Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hot Spots & Cold Tea

Hots spots or pyotraumatic dermatitis are skin infections that arise in a matter of hours. Signs of hots spots are redness, oozing, pain, itchiness, and hair loss.

Some causes of hot spots are allergies, fleas, and matted hair. These can make dogs lick and chew their skin raw. Some dogs cause hots spots when they lick and chew out of boredom or nervousness.

Hot spots should be treated immediately to prevent further infection. The way to treat a hot spot is to trim the hair and clean the area with a shampoo, cleanser, or astringent recommended by your veterinarian.After cleaning the area, applying a home remedy such as vinegar or witch hazel may dry up the hot spot quickly. Consult your veterinarian if you think your dog has a hot spot. Serious cases may require medication, such as antibiotics or cortisone.

We have applied witch hazel and vinegar to hot spots with good results. The problem with vinegar is that it stinks and can sting when applied to an open sore. Our veterinarian, Dr Weitz, taught us about applying black tea to hot spots.

Dr Weitz told us to brew some strong black tea. I use about 8 or 10 tea bags in a cup of water. Some people use more. Put the tea in the refrigerator to make it cold. Apply the cool tea to hot spots several times a day. The tea treatment can dry up hot spots very quickly. And the dogs love the way the cool tea feels on their skin.

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