Gordo the bulldog struggled for a long time with fungal infections on his skin.
He suffered from a chronic condition that caused recurrent dog hot spots, or red flaky patches on his skin. They were itchy and painful and frequently developed yeast.
Gordo was miserable.
His humans, Matt and Dave, were desperate to help heal his inflamed skin and alleviate his suffering. They tried product after product, sprays and lotions and special shampoos, but nothing worked.
Sometimes the results from using these products - even from those labeled gentle formulas - were worse than the rash: they often dried his skin out more and his hair would fall out in clumps.
He could not take a bath or play in the water because it would dry out his skin and coat. Brushing and grooming were excruciating.
Poor Gordo would occasionally even be burned by the chemicals and alcohol in them.
Dave and Matt tried everything!
After years of helplessly watching Gordo suffer, trying everything available and realizing none of the options really worked, they set out to create their own product. HotSpot Anti-Itch Spray was the result of their research and experimentation!
They quickly realized Gordo was definitely not the only one suffering. There were many dogs (and their humans!) in the same boat!
Matt and Dave wanted other pet owners to have the same success in caring for their dogs, so now they are sharing their products with you!
What Is HotSpot Anti-Itch Spray For Dogs?
HotSpot Anti-Itch Spray is essential-oil based, so it is all-natural and simple. You will recognize all the ingredients- no scary, harsh chemicals here!
Many pet owners are concerned with the potential side effects of using synthetic ingredients on their dogs and in their homes.
And for good reason: long-term exposure to these substances has been linked to:
- Organ damage and failure
- Development of allergies
- Reproductive problems
- Cancer and tumor growth
- Respiratory damage leading to asthma and chronic breathing problems
The formula for HotSpot is safe and gentle enough to use even on sensitive, raw, broken-out skin. If your dog has been scratching at one spot long enough to break the surface or wear away all the fur, it is important to use an anti-itch product that will not burn him.
HotSpot uses purified water as the base to our anti-itch spray so it will not burn your dog when you use it. Purified water has been mechanically filtered and processed to have a balanced pH and to remove contaminants and impurities.
It is safe to use on puppies older than six months, but don’t spray HotSpot in his face. It should not get in his mouth or eyes at all.
Why Is My Dog Itching?
If your dog suffers from a chronic rash problem, it will be worth it for you to figure out how to permanently cure it.
The three most common causes of itching (called pruritus by the medical community) are parasites, infections, and allergic reactions.
Parasites like dog fleas and ticks can be irritating to your pet. Their bites can hurt and the bumps they leave behind can itch. If your dog is digging or gnawing at his skin, make sure to part the hair and examine the area closely.
Flea infestations, once in your house and car, are also very difficult to eradicate completely.
More than being simply a nuisance, fleas, and ticks can be extremely dangerous. They carry smaller parasites that can infect your dog with potentially-lethal diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and typhus. If your dog accidentally eats the fleas he could end up with internal parasites like tapeworms.
They can even carry the bubonic plague!
Preventing fleas, ticks, lice, and mites are fairly straightforward. There are plenty of options for over-the-counter preventatives like chews and oils. Talk to your veterinarian for help choosing the right one.
Sarcoptic mange, commonly known as scabies, is caused by mites burrowing tunnels under your dog’s skin. Scabies rashes look like small pimples: they are tiny fluid-filled bumps that could appear in a neat row. The itching from scabies is unimaginable and gets worse at night.
Scabies spreads like wildfire via skin-to-skin contact and requires a prescription anti-parasite medication, so if your dog has scabies you may need to treat the whole family including other animals. Even if you do not see any evidence of scabies on your hands, you will want to speak to your own doctor about prophylactic treatment for yourself.
If your dog has a bacterial infection on his skin, such as from yeast, scratching will open up sores and make it worse. It could even offer up an opportunity for the bacteria to get inside his body and make him deathly ill.
Pyoderma is the medical name for a skin infection. It is not contagious to either humans or animals, although the cause may be, like in the case of ringworm.
The typical treatment plan for bacterial infection is:
- A round of oral antibiotics, usually lasting several weeks. Amoxicillin, cephalexin, or clindamycin are all popularly prescribed for pyoderma.
- Medicated shampoos and oil sprays containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
- Low-dose corticosteroids like prednisone
- Anti-itch medicine like hydroxyzine
- Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen
Your vet may give you a cone for your dog’s neck to stop him from licking and biting his wounds while they heal. This is called an Elizabethan collar. They also make soft cone versions that are more comfortable and flexible enough to allow your dog to lie down and sleep.
The protocol for viral or fungal infections are similar, but with an antifungal or antiviral medication instead of an antibiotic.
If your dog is suffering from an allergic reaction, your immediate need will be to figure out what the cause is. It could be food, medicine, or allergens in the environment like pollen.
Eliminating the cause of the reaction will be an essential step in allowing your dog to get better.
If the root of the reaction is food, doing an elimination diet can help isolate the offending ingredient. The most common allergens are cows-milk dairy, eggs, nuts, shellfish, wheat, and soy.
Medications can also carry the risk of triggering an immune response. Antibiotics, sulfa drugs, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and pain medications (like ibuprofen) are the most common offenders. Penicillin is the most common drug allergy for both humans and dogs.
Some allergic responses to medicine form after surgery. Many dogs are mildly allergic to anesthetics, both local (like lidocaine and benzocaine) and general anesthesia (such as when a dog is sedated for major surgery using drugs like propofol).
Unfortunately, about one in 2,000 dogs will die from an allergic reaction while under general anesthesia.
Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin comes into contact with an irritant and a rash forms. Many animals are sensitive to certain fabrics or creams. Latex allergies are very common.
Blisters, fissures, and peeling are textbook signs of severe contact dermatitis.
If the itching from an allergic reaction continues despite your best efforts to control it, your veterinarian may suggest you consult a canine immunologist that specializes in allergies.
There are other reasons he may be itchy. Skin irritations and rashes are actually the second most common reason for veterinarian visits (with digestive concerns being number one).
Dry skin is often seasonal or prevalent in arid regions with low humidity. Dry skin generally presents with flakes of dandruff and cracked red areas. If your dog has dry skin it is a good idea to avoid harsh grooming products until it is resolved.
Some dogs will itch themselves out of boredom. Introduce some fun toys or novel activities and it may fix itself with no further effort on your part. Inadequate stimulation is not only bad for your dog’s mind and body, but it can also be hard on your home and budget as well- very often a bored dog will become a destructive dog.
Others will scratch and bite themselves when they are anxious.
There are many home remedies and lifestyle adjustments you can try for his anxiety, including:
- Making him a dark, quiet den space
- Cannabidiol (CBD) oil chews
- Hiring dog walkers and pet sitters so he will not be alone
- Distracting him with toys and games like learning new tricks
- Massage and pressure therapy (this is how Thundershirts work!)
Dogs scratch at their skin for many reasons. It is a good idea to check in with your veterinarian if you notice your dog is unusually itchy.
Call your vet immediately if you notice the signs of infection:
- A sticky green discharge oozing from any open wound or the nose, ears, or mouth
- Open sores that may have scabbed over with a thick yellowish crust
- A putrid smell coming from your dog’s face, coat or skin, or genitals. It may not go away despite proper grooming and dental hygiene.
- Swelling and warmth around any of the sores
- Greasy, scaly, flaking skin patches
There are some external signs of a long-term yeast infection. Hyperpigmentation, or darkened areas of skin, is often present, as well as ‘elephant skin’, or super thick grooved skin. Recurring ear infections are also common in dogs that have an internal yeast imbalance.
How Else Can I Help My Dog Stop Itching?
Many times there is no underlying cause of your dog’s itching issues. It may take quite a bit of trial and error before you find what works to solve the problem.
A good grooming and hygiene regimen can help. Oatmeal baths are a good place to start, but remember that bathing your dog too often can exacerbate the issue. Once a week is probably more than often enough.
Brushing your dog can be extremely helpful, especially if you use short gentle strokes with a natural bristle brush. It can wipe away any allergens and excess hair and keep his coat clean. Brushing regularly stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, further moisturizing and protecting the skin.
Brushing regularly also gives you ample opportunity to check for new or changing sores, fleas, ticks, and spreading rashes.
Make sure to include HotSpot in your daily canine grooming regimen.
Nutrition is often the first line of defense against many health conditions, including most of the reasons he could be itching. Dietary changes can cure a whole host of ills in both humans and animals.
In order to ensure their pet is at his healthiest, many dog owners choose to make their own dog food from scratch. If you want to start feeding yours the same way, focus on whole plant-based foods from your own cabinet!
You may want to avoid excess carbohydrates until you narrow down the list of potential reasons your dog is itchy. Some conditions can be worsened by grains and wheat and corn allergies are prevalent enough to warrant an elimination diet.
Starting with a base of protein (like ground beef or chicken), experiment with various fruits and vegetables until you find a mixture your dog enjoys.
Ingredients to try include:
- Green beans
- Eggs (including the shell)
- Coconut oil or olive oil
- Berries, especially blueberries and cranberries
- Peanut butter
- Cottage cheese or unsweetened whole-fat Greek yogurt
- Sweet potato
- Small amounts of garlic (one clove a day is considered a safe amount)
Some foods to NEVER feed your dog include grapes and raisins, chocolate, onions, and macadamia nuts.
A multivitamin is always a good plan as it will fill in any gaps in your dog’s diet. You may also want to check into supplements.
There are several solid choices, like:
- Magnesium and calcium
- Digestive enzymes
- Essential fatty acids from fish oil or phytoplankton
- Vitamin E
Your dog’s environment could be playing a huge role in causing any health conditions that present with rashes.
Your house and yard could be a primary factor in determining his overall health. Take into consideration:
- If your yard is overgrown with weeds or grass, it could be causing some contact dermatitis. There are many plants that can cause a rash like poison ivy, acacia, and juniper. If your dog is eating something outside, like the berries of a yew tree, it could be causing an issue. Any chemicals you use on your lawn can affect him too.
- How many everyday household cleaners you use and if they are made with toxic chemicals. Bleach, carpet powders, laundry soaps, and air fresheners are all potential allergens in your home.
- The materials your home and furniture are made of. Asbestos is a well-known example, but you should also check into lead poisoning and other heavy metals or mold. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon are often problematic as well.
- Inhalation of air pollutants, like carbon monoxide or secondhand smoke in dogs. If you smoke around your pet, consider quitting. Second- and third-hand smoke can kill. Using an air purifier or charcoal sponges can help eliminate toxins from the air you and your pet breathe.
- Any beauty and hygiene products you use yourself. Aerosolized sprays, such as hair spray, are often a problem for a pet’s sensitive respiratory system. Perfumes and artificial scent additives can do the same.
- Other pets you may own. It is possible that your animal is allergic to cats and dogs!
Experiment with several different suggestions and see what works for your dog. It could be helpful to keep a log of what you are testing. It can help identify problem areas and show you health trends over time.
Each day in your notebook keep track of:
- Your dog’s activities, especially those outside or in a new place (such as walks or hikes and dog parks)
- What he eats and how much (in particular with new foods)
- What medicines he takes, including doses and side effects noticed
- Grooming and hygiene practices
- Details about his rash and other symptoms
Make sure to take your logbook with you to every appointment with your pet care team, including your veterinarian, specialists, groomers, and trainers. If your dog is in the care of other people on occasion (such as when you stay with family or need overnight boarding) make sure all parties are on the same page as far as grooming and feeding practices to adhere to.
While you are grooming him each day, spray him down thoroughly with HotSpot Anti-Itch Spray and then add antibiotic ointment to his sores. Make sure they stay clean and dry. Introducing infection into an open wound could spell major trouble for your dog.
Minimizing the long-term damage done to your dog’s skin, avoiding the introduction of infection, and eliminating the base cause of the rash is essential to maintaining his good health. Diligence and attention to detail are crucial in your success.
Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions, need suggestions, or wish to discuss a course of treatment that includes medication. He may be able to refer you to a specialist or introduce you to a product you may not have known about.
Handling your dog’s itchy, broken skin could prove to be a monumental task spanning his entire life. Make it easier on you, your family, your dog, and your budget by including HotSpot Anti-Itch Spray in your treatment plan!