chlorohexidine major dog anti-fungal used in shampooOnce a dog has responded well to oral medications for fungal or bacteria, the maintenance program usually involves giving them a medicated shampoo, but not just off the rack stuff, it is much wiser to use a shampoo meant for your specific dogs medical condition, just as you would use a specific shampoo for your specific hair type.


Malassezia (main fungal infection in dogs) may be treated systemically with an ORAL azole such as ketoconazole or fluconazole (5 mg/kg/day, for 4 wk).


Secondary infections, are treated with shampoo therapy to control the seborrhea (excessive discharge of sebum from the sebaceous glands)

Regular Shampoo therapy can decrease the number of bacteria and yeast on the skin surface, even normalize the epidermal turnover rate.

TREATMENT SHAMPOOS are usually prescribed depending on level of dog skin oiliness:

  • seborrhea sicca (dry seborrhea)
  • seborrhea oleosa (oily seborrhea),
  • eborrheic dermatitis (inflammatory seborrhea).

Most products contained in shampoos can be classified based on their effects as

  • keratolytic,
  • keratoplastic,
  • emollient
  • antipruritic

1              Keratolytic products = sulfur, salicylic acid, tar, selenium sulfide, propylene glycol, fatty acids, and benzoyl peroxide.

They remove stratum corneum cells by causing cellular damage that results in ballooning and sloughing of the surface keratinocytes. This reduces the scale and makes the skin feel softer.

 2             Keratoplastic products = Tar, sulfur, salicylic acid, and selenium sulfide are examples of keratoplastic agents.

Keratoplastic products help normalize keratinization and reduce scale formation by slowing down epidermal basal cell mitosis.  Many people avoid tar and sulfur because of the irritation to the dogs sensitive nose.

3              Emollients = (eg, lactic acid, sodium lactate, lanolin, and numerous oils, such as corn, coconut, peanut, and cottonseed)

Emolients are used for ANY scaling dermatosis, because they reduce trans-epidermal water loss. They are most effective after the skin has been rehydrated and are excellent adjunct products after shampooing.  That is they are often found in medicated dog conditioners that are used to soothe skin that has been given a harsh anti fungal and antibiotic shampoo treatment.

Antibacterial agents = benzoyl peroxide, chlorhexidine, ethyl lactate, tris-EDTA, and triclosan.

Antifungal ingredients = chlorhexidine, sulfur, ketoconazole, and miconazole. Boric and acetic acids are also used as topical antimicrobials.