Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Shampoo therapy

Contributor(s): Tim Nuttall

Introduction

  • Treatment with shampoos has now become very popular, but the array of products available can seem intimidating. However, there are actually relatively few active ingredients.
    • The key to successful treatment lies in understanding their pharmacological actions and their use with the appropriate skin condition.
    • Stock a limited range of shampoos to cover most diseases, but understand their actions and contraindications well!
  • Treatment should be tailored to each individual case:
    • An accurate diagnosis is essential to select the appropriate shampoo.
    • Animals with several skin problems at different sites may require more than one shampoo.
    • Regular monitoring will allow the product and/or frequency of bathing to be altered as treatment progresses.
  • Medicated shampoos are most useful as supportive therapy, particularly in chronic conditions, and most products will not achieve dramatic cures.
    Clients should not have unrealistically high expectations.
  • Shampoo therapy entails considerable commitment. Make sure the owners understand this from the outset. Also ensure the home situation is appropriate - one little old lady will not get far with a large dog and a small bath!
    Consider a bathing clinic if practice facilities allow.
  • Despite these potential problems, shampoos used wisely, are now a valuable and important treatment option in veterinary dermatology.

Shampoo formulations

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When to use shampoos

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Cleansing and moisturising shampoos

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General principles of bathing

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMedResource and PubMed.
  • Curtis C (1998) Use and abuse of topical dermatological therapy in dogs and cats Part 1. Shampoo therapy. In Practice 20, 244-251 (Excellent and highly readable review).
  • Guaguere E (1996) Topical treatment of canine and feline pyoderma. Vet Dermatol 7, 145-151 (Thorough review of topical antibacterial agents.).
  • Moriello K A & DeBoer D J (1995) Feline Dermatophytosis - recent advances and recommenndations for therapy. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 25, 9011-9025 (Good discussion on the pros and cons of topical therapy).
  • Halliwell R E W (1991) Rational use of shampoos in veterinary dermatology. JSAP 32, 401-407 (Slightly dated but complete review of shampoo ingredients).

Other sources of information

  • Moriello K & Mason I (1995) Handbook of Small Animal Dermatology. Oxford, Pergammon Press. pp 299-303. ISBN 0-08-042280 2 (Good discussion on the topical treatment of seborrheas).
  • Scott D W, Miller W H & Griffin C E (1995) Small Animal Dermatology. Philadelphia, W B Saunders. pp 185-207. ISBN 0-7216-4850-9 (The standard dermatology text).


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