at 2:45 pm. So please any advice would be so helpful and appreciated.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Tea Tree Oil Based Shampoo   1  0   

Posted by Michele (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) on 02/04/2012

[YEA]  My 3 year old Shitzu Maltese Mix just started getting really bad with hotspots and I have been using ACV diluted 50/50 with water and a tea tree based shampoo, (it's actually called HOT SPOT SHAMPOO) available at Pet Value in Canada and have already noticed a big difference in her scratching. That's the key to stop the scratching, thanks to all who contribute to this website, pills from the vet don't address the the problem on a long term basis plus giving my dog pills is like pulling teeth.


Hamilton ON Canada

Apple Cider Vinegar, Vet Meds   1  0   

Posted by MaryKay (Savannah, Georgia) on 06/07/2009

[YEA]  Just wanted to responed to your site and give update on the info I used for my toy poodles Hotspots. She had 3 each, 1 on neck, 1 on paw, and 1 on leg. Well I tried the 1/2 cup of ACV and 1/2 water mixture on all 3 spots. The 1 on the neck started scabing over and healing within about 3 days, the ACV worked well. However the ones on the foot and feet could not due to she would continue to lick. I tried using the cone around her neck, however she was still able to lick the spots,the cones are mainley used so they can't scratch around their heads/necks. So I tried the Acv and also Witch Hazel, also Gold bond powder, but she kept licking when not watched. In order for them to heal correctly you have to stop them from licking. So bottom line was, I took her to my vet due to it had been 2 weeks of working on the paw and leg. There is a shot which cost abot $15.00 and pills they can give that cost about $10.00 that will help the inch and irritation and eventually heal the Hot spots, however if you have female that is pregnant then they can not be perscribed, but they do have a cream that cost about $15.00 in that it has really helped with mine, its called Quadritop Ointment. No more licking and starting to heal. So if nothing else works take your pet to the vet. The remedies that people have posted are really good for some but not for all, exspecially if your dog continues to lick the spots. Also hotspots are caused mainly by either skin eritation, insect bite or Flee bite, so insure you get some kind of Flea protection for your pet. Hope this helps.

Benadryl   1  0   

Posted by Denise (Savannah, Ga) on 05/10/2010


Replied by Mikie
San Jose, Ca/usa
My beagle is allergic to grass [yep] so his feet and ears are always inflamed. My vet told me to give benadryl, 25mg, once a day. My dog is 35lb. What is the weight of your dog? he has really dry skin and four hot spots. His coat is shiny. I use vinegar/water on his feet... he hates it.

Black Tea   4  0   

Posted by Donnad (Carver, Massachusetts, Usa) on 06/14/2011

I too am mystified by the hot spots my maltese occassionally has and currently am trying the warm black tea bag... So far he is not scratching... I know he has allergies but cannot always afford the visit and the medication --of course vets won't just give it to you... $$$$ but if this doesn't work I will go for a ACV good home remedy for just about everything... Stay tuned... :)

Posted by Carol (Hanmer, Ontario, Canada) on 11/20/2008

[YEA]  My German Shepherd suffered from hot spots. I was constantly shaving the areas, washing with disinfectant and applying solutions.

Then I heard about using black tea in a way that made the shaving, washing and applying anything else completely unecessary. It had the added benefit of reducing the number of hot spots until he was completely free of them.

It is very important to follow this exactly. Boil about two cups of water and add 10 black tea bags. As it steeps gently squeeze the bags with a spoon. Allow it to cool to until it's just SLIGHTLY warm to the touch and then pour it generously over the affected area so that it soaks through the hairs.

I have no idea why but this brew of tea becomes ineffective if it's too warm or after it cools completely, so if you have any left over just throw it out. Each application has to be made fresh.

It provides immediate relief for your dog, heals rapidly, no discomfort, no exposed bald spot to grow in, and it's cheap and easy to do.

The sooner you begin to treat the hot spot the faster it will heal, so even if you just suspect a hot spot treat it right away. It's cheap and does no harm even if you end up treating a simple itch.

At first you may have to repeat this twice a day for a few days but with any subsequent hot spots it works faster. My dog's hot spots began to dwindle until he was free of getting them completely.

Replied by Daniela
Chino Hills, Ca United States
okaii well my golden has hot spots in his armpits on his legs one some on his back and a huge hot spot on his neck i bought a 100 pack of black tea and im hoping it works.

should i trim some of his hair when i apply the warm tea on his skin or should i just leave him like that?

the reason he got hot spots is because he gets in the pool by himself and sometimes lays in the sun and walks around and i dont want to tie him up i feel bad so what does earth clinic suggest??? help!!!

Replied by Daniela
Chino Hills, Ca United States
okaii hi earth clinic and my doggy max is a golden and he loves to get in the pool (we have an underground pool) and its been really hot and sometimes he lays in the sun and he cant stay dry for at least 24 hrs to let the flea protectant work and i think that is wat made the hot spot the heat humidity and the itching of the fleas and he has red on his skin it looks wet when u see it irritated and i wanted to try the black tea and i was wondering if it will really work cuz i just want him to get better i am feeding him and all natural no preservatives or artificial favolirng or coloring food and i bathed him with a flea shampoo and groom him reagularly but i have been paying close attention to his skin since i saw that
Replied by Jlbg
St Louis, Mo
[YEA]   Black tea works on canker sores for dogs and people. All I do is wet a teabag with warm water and place the bag like a compress over the dog's mouth sore for a few minutes. Seems to help with healing and pain. Of course, make sure your dog does NOT eat the teabag.
Replied by Margaret
Knoxvillt, Tn
[YEA]   This is an amazing treatment for hot spots. I have an 11 year old beagle who is just recovering from major hip surgery. It's been sweltering in Tennessee and she has developed some hot spots near her tail and the skin on her belly became quite inflamed as well. I read the black tea post and tried it. I steeped two black tea bags in hot water and let it cool to just over room temperature with the bags still in. I used the bags as applicators and really drenched the affected areas with the warm tea. She calmed immediately - this is the first treatment I've used that did not burn. I had tried ACV in the past and while it worked beautifully, it burned. I noticed drying after the first application. I've done this twice a day for four days and she is almost healed. I've also given her one lower body bath in warm water and raw oats. I put a handful of the oats in the toe of a sock and held it under the faucet as I filled the bath, squeezing as it filled. The oat bath just put it over the top - the real healer is the black tea. Thank you so much for this post.
Replied by Molly
Carol, I just want to clarify after reading your post. You actually pour the brewed tea over the hot spots instead of holding the tea bags over them? My poor Golden Boy is in misery. I'm trying everything I can. Before taking him to the vet for another temporary $200 steroid fix! Thanks!
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Molly! Not Carol here [Carol posted in 2008! ] but the directions as follows:

"Boil about two cups of water and add 10 black tea bags. As it steeps gently squeeze the bags with a spoon. Allow it to cool to until it's just SLIGHTLY warm to the touch and then pour it generously over the affected area so that it soaks through the hairs. "

So YES, you actually pour the brewed tea over the dog and saturate the coat thoroughly.

Black tea ... Green tea... Lipton tea - and others have tannins/tannic acid; tannics/tannic acid is a natural astringent, antimicrobial, and has anti-inflamatory properties as well. By brewing up a giant batch and dipping and saturating your dog you provide the benefit of these tannins for the dogs entire body - not just the active hot spots; this allows you to calm any potential irritations on the skin before they break as hot spots as well as treating the active/existing hot spots.

Traditionally hot spots are treated by shaving the affected area - to both provide access to the spot so you can apply medicated ointments and to allow air to get to the wound to help dry it. The tea brew will penetrate all areas with out shaving to gain access.

You may wish to brew the tea in a large gallon batch [10 bags/2 cups - so 80 bags for 1 gallon OR about 6 ounces of loose bulk tea to the gallon] and then bathe your dog - really work his coat to find and locate all the hot spots and get the crusts off and make sure the coat is clean. Rinse well; an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse [dilute it please as pure ACV will sting a hot spot] will help both balance the PH on the skin, address itchiness and ensure all the shampoo is out. Squeeze out the excess water and then plug your tub. Then pour on the tea treatment. And then take a cup and scoop up the tea that is in the bottom of the tub and pour over your dog - do this again and again for about 10 minutes or so, until the coat is fully saturated down to the skin on all parts of the dog. Let him shake off the excess before getting out of the tub, but then let him dry naturally - allowing as much of the tea treatment to remain on the coat rather than being toweled off.

I will say your $200.00 bill sounds super inflated! I have allergy dogs also - granted my dogs are half the size of your golden and steroids are administered by weight - but it may pay for you to shop around. I know I can give my vet a call and explain that we have another flare up and can simply stop by the office and pick up oral script for pred - or a loaded hypodermic needle - and antibiotics if needed and the total bill is under $40. 00 [and usually less]. While I am no fan of constant steroid and antibiotic use, I will not hesitate to use them if I simply cannot get on top of the flare up and the spots start to break out all over. I have been going to my vet for many years - and if you are a long time client perhaps you should discuss with your vet the option of being able to call in for *just what you need* without having to make an office call and pay for all the costs associated with the office call.

Replied by Kim
Orange, MA
I disagree with you that the 200.00 bill from the vet seems overly inflated or out of the norm. I have had 2 bullmastiff males with hot spot issues, and to get a bill for 200.00 for one visit that included a quick look at the spot (not a physical as he had already had one 2 months prior to this visit) confirmation that indeed, it was a hot spot, and a couple prescriptions and was handed a bill for just over 200.00. I about choked to death right there in the office. I was told to shave the spot, wash it gently and apply topical anti itch cream along with giving him prednisone. I was warned that he would be extremely thirsty, and would need to go out for pee breaks quite frequently while on the steroids...and boy, they weren't kidding! I felt bad for the dog, and bad for myself, it was almost like having a newborn baby again, up every couple hours to take him out to pee.

You do not want a 180 lb bullmastiff having a peeing accident in the house.........there isn't a mop big enough to quickly soak that up. Needless to say the anti itch cream helped a bit, but the ACV solution worked much better, and quicker...and we all slept better....and it saved us a ton of money. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have been on varying daily doses of prednisone myself for over 12 yrs.(among other treatments). It makes my stomach feel fizzy, for lack of a better term, it growls and just has a sort of uneasy, rolling feeling, not sick or I could sympathize with my poor dog. In larger doses it also made me unable to sleep, feeling wired or wide awake even with little sleep, cranky...downright angry, grumpy and jumpy...and very restless. I don't do caffeine of any kind....but I felt like what people describe feeling like after drinking far too much coffee. I lost my appetite (most people have the opposite issue, and have increased appetite and gain weight). I did have much increased thirst, as did my dog while on it.

I was told by my RA specialist that prednisone does not cause diabetes as a previous commentor wrote, but it CAN aggravate the condition if you already have it. It can increase your blood sugar temporarily and if you are a diabetic that's not a good thing. Having high blood sugars, even temporarily, can damage kidneys, nerves throughout the body, eyesight and cause many other issues.

My bullmastiff passed away several yrs ago and we took in an older, rescued yellow lab and 2 small dogs. 1 is a black wirey haired shih-tzu/chihuahua mix, the other is a blonde, furry chihuahua/mini schnauzer mix...the lab is the one with the hot spots once in a great while. I have never seen a dog shed as much as this guy does, I swear, he should be bald by now. The hot spot he just got is just in front of his hip...and he's started chewing. So, out comes the Apple Cider Vinegar mix, hoping it works as well this time as in the past, all should be well in a week or so. We've never EVER had fleas in the house, or found any on the dogs...until this summer. I noticed them all itching, even after their monthly baths...I checked and found a couple fleas, gave them their monthly flea drops and it seemed like they were just water....the itching never stopped..and the fleas are still there. Just a few...for now. So, I'm going to start adding ACV to their water dish each day...and cross my fingers that it works.

Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
If not sure what drugs can do to the body - why not use Wikipedia for inf.?

So, it does not cause diabetes? Really. Let's see what else it causes. Glaucoma, bulging eyes, manic behaviour - the list is long and impressive.

There are sites on the web where people are desperately trying to rid themselves of the statin's side effects. Sadly some of the side effects are irreversible.

Is it a drug or a poison, ask yourself. A neighbour's cat sat dying at someone else's garage door. As I tried to get near, I saw it dying while trying to run away. Later I heard that the vet had said she had been looking after it well, didn't she?

I spoke with a couple who said that since the husband had been on pharma drugs, he had now three serious diseases, one of which was diabetes. He had been healthy before.

As for me, I trust only myself, nobody else. Where money reigns, you will see what humans are capable of. In my opinion, it is a crime against humanity when health becomes a business.


Replied by Steve
Plymouth, Mn
[YEA]   My Golden Ret. had a hot spot that grew to almost half of his face in two days. I never heard of the TEA BAG treatment but thought I would give it a try. I started on a Thurs. evening and by Sat. morning the sores were dried up. This was the fastest treatment I have seen. I have had dogs with hot spots for many years. I would recommend this to anyone.

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