MSD Manual

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Shampoo Therapy

Shampoo Therapy

Medicated shampoos are commonly used as topical treatments for specific skin conditions. Before applying a medicated shampoo, wash your dog with a cleansing shampoo and rinse well. Medicated shampoos often are not good cleansing agents, do not lather well, or do not work except on a clean hair coat.

The medicated shampoo should be applied evenly to the hair coat after being diluted in water. Diluting the shampoo will help rinse it from the coat and minimize the potential for irritating your dog. Depending on the shampoo, dilute 1 part shampoo to 3 or 4 parts water.

If possible, keep the medicated shampoo on the skin for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. (The prolonged contact time is often necessary for medicated ingredients to have their full effects.) Shampoo residue is a common cause of irritation, so it is very important to rinse your dog carefully and fully follow all shampoo usage instructions.

Medicated shampoos usually need to be used regularly for the most successful results. Ask for and follow your veterinarian’s instructions on shampoo frequency.