Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Shampoo therapy

Contributor(s): Tim Nuttall, David Godfrey

Introduction

  • Treatment with shampoos are 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.
  • They are useful to provide local therapy for a localized condition.
    Clients should not have unrealistically high expectations.
  • Shampoo therapy may entail considerable commitment. Make sure the owners understand this from the outset. Also ensure the home situation is appropriate - not all owners will 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 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 PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Curtis C (1998) Use and abuse of topical dermatological therapy in dogs and cats Part 1. Shampoo therapy. In Practice 20 (5), 244-251 VetMedResource.
  • Guaguere E (1996) Topical treatment of canine and feline pyoderma. Vet Dermatol (3), 145-151 VetMedResource.
  • Moriello K A & DeBoer D J (1995) Feline Dermatophytosis. Recent advances and recommendations for therapy. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 25 (4), 901-921 PubMed.
  • Halliwell R E W (1991) Rational use of shampoos in veterinary dermatology. JSAP 32 (8), 401-407 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Miller W H, Griffin C E & Campbell K L (2013) Small Animal Dermatology. Philadelphia, W B Saunders. pp 117-135, 187-188, 226, 630. ISBN 978-1-4160-0028.
  • Moriello K & Mason I (1995) Handbook of Small Animal Dermatology. Oxford, Pergammon Press. pp 299-303. ISBN 0-08-042280 2.


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