Hot Spots
Natural Remedies

Hot Spot Remedies

Sea Water
Posted by Trisha (Waterford, Ireland) on 03/04/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Hello. My 9mth old British Bulldog has 2 big, ugly, sore looking hotspots on her shoulder.Iv had her to the vet,she is currently on metacam oral and ampicillin. he also advised to wash the areas with 1 tbsp of salt to a pint of water..she is on this treatment with 5 days.didnt see a great improvement, yesterday I went to the sea and got a carton of sea water and applied it. today the hot spots are dry and crusted over... now i dont know if its the 5 days of treatment or the sea water, or both.but its amazing how over night after using the sea water the sores are drier and crusted...does anyone know if these are going to be a reoccuring problem,a nd will the hair grow back. they just look awful. any info/help is much e.mail is [email protected] Thank You

Gold Bond Powder
Posted by Sarah Reyburn (Brewster, Massachusetts USA) on 02/14/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Gold bond Powder helps my Silky terrier when he chews and licks hot spots which he tend to get on his lower back and near his tail.

EC: FYI -- the active ingredients of Gold Bond Powder (an over-the-counter skin irritation powder) are Menthol (0.15%) and zinc oxide (1.0%).

Listerine and Baby Oil Spray
Posted by Anita (Rochester, MN) on 02/04/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Dog with Hair Loss, Severe Skin Allergies:

I received a Great Pyrenees on Christmas Day 2008 and was shocked at the inflammation, loss of hair, itching and brittleness of her hair. I was told that she had severe food allergies (and I did immediately switch her to a premium grain-free dog food) but in addition, I started ading apple cider vinegar to her drinking water and bathed her in it several times. I have proof-positive pictures that within one month this situation took a 360 degree turn for the better. She is happier now, more energetic, has a zest for life and no more itching and inflammation. I recommend apple cider vinegar wholeheartedly.

On her ankles and her elbows she has dried crusted spots and for those I looked up home remedies for hot spots and saw several people had success with plain Listerine, mixed with baby oil and water and spritzed on these spots. Within 2 weeks, those dried spots clearedup and new skin grown and hair growth is happening there.

Vegetable Oil
Posted by Betterways (Houston, Texas) on 05/28/2012

People and animals prone to skin problems have a deficiency of linoleic acid, an essential Omega 6 EFA, in their sebum. Which may or may not be due to a dietary or systemic deficiency. Usually not as most people get too much of the omega 6s and as do most animals fed grain-based commercial food.

This can be improved by applying it topically. In fact there is a spot on treatment called something like Allerderm that is a combo of essential fatty acids.

Grape Seed and Safflower are both over 70% linoleic acid. But note, these oils are not stable and should come from a good source, come in a dark bottle and be stored in the fridge with only a small amount left out at a time. The average supermarket is not a good source, btw. of much of any oil. Of much of anything for that matter.

Hemp seed oil would be a good source of a combo of EFAs good for skin.

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...

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

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

Botanical Creams
Posted by Jory (Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada) on 01/19/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Neem Oil
Posted by William (Grants Pass, Oregon) on 01/12/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Hot Spot Remedies: My dog Terra who is part Sheppard and part Akita, had two large hot spots on her back above her tail. I wasn't sure what to do so I asked the folks at our local herb shop ( called "the Herb Shop") and they recommended using Neem oil. When I got home I poured a little Hydrogen peroxide on them to clean and disinfect the spots and then I applied a coating of the oil, nothing else. After about 20 minutes or so, the skin started drying out and that was it, no more problem , completely healed with in a few days.

Several years later, my Mother was in the last few days of her life, from cancer, and we noticed a rather large bed sore on her back so I applied some Neem oil and the same thing happened. Even though her body had started shutting down the skin was reforming on the bedsore!

Neem Oil
Posted by Farmer (Westfield, Pa, Usa) on 11/20/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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, 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.

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 Lori (Maine) on 11/06/2015

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

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/

Black Tea
Posted by Daniela (Chino Hills, Ca United States ) on 09/03/2009

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!!!

Black Tea
Posted by Daniela (Chino Hills, Ca United States ) on 09/04/2009

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

Black Tea
Posted by Jlbg (St Louis, Mo) on 04/09/2011
5 out of 5 stars

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.

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!

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 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.

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.

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.

Turmeric and Clove Tincture
Posted by Shelagh (PBG, Florida) on 09/14/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Hi there! I'm a newby here & thrilled to find your web site. I fostered a 3 month old yellow lab mix (or so my friend thought...) pup came complete with a goopy hot spot on side of his neck. I immediately dusted this with some powdered turmeric, and lo! Two dustings, 12 hours apart & he was cured. I impressed myself.
And ended up keeping this guy; now named Ronin, & found to be a Rhodesian Ridgeless. Yikes.
A neighbor's white retriever, Chloe, used to get horrible hot spots which she used to lick until she was bloody & bald on these areas. I used a medieval remedy of whole cloves steeped in alcohol (I used cheap vodka). Dabbed clove tincture onto hot spots to ease the pain; once the pain was gone (immediately!) she stopped the licking & my friend could move onto healing the hot spots. She was a vet tech & could not believe my remedy worked.
Love your site, am glad to be 'here'...

Omega 3 Salmon Oil
Posted by Susan (Dallas, Texas) on 08/14/2008

My golden retriever had constant hot spots and skin allergies. Tried a cheap product called Missing Link. It has omega-3 salmon oil in it and you just sprinkle a tablespoon on their food daily. What a lifesaver. Her skin is great, her hair is silky, overall health is good. No more biting at her skin and being miserable, or hot spots! My vet doesn't sell it, but they recommend it to all their pet owners now due to my dog's results. They tell everyone about my dog and her results and everyone runs to pet her when she comes in cause of her silkiness. Good luck.

Omega 3 Salmon Oil
Posted by Sandra (Milton, FL) on 05/05/2009

where do you find omega 3 salmon oil?

EC: Try online or at a good health food store!

Mineral Oil, Listerine Mouth Wash
Posted by Jackie (B-ville, SC, USA) on 05/13/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Hot spots! use 25% water, 25% mineral oil,5 0% listerene mouth wash. Put it in a spray bottle. Shake it up to mix and then spray on the hot spot twice a day.

Neem, Olive, Goldenseal, ACV Spray
Posted by Fabian (Nambucca Heads, NSW, Australia) on 04/05/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Have had great problem removing flea allergy dermatitis from my poodle and he has constantly itched and has had open wet sores above and around his tail.Have used many natural remedies with some improvement but would soon recur.I recently found a natural recipe from the net and now there is no sign of fleas at all and no rashes or sores at all. He is much happier and relaxed and so am I. The solution is 2 ozs of pure Neem oil, a little olive or coconut oil and tea tree oil,one tablespoon of Goldenseal extract,then make up to 16 ozs with organic apple cider vinegar. Fantastic results immediately.Use daily(spray on)as needed.I also added some lemon lotion but this is not essential.

Witch Hazel and Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Rhoda (Portland, Oregon) on 02/28/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I have just administered witch hazel and then diluted ACV to Jackson my golden retreiver. He had a hot spot last summer and now has another on the side of his face under his left ear. We took him to the vet who prescribed something and when we applied it he screamed. So I chose not to torture the poor thing. I actually had triamcinolone cream which actually healed him but I guess I did not apply it as long as I should have. I will update with results of the ACV application. He does smell like a salad and probably hates it.

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!

White Vinegar, Antiseptic Powder
Posted by Conny (Narooma, Australia) on 01/31/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My labrador / rottweiler cross male suffers from dry itchy skin as well as hot spots. There are times when he looks rather strange with shaved spots all over him. I agree, early detection is vital, and I noticed the 'smell' from his ears and feet befor he begins scratching and chewing at himself. I am convinced it is psycological as well as allergy based. I use a 1 part white vinegar to 5 parts water solution to wash the affected area and keep dry with a over the counter anticeptic powder. Once the spot has dried up, I use a sorbolene based topical cream to keep the area suptle. The treatment usually takes a week, providing the 'pooch' leaves the area alone. GOOD LUCK

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Y (Cincinnati, Oh) on 07/11/2011

what is Apple Cider Vinegar and omega 3 treatment for my dog hot spot, where do I get it?

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Shelby (Upland, Ca) on 08/18/2011

I love the products from Vitality science dot com and have seen an improvement. They too suggests tea bags for immediate treatment and they have a noni lotion that can go on the site after the tea bags. Its ok for the dog to ingest it as well. I have worked super hard at keeping two of my dogs skin problems at bay. I use Serra pro (enzyme) to decrease inflammation as well as flax oil and or krill oil from Vitality Science. I put it in the dogs food. I have tried shark liver oil on spots that break out with great success. I dont clip the dogs hair at all. I just apply the oil. A guy from a natural dog food company told me about that one. It works well for one of my dogs. I do home cooking, probiotics and I really think it is partly hereditary. The one JRT that is not related has no problems and neither do his relatives. :) My girls are bad breeding. They are fixed. :) whewwww

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Sierrahennessy (Fairfax, Va) on 10/01/2011

Hot spots with stink sounds like you may have yeast. A vet can confirm with a simple skin scraping. If yes, you've got a long road ahead of you. If no, look for allergies, or times of year the problem worsens or improves.

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Dryogabear (Northport, Ny Usa) on 10/14/2011

Cancelled vet appointment, brewed black tea, using aloe vera juice, and already he seems to have stopped chewing his butt off. Thank you for all your tips and advice.

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Unknowen (Portland, Oregon) on 06/22/2012

Ok all of this stuff helps but has anyone got the hot spots cleared up and then in about two or three days they return again... What do you think might cause that??? I never see my dog licking or scratching.... He is a very heavy haired dog because he is a Chesse.... And he is a very nervous dog... He is hydosefelis.. That is not right spelling but anyway he was born with water on the brain so he sees everything different in this world... Your thoughts on this would help... Thank You

ACV and Omega 3
Posted by Mssnk9368 (Janesville, Wisconsin) on 06/26/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I found this site totally by accident, but what a happy find.

I was helping a friend find and inexpensive way to treat hot spots on her dog. We tried the 50/50 mix of ACV what a difference (the topical application). The first 24 hrs we saw and improvement and it is continually getting better. We are now on the third day it is almost gone.

Since the ACV is working so well I started reading more posts on the site about its usage for other remedies. Last year my 2 dogs suffered so much from fleas, I was at my wits end trying to help them. This year I'm going to try the ACV I've read so many good things about it on this site.

Thanks to everyone for their posts I learned alot about ACV.

Posted by jamie (jacksonville, ar) on 10/19/2007
5 out of 5 stars

let me start by saying i have 4 english bulldogs . As owners of these breeds know , that they have many health problems that can arise . We just got a 1year and half female from a friend , she had kept her in a cage all day and let her out for a couple of hours at night and then it was back in the cage , now she has free range of the house , just the bedroom kitchen and living area , So she is not confined to one place and not in a cage . But she has the other dogs to contend with and they bully her i think , she is soooo sweet and smart and i don't think she understands that we have to go to work and leave her for 8 hours a day , so i think her hot spots are now being caused by anxiety and lack of attention , i have one that has to be in my lap if i am sitting and another one with my husband - so she is left out sometimes . She has develpoed horrible hot spots and scratches all the time , and i have not changed anything . So it may be weather related also .

My husband encountered a bad hot spot on his last male years ago and it got so bad , in one day that the poor dog had to be in the vets office over night for observation .. the vet gave him Sulphur cream to put on it . Now i can only find sulphur powder and mix with no , perfume , dye or additives lotion . They go away within an hour , no lie an hour they have turned crusty and she isn't itching any longer .. needless to say this is going to be a weekend for her . I am going to take her everywhere i go and love on her as much as possible . Please if all else fails or you have given up and have multiple vet bills then please try Sulphur , it is natures miracle .. thanks for all the suggestions on this site -- i am going to try the oatmeal baths and ACV baths as well . thanks and be well

Witch Hazel and Gold Bond Powder
Posted by Jill (Victoria, BC, Canada) on 03/21/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have a Newfoundland dog who is very prone to hotspots, and I have tried just about everything on him. He has seasonal allergies and breaks out twice a year. Here's what I do as soon as I spot one: clip all of the hair away from the spot and a good border around it, and clean the whole area with lots of hydrogen peroxide. I will usually dab on some witch hazel to help dry it out, and then dust the whole area with Gold Bond Powder. The powder stops him from licking and helps keep the spot dry, and it's also antiseptic. However, hot spots can spread into massive staph infections really quickly, and sometimes antibiotics are the only way to treat them effectively.

Witch Hazel and Gold Bond Powder
Posted by Elizabeth (Hartford, Ct) on 05/07/2012

i want to know how to treat severe hot spots in a cat my 5 yr old cat has eplipsy and on meds about 3 yrs ago she started with this allergy have taken her to vet 3 times. she has no fleas or mites. i have her on 1/2 a allergy pill every 12 hrs but she still has bitten her legs naked and spots all over body. i have her littermates. they are all fine. i tried different canned foods, different litters, nothing is helping. please help me she is tiny. only 4 pounds and 5 yrs old. i can't afford any more vet bills. i am a cancer survivor and a widow on limited income. thank you in advance and god bless. please help tiny.

Antiseptic Powder, Sea Salt and Water Solution
Posted by Tara (UK) on 03/07/2007
5 out of 5 stars

My Black Lab developed 2 hotspots on her belly after we got her spayed. I used a dry antiseptic powder (over the counter brand) which I applied approximately 3 times a day. After a few days of this I then dabbed sea salt and water solution on with cotton wool before I applied the powder. I used the sea salt solution approximately 3 times a day and the powder approximately 3 times a day. After 2 weeks she was completely free of hot spots. It is obviously highly important to the healing process to stop the dog licking the area as much as possible. Best regards

Manuka Honey
Posted by Meg (Coromandel, New Zealand) on 02/25/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have little faith in vets and I try to find things that work and have some luck - manuka honey is really good as antibiotic internally and externally for animals and they like it. Chamomile teabag soak for any eye problems. These are 2 tried and trusted ones for me.

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