Tuesday May 10, 2016
Is there anything more heartbreaking than a dog that’s sick or in pain? In particular, hot spots can be devastating to watch. They are often extremely sensitive and painful, and your pet’s own instincts — to lick, chew and scratch the area — only make things worse.
Worse yet, many common treatments for hot spots include harsh chemicals, invasive antibiotics, and painkillers with lots of potential side effects. Talk to your vet and use those treatments if absolutely necessary, but you may be able to treat hot spots with a much more gentle, organic solution: noni!
What Are Hot Spots?
First, some information about what exactly your pet is going through. Hot spots, also known as moist dermatitis or superficial canine pyoderma, are inflamed, infected sores on the skin, often resulting from bacterial infection on the skin. Hot spots can also be caused by allergic reactions, poor grooming, and bites from insects or arachnids.
Anything that irritates your dog’s skin and causes him or her to start licking, chewing, and scratching the area can turn into a hot spot. In particular, the combination of an open wound, moisture, and continued irritation is a recipe for painful hot spots. They’re most likely to form on the dog’s head, chest, or hips, but can form elsewhere as well.
Hot spots usually redden, accompanied by wet scabbing, oozing, and increased inflammation and itching. There may even be an odor resulting from the infection. The area will most likely become sensitive to the touch, so be very gentle with your furry friend when treating the spots.
Treatment involves soothing the spots and protecting them from further damage. Most importantly, however, you and your vet will need to determine the root cause of the hot spots so they don’t just come right back.
You can learn more about hot spots by clicking here, but remember that you may be able to avoid some of the harsh treatments listed there!
First Steps to Healing Hot Spots
The sooner you act to get those hot spots under control, the sooner your pet can start to heal! Don’t wait for them to get really bad to take action.
Shave the Hair
This kind of infection thrives under the coat of dogs, especially if your dog’s coat is particularly long or thick, if it gets wet, or if it’s not well-groomed. Unfortunately, one of the first steps that must be taken is to shave or closely clip the hair around the hot spot.
This allows you to access the area so it can be cleaned and medicated, while also drying out the harmful moisture and keeping hair from entering and further irritating the wound.
Remember — your dog is likely to be very sensitive around the hot spot, so use care when trimming the hair. Enlist your vet if you’re worried.
Clean the Area
Next you’ll want to gently clean the area with mild cleanser. Use a gentle disinfectant like povidone-iodine, diluted and applied with a soft cloth or gauze. A gentle, water-based astringent may also help, but be warned that this could cause a lot of pain and stinging!
Repeat this cleansing step multiple times a day, in order to keep the wound clean and dry at all times.
Track the Spread of Infection
When you’re treating a condition like this at home, especially if you’re anxious about the health of your pet, it’s hard to stay objective about whether or not your treatments are working. It’s very important to understand how the wound is progressing, so you know when it’s time to get help from a vet.
You may want to mark the edges of the lesion with a permanent marker (make sure it’s non-toxic!) to check whether the infection is spreading or shrinking. If you’re uncomfortable with that option, carefully photo-document the wound or measure it to ensure it’s not growing.
If the condition seems to be worsening rather than improving after a couple of days, it’s time to bring in the vet. Some hot spots can cause serious illness, like fever and lasting skin problems.
Now it’s time to apply a topical solution like noni!
Noni: Treating Hot Spots on Two Fronts
Many of the topical treatments for hot spots are full of potentially harmful chemicals, including excessive antibiotics, steroids, and painkillers. These treatments may have side effects which could harm your pet, especially if your pet manages to lick some!
Luckily, nature has provided us with an unusual fruit that works both from the outside in and the inside out to heal skin conditions like this. It works for humans, and it works for your furry friends, too! Raw noni fruit is powerful, and has stood the test of time as a natural remedy for thousands of years.
But how does it work?
From the Outside: Soothes and Heals
Raw pulp from the noni fruit includes 165+ beneficial compounds, including a powerful painkilling, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial compound called scopoletin. One study said that noni’s painkilling power was comparable to hydrocortisone, but without any side effects or toxic level.
Other compounds in noni help resist parasites and treat infection. Click here to learn about the top 4 most beneficial compounds in noni fruit.
To treat hot spots topically, we recommend our Pets Lavender Noni Lotion. This gentle formula is made of pure, organic, raw noni pulp, mixed with water, grapefruit seed extract, and organic lavender oil. It’s the same formula as we sell for humans, but in a bottle with cute animals and an easy animal-friendly applicator tip.
You can apply this topical treatment multiple times per day. The best part is, even if your pet does lick off some of this lotion, it’s actually beneficial! Of course, you’ll want to prevent your dog from licking the hot spots as much as possible, whether with a plastic cone collar, bandage, or t-shirt.
From the Inside: Repairs and Prevents
Unless you also treat the underlying cause of the hot spots, whether it’s parasites, underlying infection, stress, or an allergic reaction, you’ll have a hard time completely healing them and preventing a resurgence.
That’s why we recommend also giving your pet a daily dose of Pets Noni Fruit Leather! This raw food has a wide variety of benefits for pets, including many that may help eliminate and prevent hot spots.
- Boosts Immunity: Good for regulating allergic reactions and infection
- Kills/Repels Parasites: Worst enemy of insects, arachnids, & worms — learn more!
- Prevents Infection: Strong antimicrobial properties
- Relieves Inflammation: Reduces pain and allows infection to heal
- Improves Mood: Lowers stress levels and helps with anxious habits
For larger dogs, we recommend about two 2x2 inch pieces per day while the hot spots are healing, spread out throughout the course of the day. For smaller dogs, start with one piece per day and move up to two if symptoms do not improve.
Once you get those hot spots under control, continue giving a 2x2 inch piece per day for preventative care and to continue reaping the many benefits of this powerful healing fruit!
Have you used noni to treat hot spots? Let us know in the comments!