If your dog is itching more than normal and you've noticed areas of dry and scaly skin, you may want to try bathing your canine companion with a shampoo containing salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is an ingredient known to remove dry, crusty skin and provide relief from itching.
Salicylic Acid Information
Salicylic acid is considered an antiseborrheic and is used to treat skin conditions caused by overproduction of oil. Excess oil makes your dog's skin scaly and crusty, which causes itching. Salicylic acid helps eliminate the oil, the rash and the itching. It's also an antibacterial agent and is often paired with equal amounts of sulfur, which has both antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Beyond brand names, the primary features that differentiate one salicylic acid shampoo from another are the active ingredients that are combined with the salicylic acid, the function of the additional active ingredients and the concentrations of the active ingredients. Comparing shampoos is similar to comparing cold medicines in that you look for particular active ingredients because of their functions, and you want to know the strength or concentration of each active ingredient.
Vet Solutions Universal Medicated Shampoo
Vet Solutions Universal Medicated Shampoo is manufactured by Vetoquinol USA. Its active ingredients are salicylic acid 2%, sodium thiosulfate (a source of soluble sulfur) 2% and chloroxylenol 2%. Chloroxylenol is an antimicrobial.
Virbac Animal Health Shampoos
Virbac Animal Health is the manufacturer of both Sebolux Shampoo and Dermazole Shampoo. The active ingredients in Sebolux are salicylic acid 2% and solubilized sulfur 2%. Darmazole's active ingredients are salicylic acid 2% and Miconazole 2%. Miconazole is an antifungal.
Dechra Veterinary Products manufactures DermaBenSs Shampoo. DermaBenSs Shampoo's active ingredients are benzoyl peroxide 2.5%, salicylic acid 1% and sulfur 1%. Sogeval Laboratories is the manufacturer of Oxiderm Shampoo-Benz Peroxide, which uses different concentrations of the same active ingredients. It has benzoyl peroxide 3%, salicylic acid 2% and sulfur 2%. Benzoyl peroxide is an additional antibacterial that also acts as a degreaser.
Prescriptions, Sizes and Pricing
All of the shampoos are available only with a veterinarian’s prescription and many veterinarians stock shampoo in their offices. Most of the shampoo brands are available in 8-, 12- and 16-ounce bottles. Shampoo prices begin in the $10 range and can be up $50 depending on the size and place of purchase.
Selecting a Shampoo
Your veterinarian will help determine which combination and concentration of ingredients will work best for your dog’s skin type and whether a regular or soapless shampoo would be better. Each of the active ingredients in these shampoos has the potential to cause additional irritation, so be sure to follow the vet's recommended usage schedule. Call your veterinarian immediately if you notice any side effects that concern you.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Laura Payne has been freelance writing for several online publications in her free time since 2006. She holds a Master of Arts in linguistics from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Oakland University. Payne teaches linguistics classes at both universities on an adjunct basis.