And other furbabies too, for that matter!
So, what is a hot spot, you may ask? Also known as moist eczema, they are a somewhat common skin problem in pets. They can be caused from a flea bite, an itchy spot, a small cut or scratch, you name it. It is an area on the pet’s skin that is irritated, causing them to lick and bite at it, further irritating the area. Often the area will be bright pink or red and hot to the touch, thus the name.
Desi recently came down with a hot spot on one of his rear feet. It was red, hot, and angry looking. He had been nibbling away at it and even chewed away a good amount of fur, making it look even worse. Now, if you have never had any experience with a hot spot, or if your pet has an injury that you have never seen before, obviously you should take them straight to the vet. This post is just some helpful advice for those of us who are familiar with hot spots and are looking for an effective at home treatment. I will tell you, I am a registered veterinary technician, and I have had a good amount of experience with these babies. If I weren’t certain of what it was, I would have him checked by our vet immediately. The hot spot can quickly get worse and even get infected. If the cause is a flea bite, you will also need to treat the flea problem, or you aren’t really helping the issue.
Desi’s spot was from a small cut on one of his toes, probably from running around in our backyard and playing with Lucy. After thoroughly cleaning the area, I made up a mixture of 1/3 Listerine, 1/3 baby oil, and 1/3 water. I just used a small spray pump bottle, like the ones you find in the travel section of any big box store. Shake it up, and spray on the affected area, rubbing it in and getting all the nooks and crannies all nice and coated.
I repeated this step several times a day for the first day, and by day two, I saw a huge improvement! I continued applying a few times a day for about three days total, and now his foot looks good as new! Well, the hair is still short and growing back, but you know what I mean! :)
So why does it work? The Listerine prevents infection and has anti fungal properties, and the water dilutes it so that the high alcohol content does not burn the inflamed area. The baby oil seems to help the Listerine really stick to the spot, and crazily enough, does not make an oily mess at all!
This is definitely a good trick to know, especially since often times these little hot spots like to pop up on weekends when the vet is not open. Give it a try!