Hot Spots
Natural Remedies

Hot Spot Remedies

| Modified on Nov 19, 2023
Vegetable Oil
Posted by Tom Knight (Tamarindo, Costa Rica) on 01/31/2009

Cheap, 100% Cure for Mange/Fleas

The following is a copy of email recently sent to the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the American Veterinary Association.

I filled out the form on your website. I could not copy the below email and paste it into your "comments" here it is if you want to use it. I think it is important as it is a simple cure that I have now found sucessful on another dog other than mine also.

Hello to all my Vet friends,

When all else fails.....!!!

I came upon this purely by accident. This cure will not make you any money, but it sure will make you lots of friends with your clients.

I am no casual pet owner. I have shown, field trialed and hunted champion German Shorthair Pointers for 45 years, plus being owned by an assortment of mixed breeds, cats and an assortment of other exotic critters. In the 1970's I was one of the first to breed large falcons in captivity.

My present dog, a mixed breed, short-haired medium-sized (Tamarindo Purebred...) had severe skin problems since he was around nine months old. His full brother/litter-mate is neighbor and enjoys the same, virtually identical environment, so I know the dog's living situation was not the problem.

He developed a severe rash on his "hot spot." To which he continually chewed, and then started chewing his tail to the point of its having no hair at all, and other parts of his rear anatomy. He had a severe flea problem. End result was a neurotic dog with no hair on his tail and rump, constantly chewing and biting himself there and other parts of his body. He was loosing skin in nasty dried chunks and flakes like a huge case of human dandruff. I tried several local vets who provided a variety of creams, soaps and lotions. None worked. I tried human skin products from the local pharmacies. None worked...after considerable financial expenditure. His neighbor brother remained unaffected. I was seriously considering putting him down.

Then, I remembered that when I applied vegetable oil on my sunburn (I now live in the very hot and dry tropics of NW Costa Rica) it immediately soothed it and no peeling of my skin occurred. I tanned nicely, despite the severe sunburn.

So, I looked around the house and found a 1-inch paint brush I had been using for a "meat baster" in the kitchen. I also found a stiff laundry brush. I then brushed him from back to rump and gently on tail to remove loose skin. Then I put some cheap cooking oil in a small plastic tub. Using the paint brush, I gently massaged the oil onto the affected parts.

He immediately stopped biting himself. Within a day, I could see the redness in the skin start to dissipate. I continued bathing him with a flea/tick soap.

Soon, the redness disappeared altogether. I continued this treatment nightly. Within a week the amount of dead skin started to ease up. New hair started to appear. I also scrubbed oil (with the soft paint brush) into the hair and skin in all areas where I saw fleas...mostly under the tail around the lower rump. Within a couple hours, there is no oily feel to the has been absorbed by then into the skin.

Today, just over a month of daily treatment, all his hair is back. His tail now does not look like a rat's. He is completely flea free. He chews no more and his coat is glossy. He was also very skinny. Now, he has put on many pounds and is in the pink of health.

My Conclusion: I think the veggie oil acted as a systemic. It penetrated the skin and suffocated the mites under it that were eating the hair follicles and roots. It also did the same for his skin as it did for mine. The oil also suffocated the fleas to the point they now no longer exist.

Correct me if I am wrong. I would love any input. I thought this treatment was of significant importance that you folks should know. Maybe you do already. However, try this next time on one of your client's dog.

This experience might make a useful entry for your newsletter.


Tom Knight
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Anna (St.Helena Bay, South Africa) on 04/27/2009

Hi, I have a question about the ACV & Omega3 do I use it? what quantities and how ...together ...mixed??? Anna

Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil
Posted by Fan (Pasadena, Ca) on 07/09/2011

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.

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

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.

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, Epsom Salts
Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn) on 12/13/2008 495 posts

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.

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.

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!

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.

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

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

Gold Bond Powder
Posted by Jill (Brinnon, Wa) on 08/21/2012

My 6 year old Aussie/heeler had started scratching one evening and by the next morning had raw underarm pits. Little red patches were springing up. Maybe 4 of them. I put 1%hydrocortisone cream on her underarms then a sprinkling of the Green label gold bond powder. I then put one of my tshirts on her and took it up at the waist( held it in place with some duct tape) so she couldn't get her foot up under it. Make sure the tshirt isn't rubbing under the arms. This kept her from licking or scratching the armpits. After 2 days of applying this 3 times a day her armpits look normal. She has added Omega oil caps to diet.

Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Angela (Birmingham, Al) on 04/12/2011


My 5 year old Shitzhu recently began itching and biting at her fur to the point some of it was coming out. After researching some possible remedies, I treated her hot spots and irritation with Tea Tree Oil. Luckily, my dog is also like my shadow and she always has my attention. Within 6 hours of treating her with Tea Tree Oil (applied with a Cotton ball) I noticed she was not herself, she was not as energetic, did not want to use her back legs, did not use the bathroom, etc.

I immediately took her to the vet where I was informed that Tea Tree Oil is poisonous to dogs. Depending on the size/weight it can also be fatal. Thankfully, she is ok, but she received a round of fluids and charcoal pills to absorb the poison along with 6 baths to get the remaining oil off of her skin. Please see this as a warning. I would not want this to happen to anyone else and I am happy that she just received a small dose. TEA TREE OIL IS POISONOUS TO DOGS!!! Good luck and God Bless. Angela from Alabama

Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Big Tuna (Park Ridge, Llinois, Usa) on 06/29/2010

My dog would get a hot spot(licking & biting on a spot) on her paws every summer. The Vet thought it was an allergy & gave us some ointment to apply. We also gave her Benadryl. Well after half a tube of ointment was applied over the course of a week we saw no results. She still had no fur & the skin was red & raw looking. We had been using Tea Tree Oil on ourselves for various cuts, scrapes & insect bites & I thought that it might help my dog. We could see that she was miserable & constantly at her paw. I applied 1 drop to her affected area & rubbed it in gently. At first she wanted to lick her paw, but I stopped her. It is not safe for humans to ingest the oil & I won't give my dog anything I can't eat myself. Well, in just a few minutes my dog fell asleep! Remarkable. When she woke up, she didn't even look at her paw. In a weeks time the skin was healed & I could see her fur starting to poke up through the skin. We continued to apply the oil once a day until the fur was again covering her paw.

From then on when we would see her at her paw or some other spot we applied the oil & told the Vet to stuff the $35.00 tube of ointment.

Big Tuna

Schreiner's Solution
Posted by Janice (Coloma, Mi) on 10/13/2009

Thanks Jamie from Campbell, Ca. I checked out the Schreiner's on-line and it looks like really good stuff. Do you buy the one for horses? I see they have one for dogs also. My black lab (mix) has a problem with yeast and she is sore around her mouth and her vulva area. She licks and I see the Schreiner's is all natural...Love that. Anyway, I'm hoping that maybe this will work for her.

Gold Bond Powder
Posted by Mary (Springfield, MO) on 06/19/2009

The GREEN bottle. Works Wonders, and Caladril CLEAR only. Absolute. Even for ears, very lightly with tissue. Been trying all for years.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Epsom Salts
Posted by Yogi (Melbourne, Australia) on 07/17/2009

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.

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Uli (Albany, Indiana) on 12/03/2007

Hi everybody, thank you for this wonderful website. I tryed the ACV and Omega 3 on my German Shepard Heidi. She had a very bad Hotspot and is also allergic to Fleas. Been using it for three days now and the Hotspot is dry and hair is already growing back. The allergy seems to slowly go away also. I still have to give her a bath. I will try the babybath, I'm afraid the dawn dishsoap will dry her out some more. She is still scratching but not as often as she did. Hope in a few days it will all be over. If anybody has any more ideas I could try, please let me know. Thanks again U

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Jayne (Mugla, Turkey) on 07/10/2010

What a good website very informative. I was very weary about treating hot spots. I live in Turkey and I have 3 street dogs but only 1 as this condition. I thought it might be stress due to him being bullied by 1 of my older dogs. What do you think? I will try the acv treatment, hope it works.

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Diamond (Salisbury, Usa) on 10/02/2011

I wouldn't take my pet to another vet especially as minor as suspected hot spots(?)And Yes hot spots do smell. I have yet to see, know or hear of any pet coming out with less than what they went in for. I use a safe remedy for hot spots. Disolve 2 adult asperins in 2-4 tbls. rubbing alcohol-soak any type tea bag- mix all ingredients together, apply to the spot(s) as often as you can.

It takes time but better then a million dollar issue vets. may have created for you & the pet.

Try her on a rich but fat free diet.

here is some great info. good luck & god bless.

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?

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!

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.

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.

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.

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Jean (Williamsville, Ny, Usa) on 04/19/2012

My yorkie developed a 1/2" hot spot on top of his head. I used rubbing alcohol with aloe vera. As it was slowly healing, other spots were bubbling and opening. Out of nowhere a 2" sore opened on his jowel and he intensely itched it with his nails. I clipped the hair around it for easier healing. For 3 days I treated it and it was looking worse each day. I had previously ordered colloidal silver through the Jim Bakker Show on TV. The main company carries it, too, through the internet only. It arrived. I used the rubbing alcohol to cleanse and Silver Sol gel on top. There was NO SCRATCHING, at all, ever. It took the inflamation and the itch away as it killed the germs and promoted healing. It was healed completely in 4 days. The other smaller areas healed quickly, also. No more hot spots broke out. Hot Spots can have an underlaying staph infection that travels around under the skin. (I believe I read that apple cider vinegar kills staph germs, also). Colloidal silver kills staph germs, viral, and fungal... It says it is FDA approved and can be used for pink eye infections and other stuff. It works well with vet's antibiotics. I'm not selling it, but I am sold on it.