A hot spot is a localized area of skin inflammation and infection due to bacteria. Hot spots can appear anywhere but are most commonly found on the neck, chest or flank. Although they can pop up at any time of year, they are more common in the summer months, especially for dogs who are swimming in ponds. Hot spots can grow at an incredibly fast rate – you may notice a small spot in the morning and return from work to a horrid, pus filled mess the size of your fist.
In healthy dogs, hot spots can respond very quickly to the right homeopathic remedy without the need for shaving it down or applying salves and creams. Acute prescribing can be quite easy for even the most novice of homeopaths as the remedy you choose will depend on the appearance of the hot spot and the behavior or your dog.
Below is a short list of some remedies you might want to consider. This list is by no means complete, but for most dogs, one of these remedies will be a good fit.
Because Apis is made from the honey bee, think of a bee sting. Hot spots requiring Apis will be shiny and swollen with a red or white appearance. It will also be quite sensitive to touch.
Hot spots that require Belladonna will appear and grow almost instantly and the skin will be bright red, hot and relatively dry. The dog will appear restless and irritated and will move away from heat.
Graphites is an excellent skin remedy and will be necessary if there is a sticky discharge that appears like honey. These dogs can tend toward excess weight and the itch and discharge will be worse with warmth. The surrounding skin and coat may feel greasy and the hot spot will have a cracked appearance.
These hot spots will also have a yellow or even greenish discharge with a yellow scab. There may also be hair loss and bleeding around the lesion. These dogs will also want to move away from heat.
Like a rash from poison ivy, the hot spot that requires Rhus tox will be red and very itchy with a pimpled rash-like appearance. There will be swelling and the hot spot will be hardened. These dogs will prefer warm and will feel better when out moving and walking.
Most of these remedies will work well with the common 30C potency. Give once and evaluate the results in your dog. Remedies will work quickly with acute, fast moving issues, so you should see a change in the hot spot within an hour or a little more. If you see improvement, then wait – do not redose. Watch the hot spot and if it appears to worsen, then give your dog another dose. If you do not see changes, try another remedy.
You shouldn’t need a topical treatment if you choose the right remedy. If you want to use a topical treatment, clean the area and apply a calendula solution. Sprays will work better than creams as the hot spot will heal quicker if it is allowed to dry.