I have often talked about my pets as teachers.
My aging golden retriever/Australian shepherd cross, Sam, has always been my "itchy" girl. We have regularly dealt with all sorts of skin issues; the last time she had the "black skin" disease.
She has occasionally had hot spots, but this last bout was the worst ever—raw, bleeding skin about 2" by 8" along her back. I couldn't stop her itching and gnawing at this area.
I finally went to the internet and found a wonderful recipe using tea tree oil. I always keep this amazing antiseptic oil in my herbal medicine chest but hadn't thought of using it here.
I made a spray bottle mixture of:
- 1 cup distilled water
- 2–3 teaspoons tea tree oil
- several drops of liquid diswashing detergent (so that the water and oil would mix)—Don't use detergent with chlorox; you don't want to break down the oil and lose its efficacy.
That evening, I gently washed Sam's sore area, dried it, then heavily sprayed her back. The oil is very pungent and the smell helped prevent her chewing herself. The next day, I was amazed at how quickly her sore began to heal. I sprayed her that morning and again that night.
I can definitely say that I will always keep a bottle of this spray close by. There is evidence that it can be dangerous to cats, so if you are a cat owner, please research before trying.
More on tea tree oil next time.