Dog daycare and leash-free dog parks are high on the necessities list for my uber energetic spaniel. Granted, dog parks aren’t for everyone or every dog, but my girl thrives in expansive free run areas where there’s plenty of room to race and a few buddies to scamper with.
However, her first year with me was marked with monthly vet visits for a variety of small irritations including hot spots. Of course, I’m not suggesting all her treatable issues were a result of dog park visits – she seems to be a delicate little Sprocker (Springer/cocker spaniel cross). She simply developed more than her share of small issues – and I likely ran to the veterinarian unnecessarily in a few cases.
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Hot spots was one of those issues. If you’re certain that’s what dog hot spots are, canine hot spots – small itchy irritations on a dog’s skin – can be treated with over-the-counter medications such as earthbath’s treatment balm for cracked paws, noses, and hot spots. And that’s what I’ll use if I ever see them again, now that I have received a container of earthbath’s treatment balm for review.
Note about the product: I haven’t yet used it on hot spots (only cracked skin), but it should be used on dog hot spots before they are infected from itching.
What Causes Hot Spots in Dogs?
Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, have a number of potential causes:
- insect bites
- excessive moisture next to the skin
- underlying skin infections (sometimes resulting from excessive itching)
Apparently, allergies are the most common cause of hot spots, triggered by a specific food, environmental allergens, and even flea bites. My girl likely developed hot spots from moisture and bacteria or fungus being trapped under her fur leading to a skin irritation that she itched and infected. infection. Antibiotics and topical medication helped clear the condition quickly.
How to Prevent Hot Spots in Dogs
1. Keep your dog’s vaccinations and flea/parasite prevention treatments up-to-date. Flea bites can lead to red irritations.
2. Clean your dog’s coat and groomed regularly. Moisture trapped under matts can irritate the skin leading to bacterial infections.
3. Wash your dog’s bedding clean and free of allergens and irritants.
4. If your dog has hotspots, keep the affected skin area clean and dry. Use an antiseptic to help prevent infection or a topical cream such as earthbath treatment balm.
5. If the hotspots are severe, consult your veterinarian who will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics and/or topical treatments – like mine did.
If we see hot spots again, I’ve got my earthbath treatment balm hand to apply immediately.
earthbath Treatment Balm Review
In the meantime, I’m applying this earthbath product to her paws and nose too, because it’s also designed to help heal dry or cracked canine noses and paws and that’s a concern in the dry winter – a lack of moisture in the air can cause dry noses.
Furthermore, harsh winter road chemicals are also drying on paw pads, even if you apply a paw protection wax such as Mushers Wax (affiliate link). I’m going to use this easy-to-apply made with fair trade shea butter regularly as a quick preventative strategy this winter. My dog let me apply it easily, although there is a slight eucalyptus scent.
According to the company, earthbath treatment balm is safe to use daily on noses, paws, callouses, skin folds, hot spots, and abrasions to promote healing. This company isn’t the only healing balm for dogs out there, but it is one of my favourite having tried a number of its environmentally conscious products previously.
A three-in-one product like this one is also a great money saver (see other money saving pet suggestions here) and check out our previous article about common canine health issues and how to prevent them.
Writer bio: Sherri Telenko has been a professional writer for decades and travel writer for the last two. She’s a member of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and Dog Writers Association of America, and travels almost weekly with her canine companion, Victoria.
Great article Sherri. I love that you added what causes hot spots, and methods of prevention in the article.
I live and work in the UK, I am going to see if Amazon Uk sell the earthbalm.