The skin is the largest, and one of the most remarkable organs of the body. Through different layers of cells, hair, and glands that work together, the skin protects the body in a variety of ways. It functions as a protective barrier from injury and disease, guards against exposure to the elements, helps to regulate body temperature and prevents dehydration. With all the skin has to do and all that it is exposed to, it is not uncommon for damage to occur to the skin or any of these supporting structures in dogs and cats. This can result in common clinical signs such as redness, loss of hair, scaling, crusting, and itchiness.
For example, fleas, ticks and other parasites can damage the skin’s protective quality as they feed on a blood meal. Allergies, thyroid disease and other systemic illnesses can also do the same. In these cases medicated baths are commonly used with other medications since they contain specific ingredients to fight infection and inflammation. These baths help restore the skin to its normal flora or balance, allowing it to better heal. Since medicated baths are often used in conjunction with other medications, they should only be administered after discussing your pet’s treatment plan with your veterinarian.