Hot Spots
Natural Remedies

Hot Spot Remedies

Black Tea

4 User Reviews
5 star (4) 

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... :)

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.

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)

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)

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
(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 Steve
(Plymouth, Mn)

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.

Replied by Arlene
(San Diego, Ca)


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.

Replied by Suseeq

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.

Botanical Creams

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jory (Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada) on 01/19/2009

Bailey's Skin Rescue is a special combination of tea tree, lavender essential oils and acidophilus in an all natural botanical cream base which also includes extracts of chamomile, avocado, echinacea, green tea, cucumber and sea kelp and various plant oils.

Tea tree and lavender essential oils have anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-viral properties and have inhalant properties which are also said to help boost the immune system. The acidophilus provides friendly normal bacteria at the skin's surface to assist as well, and the special cream base keeps the skin supple and helps with cutaneous delivery of the essential oils.

The great thing about this formula, is that it stops itching almost on contact and the healing process starts right away. Anyone who has ever had a dog that has developed an itchy skin condition like hot spots, etc. knows that the itching causes the dog to lick or scratch and keep irritating the site -- this stops the itching, so the dog is not licking or scratching and the healing can begin. This also relieves a lot of stress on the dog.

Burrows Solution

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Theresia (Roswell Georgia) on 07/04/2006

Our yellow lab gets hot spots every year. Normally she has been taken to the vet for corticosteroid shots and benadryl orally. It always comes back. This year I bought hair trimmers, trimmed the areas and made a mixture of burrow's solution - DOMMEBORO, available at drug stores (mix 1 package with 10 ounces of water) and about 10 drops of tea tree oil. I placed this mixture in a spray bottle and sprayed the areas twice a day (morning and evening). In about 4-5 days the black 'scabs' began to fall off revealing healthy skin underneath. I continued to spray the area until all traces of the hot spots were gone.

Replied by Lauren
(Sagle, ID)

After trying so many things for my Lab's hot spot this year, burrows solution was the best. I agree!!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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!

Cayenne Pepper

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Vince (PA) on 01/31/2007

Have you tried cayenne and salt on the hot spots? Never had one with the problem, but from what I understand it is an infection, or gets to be one, with bacteria and puss. The cayenne should heal it and take away any pain, so he doesn't play with it, and the heat would probably stop him from licking it, except for a chihuahua.)) I put it on cold sores as soon as they show, and it seems to stop them from continuing. It should if they contain a virus.

Colloidal Oatmeal

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Beefree (Mendocino, Ca, Usa) on 10/15/2011 1 posts

Hi... I would like to vote for Colloidal Oatmeal Treatment to be added as a category in the Hot Spots for Pets. My Lhasa Opsa had really bad hot spots from the shelter, from where he came. He was itching non stop. I tried Dr. Meds, benedryl, black tea, Apple Cider Vinegar... the only thing that worked was giving this puppy a Colloidal Oatmeal bath.

I found a plastic bin and put it on my deck... I filled it with warm water... Added a packet of Colloidal Oatmeal... Stirred it around and then carefully placed my puppy in this treatment. I used a sponge to wash him down with it... And a cup to pour it over him.... I let him stay in solution for about 10 minutes... then we go for a 1 hour walk so he can dry off.

The trick is to have all my walking gear ready... So when he is done I can just put his leash on... And go for a walk so he doesn't have to just sit there and be all wet and miserable.

Colloidal Silver

4 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
4 star (1) 

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?

Replied by Katzie
(Cancun, Mexico)

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 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.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney, Australia)

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

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 .

Replied by Judy
(Cape Coral, Fl)

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

EC: Poster most likely means to apply CS topically.

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.

Colloidal Silver and Comfrey Salve

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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.

Conifer Green Needle Complex

Posted by Kerryann (Bogangar, Nsw) on 11/11/2010

My Lhasa Apso recently had a hot spot above her tail. I tried the Apple Cider Vinegar diluted, but it burned and made her sore. I started treating it with Conifer Green Needle Complex. One capsule squeezed into a bowl and mixed with about a desert spoon of mixed omega oils (Udo's). It is almost healed in two days of twice daily applications, after thoroughly cleansing the area with warm water and hibiclens. It was very badly infected and I know that the Conifer Complex kills all sorts of bacteria, including Staph strains. I knew it was right for her because she loves to lick it off my fingers, which is good because I needed her to take some of it internally as well.

Cooling Foods, Cornstarch

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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 Robyn (TRi Cities, TN) on 07/03/2009

Here is a link where I found a reader who has healed her dogs of hot spots by using cornstarch or babypowder with cornstarch by putting it on the spot 4 or five times a day. I also have found fish oil, one pill for small dogs, and two pills for big dogs, and benadryl which is 1 mg to 2 mg per pound of body weight works well too. The cornstarch is great, although I have not tried is a natural cure.


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