Poor Whiskey-boy! Our Siberian has been licking himself on his belly and his foot lately to no end. We thought maybe it was just a nervous thing or him just being bored. Don't I wish that were the case. Leave it to stupid pet owners (rather obviously pet owners) to chalk a new pet behavior up to boredom.
The the smell set in. Friends, to spare you the nasty details I won't divulge on the smell of hot spots but it is not a pleasant one. You would think then, that we would have got a light bulb over our heads about what might be wrong with Whiskey. Nope. We figured well, it's bath time.
Siberians are very clean dogs. Some have gone years without really needing a bath because they take care of their coats like a cat would. So we figured it had been a while and it was time to freshen him up. His daddy gave him a bath, but the next day he smelled worse! That is what it dawned on us (finally) that there was something wrong with our Sibe.
My mother, who use to work as a vet assistant, came to Whiskey's (and ours) rescue. She knew right away that our boy was suffering from hot spots. Siberians are prone to hot spot because they have two coats. The upper coat and the under coat, which allows for moisture to become trapped and thus create an environment for bacteria to grow.
Luckly, my mom knew a treatment and had the proper medicinal products to help Whiskey. Saving us a vet bill, and saving Whiskey from being poked and prodded. I do not recommend not taking your animals to the vet, by the way. I do trust my mother's advice and opinions on animal care, though.
She gave us some Prednisone. This steroid stops the itching allowing time for the skin to heal. She also gave us a bottle of Tea Tree Oil, which helps dry the area and allow for the sores to heal as well. Side effects of Prednisone are excessive thirst and hunger. So as you can imagine Whiskey has been out to use the bathroom a lot these past couple days. The medicine seems to be helping though and he is not itching at all.
Also, Tea Tree Oil just smells great anyways, so that alleviated our noses, too.
Lesson for the day: if your pet is acting different there is probably a reason for that. Do a little investigative work.