Hot Spots
Natural Remedies

Hot Spot Remedies

| Modified on Jun 01, 2024
Colloidal Silver and Comfrey Salve
Posted by Meg (Kentucky) on 05/31/2024

I have a large German Shepherd grandpup that I hike with. When I picked her up she had a terrible hot spot. It had started to bleed. I put colloidal silver on it with a cotton pad for about 20 seconds, at the most. I let it dry and added comfrey salve. The next time I picked her up it was almost completely healed with hair growing back. I asked my grandson if anyone put anything else on it and he said no. So, one application of colloidal silver and comfrey salve did the trick.

Lavender Oil
Posted by Fenimore (UK) on 05/29/2024

Coconut oil w/ Lavender for dog hotspots

Last week my beloved 7 year old Bichon suddenly developed a painful hot spot on his back haunch. I was very concerned as we had been through hot spot horrors before with our previous Bichon, Thisbe. I read testimony after testimony here on Earthclinic. First I tried the ACV diluted half and half with water. It did immediately seem to relieve the pain and itching. He stopped scratching himself. But after three days the sore was still weeping and actually hot. Also his entire backside was now the light brown colour of ACV...not a good look. I tried a saline and hypochlorous spray from Amazon. Again it did seem to help a little. But again the spot was still active and troubling. THEN I found the testimony by Tara of Baton Rouge.

She recommended 5-6 drops of Lavender essential oil added to 1 tbsp of coconut oil.I heated it and added a little bit of extra virgin olive oil to keep it liquid and mixed it, then applied it. Florrie was completely comfortable with it unlike the sprays I had been subjecting him to. It smells lovely. Within a few hours (!!!) the angry red patch was mostly pale pink with only a central small circle of bright red. It was no longer hot but cool to the touch. 24 hours later and the sore is gone. Only a bit of scab on pale pink skin is left!! He is happy and comfortable. I am so amazed and grateful to Tara and Earthclinic! to have found this easy, painless, FAST, zero side-effects resolution to an awful problem is just so wonderful. I wish everyone whose pet suffers with this problem would try this. It's the best solution ever.

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Katzie (Cancun, Mexico ) on 11/19/2023

Licking the bottom of yogurt cups would not overdose your dog on sugar (but what about you?). At any rate, D.E. would not help with losing fat. Its beneficial for any pet, but not for weight loss, unless the bloating is due to worms or other parasite. On a side note, a local very chubby dog nearby has been following my 2 rescues on our walks once per day, and I swear, within 4 days she really trimmed up! I couldn't believe how much weight she lost in only 4 days in 1/2hr walks!

Colloidal Silver
Posted by John (USA) on 11/05/2023

Colloidal Silver 20ppm for Canine Hot Spots

For our pup's hot spots I put some Colloidal Silver (20ppm) in a spray bottle, and sprayed it on the sore. My poor husky did not like it at first, but she settled down right afterwards. I noticed it scabbed over the very next day!

The first time she had a hot spot, we took her promptly to the vet. They treated her and had her on some meds for a while. Hundreds of dollars later, it seemed to go away...until the next season change, and then all over again. This last time is when I used the one time spray of CS. I can not say the CS cured her, but I would not hesitate to do it again. I guess we will see when the weather warms back up again.

I was thinking that the hot spots could have potentially been caused by bug bites/poison. The pups love to lay under our back deck for the shade, so I got under there and cleaned/brushed the rafters. Raked it all out, and put down some outdoor rug pieces to cover ground. They still seem to want to lay in the few uncovered parts though ;)

I also wondered if it could be from ingesting sugars. You see, I used to let her "clean up" my yogurt cups before discarding. I now see that could be a source of sugar, so only canine-specific treats from here on. We are paying more attention to listed ingredients now. She gets about 2 tsp of coconut oil, and glucosamine chews daily.

I have noticed she is starting to get a little rotund around the mid section. I am wondering if a regiment of DE/(some others) could be beneficial for jump starting her metabolism to start burning some of the excess?

Apple Cider Vinegar, Epsom Salts
Posted by Kathaleen (Pennsylvania) on 09/22/2017

This site was so helpful. I am going to try the apple cider vinegar on my cat's hot spots. Thank you/

Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil
Posted by Suseeq (Sydney, Australia) on 07/07/2017

Bath warm water and betadine mixed pat dry apply neosporin to the spot, internally c.s and oregano capsule 150gms once a day bathe 2or 3 times daily. dont let the dog lick the neosporin.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil
Posted by Lee (Ma) on 06/29/2017

How many drops of lavender oil??

Lavender Oil
Posted by Tara (Baton Rouge, La) on 03/09/2017

Just wanted to give an update on my last post. This remedy still works like a dream. I mixed up a small bottle to use whenever our buddy gets a raw spot, and the spot always dries and scabs up the very next day. I gave a bottle to a friend to use on his Boxer, and it produced the same result. Smells pretty good as well. :)

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Judy (Cape Coral, Fl) on 10/31/2016

Do you put the colloidal silver in the water or directly on the hot spot?

EC: Poster most likely means to apply CS topically.

Black Tea
Posted by Suseeq (Sydney) on 08/06/2016

Arlene, there are many things you can try - lavender oil, aloe vera, rub garlic on them and if you can take your dog to the beach to swim in the ocean is good. But these are just a few. If you don't see an improvement in a few days try another.

Black Tea
Posted by Arlene (San Diego, Ca) on 08/06/2016


I have a boxer/mastiff and about a month ago his hot spot started off with just oily fur on the back of his neck, within a day it turned to flesh, it has since gotten worse and has spread. I've taken him to the vet twice and he's been on antibiotics since but nothing seems to be working. I am out of options on what to do next. I will try this method and hopefully I can see better results than all the money I've been spending at the vet.

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Suseeq (Sydney, Australia) on 07/18/2016

I am a great believer in the collodial silver for healing our animals.

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Daffodil (British Columbia, Canada) on 07/18/2016

Sprayed colloidal silver on my dog's hot spot throughout the day for 5 days and it was healed. It was about 3" in diameter as it grows quickly when they lick it. He had to wear a hood to prevent licking and enlarging the spot. The vet wanted to do surgery and cut the whole area out.

Manuka Honey
Posted by Milli (Florida) on 07/10/2016

A mask of clean honey worked like a charm for my dog's hot spot. The skin was so red and irritated by the time I cut my dog's cheek hair that I broke the skin and she was bleeding. In despair I slathered on a "mask" of honey on the area. It scab bed up the next day and came off during her next pond romp. Good old Nature!

Lavender Oil
Posted by Tara (Baton Rouge, La) on 05/27/2016

We have a 10 year old Beagle/Bassett hound mix, and he gets a few hot spots every year. Recently I tried mixing approximately a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil with 5 or 6 drops of lavender essential oil (lavandula angustifolia) and rubbing it on the spot. It disappeared within a few days. The hot spots have been so stubborn in the past, so this felt like a miracle. Hooray!

Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Kris (Brookings Or) on 04/22/2016

You can use tea tree oil but it has to be diluted..1-1%, I melted down a few table spoons of coconut oil and about 10 drops of tea tree oil for my dog's hot spots. She is fine. I clipped the hair around the spots, cleaned with witch hazel then applied the salve I made. She seemed so relieved.

Apple Cider Vinegar, DMSO
Posted by Chat (Phila) on 01/30/2016

DMSO is a strong solvent, and whatever it dissolves will pass directly through your dog's skin. I for one would not use DMSO on my dog.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil
Posted by Linds (Indian Rocks Beach Fla) on 12/11/2015

Hot spots on a lab: If my dog ingests coconut oil and apple cider vinegar, does it work as well as applying it to the skin?

Apple Cider Vinegar, Epsom Salts
Posted by Lori (Maine) on 11/06/2015

Not likely it will hurt them but will it help them, that's my question

Posted by Moneca (Anmore, Bc) on 10/07/2015


When my dog suddenly developed a bloody spot on his behind that he was licking and chewing at, I decided (after calling the vets office to confirm it could be a hot spot) to try some calendula cream I had bought, rubbing it on the spot 3 times daily. Within hours, the spot was amazingly much better. I coudn't believe it so I continued alternating between the cream and Calendula oil I also had on hand, which is made from the squeezed flower mixed with oil, as pure as I could find.

It's been almost a week now and the scabs are gone and there's no real sign of anything left but I will continue on for a few more days to make sure it doesn't come back. Amazing stuff! Highly recommend!

The vet had said he would need prescription cream and possibly even antibiotics so this is a much better way to go! Saved myself quite a bit of money too!

Gold Bond Powder
Posted by Richard (Scottville, Michigan) on 09/15/2015

I would ask a vet first since Gold Bond has zinc in it and zinc is toxic to dogs (when ingested, like the zinc in pennies)? See the following for more info on zinc toxicity:

Vegetable Oil
Posted by Aliya (Mcdonough Ga) on 08/04/2015

Do you think the process would still work with canola oil?

Black Tea
Posted by Steve (Plymouth, Mn) on 07/29/2015

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.

Vegetable Oil
Posted by Sandra (Mexico, New York ) on 07/13/2015

Thanks I think I might try this as I just noticed on my dogs tail about a inch and half red raw looking skin I've put vitamin e on it .but if I can get to it again I will try vegetable oil. Thanks as I don't have the extra money right now to bring her the vets...

Hydrogen Peroxide and Borax
Posted by Anne (Finger Lakes, New York) on 03/24/2015

Om is right. We tried everything on our Bulldog. The only thing that worked was a diluted Hydrogen Peroxide and borax mixture that we spray on. After months of agony, this remedy gave improvement overnight and cleared up his skin completely in about a week. The recipe is:

1 part 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, 2 Parts water, add 50 mule Borax until solution is cloudy (i.e. no more granules will dissolve). Apply with a wet cloth to thoroughly soak affected area. Later you can use a spray a few times a day.

Witch Hazel and Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Dr Jim (Oklahoma City) on 02/12/2015

I tried the original listerine and a "witch hazel" "Body Wash" for my Chihuahua. That worked great! Also kills that "yeast like smell"! I used a 50/50 solution after an anti itch shampoo. He was looking better a few hours later. I also used the 50/50 solution as a "body" rub!

Eucalyptus and Spearmint Oil
Posted by Linda (Las Vegas, Nv) on 12/29/2014

I just soaked my chihuahua in eucalytus and spearmint oil for hot spots, did not use any shampoo. Just towel dried him and he looks like he is in heaven right now. I hope this works.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 09/15/2014

Hey Charlotte!

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

Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil
Posted by Charlotte (Ardmore, Oklahoma) on 09/11/2014

What are the portions for each ingredients or receipt? I have a 6 lb. Poodle. Thank you! Charlotte

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Colleen (Hawaii, US) on 09/06/2014

Hi! I've been treating my dogs with colloidal silver- works very well. I use it for any problem - we use it on ourselves too- burns, wounds, itching, it prevents infections .

Fish Oil
Posted by Mary (South Dakota, US) on 08/30/2014

Our Bassett hound had hot spots (red irritated skin where he lost his hair) and after researching online I started giving him fish oil capsule daily and it has really helped him.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Epsom Salts
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 08/26/2014

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, Epsom Salts
Posted by Tate (Flint, MI) on 08/26/2014

How many days is the hot spot treatment and how often for maintenance? He does not have deep oozing wounds though.

Black Tea
Posted by Kim (Orange, MA) on 07/17/2014

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.

Gold Bond Powder
Posted by Jj (Canada) on 04/16/2014

Sue, were you worried about your dog licking the gold bond? Thanks

Black Tea
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 09/13/2013

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.

Black Tea
Posted by Molly (Pittsburgh) on 09/13/2013

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!

Cooling Foods, Cornstarch
Posted by Marlene (Buffalo, New York, USA) on 08/31/2013

I have a lab/chow mix. With age he was constantly getting hot spots he would not leave alone. I tried everything the vet offered with no avail. I met this very knowledgeable women that runs an animal holistic shop. She recommended that he is a hot dog (no pun intended) that he needs cooling foods. He is now on a diet of ocean fish kibbles and moist canned ocean fish, cooked sweet potatoes, applesauce and rice. Sometimes when I give him some people food, which I shouldn't, he does get flare ups. The absolute quickest way to get rid of the them is dab some dry cornstarch directly on the hot spots. They dry right up and he leaves them alone!

Posted by Wendy (Columbus, Oh) on 08/09/2013

Dilute organic Apple Cider Vinegar (the one with "the mother" which is the nutrient-rich sediment in the bottle; just shake the bottle before using) 1/2 and 1/2 with distilled water, and spray on the affected areas.

IMPORTANT: do NOT spray the ACV on any open/oozing sores! This will sting! These sores need to be healed first with antibiotics from your vet, THEN you can use the ACV as a preventative.

Posted by Donna (Asheville, NC) on 08/08/2013

Dear Susan, years ago I had a dog with a hotspot issue and it was indeed difficult to treat. The thing you need to be careful with is that hotspots can turn into staph infections quite easily. Sounds to me like your dog's hotspot that smells has turned into a staph infection. I would try putting povidone iodine on the wounds a few times a day as it doesn't really sting. That's what the vets use to begin with.

Be careful with apple cider vinegar. I tried every home remedy imagineable and the apple cider vinegar was not at all helpful. The best cures for hot spots come from the vet, I'm afraid. Perhaps someone on this site can offer you nutritional advice to help you with this issue. Please let us know how your dog is doing.

Posted by Susan (Virginia) on 08/08/2013

I have a 10 yr old siberian husky w/ bad hotspots on hip & neck/throat. Went to vet 2 wks ago-was put on antibiotic & Genesis spray. Spots are getting worse & one on neck smells. I can tell he feels bad & does not want me to touch neck. I live alone & it is hard to handle hin to shave or bathe him, plus area is very sore. How do I dilute the apple cidar vinegar & any other advice?

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Mon (Atherton, Qld Australia) on 05/31/2013

I don't know where my 18 month old mastador got hotspots from but they spread up his back, side flank & leg within hours. The vet advised an antibacterial shampoo & if that didn't work then it was antibiotic & steroid time which I refused to do!!

The shampoo didn't get rid of the hotspots but stopped the spreading with 3 baths a week, so with research on the net I did my own treatment consisting of:

  • probiotic capsule x 1 time per day
  • 1 tblspn organic coconut oil x 1 time per day
  • 1 tblspn organic plain yogurt x 1 time per day
  • 1 meal of freshly cooked wild spanish mackeral & atlantic salmon with fresh garlic (small amount) cooked thru fish. I tried him on fish oil but he kept throwing it up or not eating the food it was in. I did find he preferred the fish over any other meat or bones. I also took him off all raw chicken.
  • grain free dry food x 1 time per day
  • I also sprayed diluted raw apple cidar vinegar onto spots in morning & rubbed organic coconut oil in at night for about 2 weeks then stopped.

It took six to eight weeks mainly thru his diet change before I noticed the spots gone except for 1 spot, & hair grown back & black skin gone.

I know that the fish would cost quite a bit but I own a cafe & used the scraps for him, so maybe ask a local restaurant or fishmonger if they have any offcuts availabale that they normally throw out.

Gold Bond Powder
Posted by Sb (Simcoe, Canada ) on 05/11/2013

We have a 2 year old Newfoundland Dog , with the nice warm weather she has been swimming 5/7 days this week, the other night she was acting out of sorts so I was taking her collar off and a horrible smell came out from under it, she had developered a large hot spot along the collar line of her neck. I went out and got tinactin and gold bond powder on suggestion from this site. Her hair was so thick I kinda just massaged it into her chest best I could, this relieved the pain.. Next morning got her shaved under the neck at the groomers so I could actually see it, it was enormous, not broken skin but very red irritated and gooey in some spots. We have been giving her 3 Benadryl a day and applying the powder 2-3x a day and she's like a new dog, its clearing up and we are on day 2. Tinactin works well too but the spray sound scared her too much.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil
Posted by Sara (Lake Stevens, Wa) on 01/24/2013

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?

Neem Oil
Posted by Farmer (Westfield, Pa, Usa) on 11/20/2012

Neem oil is a true gift from nature. I use it in my hot spot salve along with a bunch of other oils.

Apple Cider Vinegar, DMSO
Posted by Xanadu1jw (Memphis, Tn) on 11/17/2012

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.