Dog Care – How to Treat a Hot Spot

Acute moist dermatitis or pyotraumatic dermatitis, commonly known as hot spots are usually red, itchy and oozing skin infections which can emerge at anytime and anywhere on your dogs’ body. Until Bunk, I had never experienced or seen this type of skin condition but during the last few years we became kind of self-taught experts on hot spots, its causes and treatments so today I would like to share my knowledge with you.

Acute moist dermatitis or pyotraumatic dermatitis, commonly known as hot spots are usually red, itchy and oozing skin infections which can emerge at anytime and anywhere on your dogs’ body. Until Bunk, I had never experienced or seen this type of skin condition but during the last few years we became kind of self-taught experts on hot spots, its causes and treatments so today I would like to share my knowledge with you.

My first experience with hot spots was an extremely expensive learning process. It started with Bunk having a “bubu” on his head. Well, we all get scratched at some point so I decided to deal with it myself… I was cleaning it, drying and doing all I should do (or so I thought) but cutting a long story short, a week later we ended up at the vet, and after a few long hours of procedures which included the sedating of the dog, lots of cleaning and scraping of the wound, we were finally presented with a half bald Bunk, no actual answers as to the cause of his malady and for the pleasure a £500 vet bill (no, at this time, we didn’t have dog insurance, so we just had to pay it… lesson learnt). This expensive mistake led me to seeking knowledge of the main root causes and at the same time what home treatments are there for hot spots.

When you read about hot spots on the net a lot of articles state that poor grooming is one of the reasons for it… well it might be so but most of the time Bunk is very well groomed and he still has them. The other reason offered are fleas, ticks, mites etc… again, my dog has never had any of these, yet he does have hot spots… the point I am trying to make is that hot spots can come and go and if you have a dog prone to them, it really isn’t necessarily your fault, it is just the way it is. It took me a long time to understand this, as for weeks or even months I was blaming myself for Bunks skin infections.

There is no underlying reason for Bunks hot spot as we know of. I know that some food types make it worse so now he is on a gluten free raw diet, which seems to be helping. I know that wet weather condition can make it worse so we do our best to keep him as dry as possible especially after each walk in the rain. I know that dry skin isn’t helping so he is fed coconut and fish oils on a daily basis, which helps with preventing them but also helps speed up the healing process once we have an outbreak.

Any dog can develop a hot spot, for a number of reasons, so it’s important to know how to deal with them once you encounter them.

How to treat a hot spot?

With hot spots time is of the essence. They can grow very fast, so once you spot it, it needs immediate attention… really I mean immediate as in right then at that moment, not later, after dinner or in the morning… trust me when it comes to hot spots time isn’t on your side.

Step 1 – Clip the hair over the top of it and all around it. This will allow you to monitor if the hot spot is growing but most of all it will allow you to move to step 2 easily. Yes, I know your dog may end up looking awkward and unsightly and this isn’t always an ideal solution but think about it this way: what would you prefer: a healthy dog or a pretty dog?

Step 2 – Clean the area with something anti-allergic. I personally use “grey soap”, it’s a type of soap with a much higher content of carboxylic acids, glycerol, citric acid, sodium chloride and no added dies or perfumes. It doesn’t cause irritations and it has drying properties. When you have cleaned the area completely then pat it dry with kitchen towel and move to the next step.

Step 3 – Disinfect the wound. You can use shop bought sprays or simply make one. If I run out of disinfectant I mix 1 part of Listerine (the original orangey one) with 4 parts of water and add a few drops of oil (almond one works for me). Mixed in a spray bottle it works perfectly and it does the job as it should.

Step 4 – Apply a topical help. Well, now this is a difficult one as self-treating hot spots can be tricky and it all will depend on how big it is, how advanced it is and where is it on their body. The type of things which work for us include: raw manuka honey, raw aloe, comfrey ointment and Gold Bond powder. They all speed up the healing process and gold bond is perfect for helping the wound dry out.

Step 5 – Keep your dog away from the wound. This is even trickier that picking what to use on the wound itself but once you tune your ear to the sound your dog makes when he or she is scratching, biting or licking you will be able to quickly act on it and stop them… or you can try one of those collars as used by the vet that looks like a lamp shade around their neck (we struggled to find one that would fit a Newfoundland and when we finally did, turns out Bunk hates them and besides that it became very obvious very quickly that he is way too big to be running around the house in one).

These are my steps for home treating a hot spot. They work for us but we have had years of practise…. You can treat them at home but I would recommend a vet visit if you are new to hot spots and you dog has never had one before as he/she might have an underlying cause for them. It’s important to seek professional help if you are in doubt after all vets are there to help us care for our pets.

Have you ever experienced a hot spot problem?

Do you have some different method for treating them?

*This is a collaborative post.

New neighbours? No, thanks! – My #PetHates

New neighbours? No, thanks! – My #PetHatesMore Th>n Insurance are working with The RSPCA to aid unwanted and neglected pets. For every pet insurance policy sold, More Th>n will donate £20 to The RSPCA to help them in their cause.

I was asked to support this campaign and to help raise awareness of its existence by sharing my #PetHates with you.

How could I say no?

There are so many pets in need and £20 is a lot of money compared to the usual 20p or 50p companies tend to donate from each product or service sold.

I love the idea of helping others by helping yourself. As I am sure we have all come to realise with the staggeringly high vet costs now a days that pet insurance is a necessity so why not help yourself and share some love with some less fortunate animals at the same time?

I was thinking long and hard about one pet hate which would stand out from others. Lilly is quite easy going and she doesn’t really hate anything, Bunk being like a big child gets puffy and grumpy when things don’t go his way but most of the time he is scared of things instead of hating them the gentle giant syndrome, Ode lives in his own little world and sometimes I really think he hates everyone and everything around him, this left me with Mr Ginger…

New neighbours? No, thanks! - My #PetHatesMr Ginger is an easy going, happy and super friendly ginger tom cat… he loves most things and most people and leads a contented and stress free lifestyle whilst doing what he wants when he wants… so by anyone’s standards life was good… I say was good because one day our neighbours bought home a tiny, fluffy ball of fur which grew up to be a stunningly good looking, handsome and moody Russian Blue called Harry…

Mr Ginger life was over as we knew it!

No longer could he lounge in the neighbour garden, nor could he any longer take care of their bird population as he was basically made redundant, no longer could he sneak in to their house to see if any tasty treats could be ninja-ed and worst or all he was no longer the most handsome kitty on the block!

The war began!

New neighbours? No, thanks! - My #PetHatesDays spent glaring at each other from the driveway, tons of practise of hissing, yowling and an excellent yoga style work out with arched backs. It’s fair to say he hated the new kid on the block. As the weeks went by an uneasy truce was established as geopolitics brought about a peace treaty but it is unstable to say the least and could break down at any moment… tensions run high.

I am sure in time they will grow to love each other, after all what’s wrong with giving peace a chance 😉

Does your pet have any hates?

Have you ever had to assist in a local feud?

How to keep your pets healthy and avoid the vets

When you decide that it’s time to introduce a pet into your family’s life it’s easy to get caught up in discovering all the cute little things they do. One aspect that many people overlook is the potential expense that an unexpected trip to the vets can cost. With vets’ fees rising sharply, the average single pet insurance claim now costs more than £600.*

Luckily, here in the UK we have the NHS to rely on if we fall ill or have an accident but our furry, scaly and feathered friends are not so lucky and when they need medical attention veterinary treatment can be very expensive. Accidents can happen to anyone, at anytime and having More Than pet insurance will give you peace of mind that those costly unexpected bills are taken care of.

Nobody likes seeing their pets unwell, so making sure that yours stays as healthy as possible is one very easy way to avoid going to the vet.

Here are 3 simple tips to keep your pet in tip top condition.

How to keep your pets healthy

Road Sense

Collisions with cars can cause horrible injuries to animals and a simple way to prevent them is to always keep your dog on a lead when you go onto the street or near a road. Cats are creatures of habit so only let yours out into your back garden rather than letting them out of the front door towards the traffic.

Home Check Ups

As the temperature drops at this time of year, take the time to make a regular check of your pet’s paws and pads. Winter grit and salt are two of the biggest culprits for small cuts and grazes which can easily become infected. Both cats and dogs will always try to clean their own wounds but sometimes they will only irritate them further and can result in an upsetting appointment with the vet.

How to keep your pets healthy.

A Healthy Diet

Providing your pet with a healthy balanced diet is essential for them to get all the nutrients that they need and it is the very least that any responsible owner should do. It’s nigh on impossible to monitor everything that they eat when they’re off their leads in a park or put out for the night but while they’re under your control make sure that they’re eating the right amount of wholesome food. Another way to ensure your pet is having a well balanced diet is by making the food yourself rather than buying it from stores.

Do you have any tips on how to keep your pet healthy?

*Post brought to you by More Than.

Pet Facts Video Infographic by Petplan

Petplan created a really interesting video infographic about pets they insure; from dogs, cats, horses to rabbits or even tortoises.

I like numbers and statistics so this infographic is really up my alley.

It is interesting to know that despite the UK being a nation of cat owners (apparently) Petplan has much more dogs than cats on their books (only 37% of cats to a staggering 56% of dogs).

I wonder why… maybe this has something to do with the size and vet bills… unsure… but I would assume it is the reason why so many cat owners have decided not to insure their cats, which is really silly as vet bills can easily reach in to the £1000s when something goes wrong (we know the pain we missed a hot spot on our Bunk once and thus got hit with well over £500 of vet bills for cleaning it up).

The most interesting part of the infographic for me is the ages of the Petplan elders “customers”. The oldest rabbit is 13 years old, oldest dog is 21 (wow!), elders cat….

… watch the infographic to find out…

It is very enjoyable, I promise.

* I was provided with some Amazon vouchers as a thank you for sharing this infographic with you.

The 7 Types of Pet Owner – Which Are You?

Some people happily treat their pets as a part of the family, while others think of their pets more as part of the furniture. What type of pet owner are you? Do you fall into one of these categories or are you a mix of two or more?

The Goldfish Owner

You leave other people to worry about whether dogs are better than cats safe in the knowledge that the humble goldfish trump them all – they’re low maintenance, cheap, and there’s little chance of you becoming too attached to them.

A-Goldfish-In-A-Bowl

The Animal Adopter

You love animals so much that just the thought of one in distress causes you to tear up. Consequently your home has begun to resemble a makeshift animal shelter, with cats, dogs, bunnies, gerbils and anything else that you can look after being offered a warm welcome. Recently you’ve been thinking about relocating somewhere bigger, simply in order to make room for more animals in need.

rabbit-cats-dogs

The Not-got-a-pet-yet Pet Owner

You fawn over other people’s pets and jump at the opportunity to do a spot of pet-sitting if given the chance, but you aren’t quite ready for one of your own just yet due to your hectic work schedule and manic social life. Until you have a pet of your own you’ll find yourself daydreaming about what breed of dog would suit you best or what name you’d give your cat.

waving-dog

The part of the family owner

You celebrate your pet’s birthday by showering them with treats and make sure that they get to enjoy Sunday Roast like the rest of the family. You wouldn’t dream of shutting them outside in the cold – in fact they’re much more likely to curl up at the end of your bed. Of course, just like with any other family member you have your falling outs, but you could never stay angry with your pet and there’s nothing better than making up.

Birthday boy

The Pet Pam perer

More than just a friend, or even a family member, your pet is a first class fashion accessory and a regular at your local dog grooming business. You spoil it with the finest quality organic pet food to ensure its coat stays glossy and you’ve made sure that its colour complements your skin tone after a spray tan. It probably has a slightly ridiculous name and yes, of course it fits in your handbag.

dog-bag

The replacer

Nobody could ever accuse you of mistreating your pets – you follow vet’s instructions precisely and have read up extensively on the best way of caring for them -it’s just that you’ve been terribly unlucky, and after the loss of a gerbil, hamster and rabbit all within a few months of each other, you’re beginning to wonder if you’re jinxed.

1

The Reluctant Owner

There’s an animal that lives in your house, but you don’t really consider it yours – you bought it because the kids wouldn’t stop pestering you, or your partner thought it would be such a great idea to have a pet they went ahead and got one without asking you. Even though you never wanted the pet, you find that you’re the one usually feeding it or cleaning up after it. While you imagine you’re immune to your pet’s charms you’ve caught yourself overwhelmed by cuteness on more than one occasion.

Sleeping-dog

This article was written by David Lewzey of helpucover.

helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offer a range of cover including Income Protection, Pet Insurance, GAP insurance and Gadget Insurance.