Relieving Dog Itching with Medicated Dog Shampoo

If your pet scratches excessively, or if you notice that he has patches of skin that are red, raised or irritated, he may have a skin condition that requires the use of a medicated dog shampoo for treatment. There are a number of canine skin conditions that are treatable with one of several medicated shampoos. However, these symptoms are also potential signs of a serious or life-threatening condition such as canine cancer, and it is important to consult with a veterinarian before administering any medication to your dog. With proper hygiene and treatment, the majority of common canine skin conditions can be relieved with the use of a specially formulated shampoo.

Purposes of a Medicated Dog Shampoo

Although different shampoos serve a variety of functions, with some focused on eliminating parasites and others infections, the general goals of a medicated fur treatment or shampoo are as follows:

  • Eliminate itching
  • Reduce inflammation of the skin
  • Clear up any foul odors
  • Reduce bacterial and fungal infections
  • Remove scaly and crusty skin

A good medicated shampoo should not require the use of any other substance or treatment in order to work effectively. Because many of these shampoos do require a veterinary prescription, it is important to follow the dosage and administration schedule closely for the best results for your dog.

Active Ingredients

The two most common active ingredients of canine shampoos are salicylic acid and pyrethrins. Salicylic acid is useful in relieving dog itching that is related to infection or irritated skin, while pyrethrins are chemicals that are mild insecticides. If your dog suffers from a parasitic infestation of some kind, a medicated shampoo with a pyrethrin as the active ingredient can help to eliminate these pests and reduce your pet's itching.

Treatment Procedure

The first step toward treating your dog's itching with a medicated shampoo is to have a veterinarian diagnose your pet's condition. Different afflictions require unique shampoos and treatments, and one cannot necessarily be switched with another. Having determined the cause of your dog's itching, your veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate medicated shampoo for your dog.

It is important to follow your veterinarian's dosage and the manufacturer's instructions when treating your pet. In most cases, these instructions will require that you bathe your pet every week or so, lathering and rinsing him thoroughly one time through. Certain shampoos may be harmful to your skin or to your pet's eyes, so you should also be aware of any warnings or precautions.

Medicated dog shampoos are generally effective within a few treatments. If your pet's symptoms or itchiness does not improve after a few baths, consult with your veterinarian.

Side Effects of Medicated Dog Shampoo

Most medicated dog shampoos do not carry a long list of side effects. However, some irritation is common. The following are some of the most frequently occurring side effects to medicated shampoos:

  • Redness and irritation
  • Swelling
  • Lesions and sores

If your pet suffers from any of these side effects, discontinue your treatment and consult with a veterinarian for further advice.