Shampoo therapy as a method of local treatment is very popular as an element supporting the treatment of dermatological problems in dogs and cats. In some cases, it can be used successfully as the only form of therapeutic treatment. The use of shampoo therapy can significantly accelerate the entire treatment process and extend the period of maintaining the therapeutic effect. The big advantage of using shampoo therapy is that side effects rarely appear and it is easy to carry out. However, it should be remembered that its effectiveness depends on the selection of the preparation appropriate to a given dermatological condition.
When preparations with a composition suitable for the disease are selected, it is possible to remove dirt, allergens and excess secretions from the skin, and to reduce the growth of bacteria, fungi and parasites. As a result, wounds heal better, and epidermal keratosis and skin drying are limited. Additionally, the use of shampoos with soothing ingredients significantly reduces the severity of itching, which is often a serious problem in dermatological diseases.
The skin of dogs and cats is very different, both anatomically and physiologically, from human skin. Therefore, it should be remembered that human shampoos are not suitable for use with our four-legged friends, because the pH of animal skin is different than that of humans (animal skin is alkaline and human skin is acidic). For this reason, you should not use gray soap, intimate cleansers or baby shampoos. Additionally, human shampoos contain fragrances and preservatives that can cause further skin irritation in animals.
The effectiveness of shampoo therapy also depends on proper bathing. It is important that the temperature of the water is not excessively high as too hot water can make the skin dry and itching worse. Depending on the veterinarian’s recommendations, the therapeutic bath can be performed in one or two stages. The first stage of bathing, thoroughly wetting the hair and skin, is to remove dirt, sebum and dead skin cells. The second stage is a therapeutic bath, when the substances contained in the shampoo have a chance to act on the skin. Before applying the shampoo to the skin, you should properly lather the shampoo in your hands. The foam should be gently rubbed into the skin. It is especially important to remember about the armpits, interdigital spaces and the tail. After thoroughly massaging the preparation, the shampoo should be left on the skin for 5-10 minutes so that the substances contained in it can penetrate into the skin.
Please note that in long-haired dogs, excessive rubbing may dull the hair.
After this time, rinse the shampoo thoroughly, and after bathing, drain excess water from the hair, avoiding excessive rubbing. After such a bath, you can apply an appropriate nourishing emulsion to strengthen and extend the effect of the shampoo. The animal should dry at room temperature – drying with dryers is not recommended. Additionally, on days when the bath is not performed, a spray can be applied to the diseased areas to support the healing effect of the shampoo. Currently, on the Polish veterinary market, you can find product lines with such complementary effects, which are ideal for combating dermatological problems.
At the initial stage of treatment, baths should be performed every 2-3 days, then their frequency should be reduced. When the improvement is achieved, the animal can be bathed once a week, and once a month to maintain the therapeutic effect. It should be remembered that the frequency of bathing has a significant impact on achieving the therapeutic effect and depends on the type and severity of the changes.
Therapeutic baths are an effective method of local treatment. They can be used in both local and extensive lesions. On the one hand, this method of treatment is easy to carry out, but it must be remembered that it requires commitment from the owner.