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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering how many of you have had experiences with hot spots and would like to hear different methods of curing it. Overnight my GSD has created a big hot spot on her flank, so I have been treating it with anti-bacterial soap and spraying it with hot spot medicine from petsmart several times a day. I would like to know if anyone else has tried that spray, if it works and what other things are good to try. Thanks.
 

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jay lyda said:
Just wondering how many of you have had experiences with hot spots and would like to hear different methods of curing it. Overnight my GSD has created a big hot spot on her flank, so I have been treating it with anti-bacterial soap and spraying it with hot spot medicine from petsmart several times a day. I would like to know if anyone else has tried that spray, if it works and what other things are good to try. Thanks.
There is a spray called "Relief." I have had good luck with that (from the vet).

If it's acute moist pyoderma or acute moist dermatitis (what is usually meant by the term "hot spot"), then treating the bacteria and relieving the itch are indeed top prioities. The problem is that the itching/scratching causes repeated skin breaks, allowing more bacteria to get into the break.
http://www.vetinfo.com/dhotspots.html#Hot spots

Sometimes atopic dermatitis, or allergies, are misdiagnosed as hot spots, when there is actually an underlying allergy causing the severe itch.

Generally, there is an underlying factor, such as fleas or mites or maybe a spider bite -- something that opened the skin. Sometimes it's a mystery, and never recurs.

Both can make the dog miserable.
 

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With smaller spots I've had good luck with medicated baby powder or Gold Bond powder.
 

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Bob Scott said:
With smaller spots I've had good luck with medicated baby powder or Gold Bond powder.
I have heard about Gold Bond, too, for small spots. In fact, it was the receptionist at the vet's office talking about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll check into the relief spray. Luckily she doesn't have any puss oozing yet. She has just chewed away all the hair in a area about two inches wide. It looks clean, just bare skin showing. She doesn't seem to be chewing on it today. Its only been three days, hopefully I've caught it in time so it won't get worse. If I'm lucky she'll leave it alone now so the hair can grow back. Thanks for the info, it was helpful.
 

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I had good luck with Gentocin spray (from the vet), but that was a long time ago! If I were you, I would try Gold Bond & Relief first. As I'm sure you know, the most important thing is to find the underlying cause of the itching.
 

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The very best thing I've ever found for hot spots is Neo-Predef powder. It has tetracaine to numb the spot, and cortisone to stop the itch and inflammation. It's a bit pricey, but it's one of the things that I always keep in my pet medicine cabinet because it works so well.
 

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One thing I found helpful with my allergic dog is keeping the undercoat pulled out helps prevent them. Then keeping them dry helps them heal. The dog licking them is the main culprit.

I would give him some benedryl to help the itch - thought benedryl seems not to be a wonder drug it does help some.
 

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The very best method of treating hot spots is a cheap product made by Hartz (no joke) and found in most pet sections at the local grocery store. It's in a small clear bottle with yellow fluid - called Sulfadene liquid. It is without a doubt the best treatment for hot spots on the market - try it and you will see for yourself. It dries the spot up, makes it bad-tasting so they don't keep licking it, heals and hair starts growing back in no time. Cheap too. Just put some on a cotton ball and apply - or just rub it in with your finger. I've found that gentocin spray is good for initial treatment when the spot is raw - but it keeps the spot "wet" and so healing takes longer and dog keeps licking.
I'd also make sure you treat the dog for whatever might have caused the hot spot - fleas, tickbite, or even food allergy - what are you feeding? If it's a food with allergin in it (corn or wheat) try changing to a food with no corn or wheat. Food allergies can cause skin problems, dry skin, ear infections/irritations, runny eyes, etc.

molly
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the help. I've heard of gold bond and cortizone for treatment, seems like theres alot of different ways to treat it. I did read that it is good to keep it dried out thats why I wasn't sure about keeping it moist with a spray. I've been trying to pinpoint the cause, but there are so many things it could be. I treat her for fleas with advantage and I haven't seen any on her, not to say that it couldn't be a flea. I've been feeding her sportmix for about the past six months now and this is her first skin problem so I don't think its her diet. I keep her brushed out on a routine basis so I know its not because of overly thick or matted hair. If it gets worse before better I'm just going to have to take her to the vet, maybe shes having some kind of allergy problem. I'm sure the heat isn't helping either. Is this a problem that happens more so in the summer?
 

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jay lyda said:
.... If it gets worse before better I'm just going to have to take her to the vet, maybe shes having some kind of allergy problem. I'm sure the heat isn't helping either. Is this a problem that happens more so in the summer?
Absolutely. Some people call it "summer spots."

One important thing is that it can get very bad very fast. So if it spreads or worsens at all, I'd call the vet right away. It is a bacterial infection, no matter what the underlying cause was, so RX help might be needed.

You can click on each photo here to enleage, and go step by step through the cleaning/drying/disinfecting process (and be scared at the same time by what an untreated hot spot can become :eek: ).
http://www.thepetcenter.com/exa/hotspots.html

Here's another brief overview from Merck:
http://www.cvm.uiuc.edu/petcolumns/showarticle.cfm?id=510
 

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I'm second-guessing the spray, too. In fact, I'm taking back the suggestion about "Relief" spray.

I use it, but for the spots the allergic dog(s) worry at and lick.

A moist bacterial infection -- you're right. I read everything I have about true hot spots this morning, and everything emphasizes dryness. Bacteria generally need damp to flourish.
 

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I've been feeding her sportmix for about the past six months now and this is her first skin problem so I don't think its her diet.
I'm going to try and keep this short and sweet. The hot spot very well could be diet related. It can take up to 6 months for some problems to become evident after switching to a new food, because that's about how long it takes for the body to 'cycle' and 'detox' itself from the previous food. Of course, problems can also pop up within days of starting a new food, but don't rule out diet just because it's been about 6 months since you started feeding Sportmix.

Corn. I hate seeing corn as an ingredient in dog food. Mainly because it's pretty much useless to dogs, but also because many companies will claim it is an excellent protein source and USE it as the primary (or only) source of protein in the food. Dogs cannot digest corn well, so they are not able to get what little protein there is out of it. Instead, corn can cause hyperactivity (since it is actually a carbohydrate) and more waste. Corn can also cause skin issues as well as ear problems. I don't know which formula of Sportmix you're feeding, but they all contain corn. The so-called "premium" formulas also contain by-product meals, wheat (another common allergen), and salt, all of which are not the best things to be seeing in a dog food - ESPECIALLY one that's being called a "premium" food!

I don't know what you're paying for Sportmix, but IMO you'd be better off finding something more nutritious for your dogs. I wonder how much per day you're having to feed them to keep them at a healthy weight?


I've never had to deal with hot spots with my dogs, but I have had to deal with both hot spots, dandruff, and ear infections in foster dogs who came to me on a diet that was corn-based. Within a few weeks of switching them to a food without corn, their problems cleared right up.
 

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I have recently heard several discussions of corn not being so bad as originally thought.

Now I don't like the food ingredients as they start with by-products but the corn - I am just not so sure it is that bad after all.

- I am feeding my allergy dog a feed WITH corn now for about a year and he is doing better than he EVER did on either BARF or kibbles containing other grains.
 

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Kristen Cabe said:
.....Corn. I hate seeing corn as an ingredient in dog food. Mainly because it's pretty much useless to dogs, but also because many companies will claim it is an excellent protein source and USE it as the primary (or only) source of protein in the food. Dogs cannot digest corn well, so they are not able to get what little protein there is out of it. Instead, corn can cause hyperactivity (since it is actually a carbohydrate) and more waste. .....
Yes, corn (and other grains) are one of the dog food industry's bigger sins, and (IMO) they have lots of sins to account for.

I'm not familiar with that food, but I just looked it up. There is at least one recipe with no corn, but most have corn in second place on the ingredient list.

Corn, like wheat and barley and other grains, is a protein grain. Most canine food allergies are to a protein, and many involve a grain. Corn is way up there on that list.

Most canine allergies are not food-related. Fleas are by far number one, and environmental/inhalant allergies are number two. Food trails way behind in third place.

But I believe that a grain-heavy diet is detrimental in the long run, because of the reliance on the proteins in the cheap grain when the canine system is designed to get protein from meat, and is not equipped with the enzymes (such as salivary amylase) humans produce, to digest grains in any substantial amount. I also believe that appropriate food helps the system (directly) not to be stricken with allergies of all types, along with other autoimmune disorders.

In the longer run, I believe that grain-heavy foods can stress the canine pancreas to produce a much greater-than-normal amount of grain-processing enzymes to the point that it can contribute to pancreatic derangement, possibly including cancer of the pancreas.

The research I've read points this way, but I'm not a health professional.

I've had very very good results with rescue dogs who had been a mess on very bad diets indeed and who turned around amazingly on good food.

I agree that I too would switch to a low- or no-grain food. Even if raw is not an option, there are now several excellent no-grain choices, among which (I believe) The Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw (not baked, not kibble) shines.

Good catch, Kristen, that you knew there was a lot of grain in this food. I really like to get the word out about ingredients in some (many) commercial foods!
 

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I didn't know until I looked it up. I must have missed the one you said you found without corn in it (I thought I'd looked at all the formulas before I posted :oops: ). I hate to turn this thread into a dog food thread, but I felt it was worth mentioning that diet could be a factor and why. :wink:
 

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Nancy Jocoy said:
....... I am feeding my allergy dog a feed WITH corn now for about a year and he is doing better than he EVER did on either BARF or kibbles containing other grains.
Hi, Nancy,

The commercial allergy-diet foods that contain corn are using a hydrolized corn starch* ingredient for a protein source. The process renders the protein hypoallergenic by denaturing it to the point that the natural antigens are removed.

This is a very different product from the ground corn that is so ubiquitous in commercial dog foods. It's a protein source that eliminates the need for blood- or skin-testing or elimination diets to pinpoint the allergens because of its nature as a hypoallergen.

It is indeed a last resort for severely allergic animals that can enable them to live a normal life. (Some dogs are so allergic that they develop allergies to protein after protein as new ones are introduced.)

I'm sure you're 100% correct that if the dog was fed BARF ingredients to which he was allergic, then that BARF diet was bad for him. BARF can contain allergens for an individual dog just as any commercial diet or home-cooked food can.

Allergies are very complicated, and they can definitely require measures like hydrolized proteins from corn and soy (which again are not corn and soy in their natural forms).

Anyone who wants more detail about this process:
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6403142.html

Also, of course, if a dog is allergic to wheat, say, and is switched to even the standard ground corn in the food, then he'll do much better without the ingredient he's allergic to.

So *in general,* for almost all dogs, I believe (and I am in a large group) that grain-heavy food is inappropriate food.


*Edited to add corn gluten as a protein source for some dogs with serious allergies; again, this is not the "ground corn" in most foods that we're talking about as one of the ubiquitous grains
 

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I don't want to derail this thread, either........ allergies can be the underlying factor in skin probems, and so can several other factors.

Most of my own experience has been allergy-related, since I've had (and still have) allergic dogs.

But once the skin has been broken repeatedly by scratching, and bacteria have started to flourish, then taking care of the affected skin, stopping the bacteria growth, and helping reduce the dog's need to scratch are probably top priority.

I'd consult with the vet about possible underlying causes at the same time.

Good luck, Jay. I imagine that most of the members here have dealt with one or another canine skin problem, and it can be extremely frustrating. Your dog's sounds pretty good, since it looks clean and unbroken. Good job, catching it so fast.
 

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Jay, years ago I would use burnt motor oil and sulphur and cover the spot. Dogs won't lick it. I would use it once a week for about three weeks. My bird dogs did just fine. There are probably a lot better things to use now.
 
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