Human Medicines that Work for Pets… or Not

By isak, June 4, 2009

Several human medicines are effective for cats and dogs. The dosages are, of course, lower because the pets are smaller. It’s always a good idea to call your vet before giving your pet any type of human medicine to be sure it is safe and will work for your pet’s condition. Be sure you tell your vet of any other medications your pet is taking at the time in case there could be interactions.
(Also see “10 Poison Pills for Pets” for meds to NOT give your pet.)

  • A&D Ointment — Antibacterial ointment for scrapes and wounds.
    Dogs & Cats: Apply thin coating 3-4 times a day for 7-10 days.
  • Anbesol — Topical anesthetic for mouth pain.
    Dogs: Dab on liquid with cotton swab once or twice a day for up to 2 days.
    Cats: Do not use more than one time.
  • Anti-bacterial soap
    Can be used to clean any wound or injury.
  • Aspirin — Pain & inflammation relief
    Dogs: Can be given short term to dog. Buffered Aspirin (Bufferin) is easier on the stomach but regular (non-coated) aspirin can also be used.  Aspirin may be given once or twice a day with food. Less than 10 lbs: 1/2 baby aspirin; 10-30 lbs: 1 baby aspirin; 30-50 lbs: 1/2 regular aspirin; 50-100 lbs: 1 regular aspirin; over 100 lbs: 2 regular aspirin.
    Cats: NEVER!
  • Aveeno Oatmeal Medicated Bath — For soothing itchy skin.
    Dogs & Cats: Use as bath rinse as often as 3 times a week.
  • Benadryl — Antihistamine.
    Dogs: 1 mg per lb twice a day.
    Cats: Safe to use, but not very effective in cats, and other antihistamines are more commonly prescribed.
  • Betadine Skin Cleanser — Antiseptic liquid soap for cleansing on or around wounds.
    Dogs & Cats: Use full strength to wash affected area.
  • Betadine Solution — Antiseptic solution for flushing or soaking injured area.
    Dogs & Cats: Dilute with distilled water to the color of weak tea, then apply.
  • Bufferin — Pain reliever.
    Dogs: 10-25 mg per 2.2 lb two or three times a day.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Burow’s Solution — Topical antiseptic.
    Dogs & Cats: Moisten cotton ball and apply to wound.
  • Caladryl — Soothing topical lotion for pain and itching.
    Dogs & Cats: Caladryl (calamine) lotion is not recommended as it can actually be toxic to dogs. The most toxic component is zinc oxide. Zinc can cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea. However, this usually is only a problem if the lotion was eaten. Repeated ingestion of zinc oxide can cause serious problems
  • Cortaid — Anti-itch cream.
    Dogs & Cats: Apply once or twice daily as needed.
  • Dramamine — For car sickness, nausea.
    Dogs: 2-4mg per lb 3 times a day.
    Cats: 1/4 of 50-mg Tablet (12.5 mg) once a day.
  • Dulcolax — For constipation.
    Dogs: 5- to 20-mg tablet once a day or 1/2 to 2 pediatric suppositories (10 mg) once a day.
    Cats: 5-mg tablet once a day or 1/2 pediatric suppository once a day.
  • Epsom Salts — Soothing soak for irritated, itchy skin.
    Dogs: 1 cup per gal of water, then soak affected area.
    Cats: 1 cup per 2 gal of water, then soak affected area.
  • Gas-X (Simethicone) — for gas
    Dogs: small: 1/4 adult dose; medium: 1/2 adult dose; large: 1 adult dose.
    Cats: 1/4 adult dose.
  • Hydrocortisone — Relieves itchy, raw or irritated skin.
    Dogs & Cats: can be used topically to reduce itching from hives, hot spots, and insect bites and stings. Apply a small amount up to two times daily.
  • Hypo Tears — Eye lubricant.
    Dogs & Cats: Apply 4-12 times a day.
  • Iodine — Topical antiseptic.
    Dogs & Cats: Paint on wound.
  • Imodium (loperamide) — For diarrhea.
    Can be given to some dogs and cats for diarrhea.  WARNING: Certain dog breeds related to Collies may have adverse reactions to Imodium (loperamide).  Do not give this medicine to Collies, Shelties, Australian Shephards and Long-haired Whippits. See this site for more detailed information.
  • Ipecac Syrup — Emetic to promote vomiting.
    Dogs: 1 tsp per 20 lb, up to 3 tsp.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Kaopectate — For diarrhea.
    Dogs: 1/2 – 1 tsp per 5 lb, to a maximum of 2 Tbsp every 8 hours.
    Cats: Not recommended for cats since the formula was changed as they contain an aspirin derivative that is toxic to cats in high doses.
  • Lanacane — Topical anesthetic.
    Dogs: Apply to sore area with gauze pad.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Massengill Disposable Douche — Odor neutralizer for skunk spray, body odor.
    Dogs & Cats: Mix 2 oz per gal of water, use as a soak for 15 min, then bath as usual.
  • Metamucil (unflavored) — For constipation.
    Dogs: 1 tsp per 10-25 lb, mixed in food.
    Cats: 1/2 tsp (small cat) to 1 tsp (large cat), mixed in food.
  • Mylanta Liquid — For digestive upset, gas.
    Dogs: 15 lbs or less — 3 Tbsp; 16-50 lbs — 4 Tbsp; 51 lb or more — 6 Tbsp.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Neosporin — For preventing wound infection.
    Dogs & Cats: Apply 3-5 times daily as needed.
  • Pedialyte — For dehydration.
    Dogs & Cats: Mix 50/50 with water, offer as much as dog or cat wants.
  • Pepcid AC/Tagamet/Zantac — For vomiting.
    Dogs: 5 mg per 10 lb once or twice a day.
    Cats: 2.5mg or 1/4 of a 10mg tablet ONCE a day
  • Pepto-Bismol — For diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, vomiting.
    Dogs: 0.5 ml per lb or 1/2-1 tsp per 5 lb, to a maximum of 30 ml or 2 Tbsp up to 3 times per day, or 1 tablet per 15 lb up to 3 times per day.
    Cats: DO NOT USE
  • Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia — For constipation.
    Dogs: 2-4 tsp per 5 lb every 6 hours.
    Cats: 1/2-1 tsp once a day.
  • Preparation H — For sore anal area.
    Dogs: Apply up to 4 times daily.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Robitussin Pediatric Cough Formula — Cough suppressant.
    Dogs & Cats: Ask your vet.
  • Solarcaine — Topical pain reliever and anesthetic.
    Dogs: Apply to sore area once or twice a day for up to 2 days.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Tylenol — Pain reliever.
    Dogs & Cats: DO NOT USE. Cats are extremely sensitive to acetaminophen, and the liver and kidney function of dogs can be severely damaged.
  • Vicks VapoRub — For congestion.
    Dogs & Cats: Smear a small amount on your pet’s chin for easier breathing.
  • Witch Hazel — Astringent/topical antiseptic.
    Dogs & Cats: Dab on affected area.

see also Antibiotics for Dogs

From a reader: I have a pit-bull. I found out that she was crazy allergic to chicken  and also struggles with bacteria issues that make her itch.The vet suggested we try Malaseb medicated shampoo. It has been a life saver! It neutralizes the bacteria that causes the itchy belly/paws. She is so much happier now. I highly recommend it and you can get it several places online.

From another reader: Destin contains zinc oxide. When ingested, minor toxicosis results. With repeated exposure to zinc oxide on the skin, pets can develop zinc toxicity, which can damage the red blood cells. You can read more here.
The First Aid Companion for Dogs & CatsWalker Valley Vet


  1. Crystal Weigell says:

    Hello! I have an almost 1 yr old Tabby and he now has a large hot spot under his armpit that goes about halfway down his side. I’ve been mixing in small amount of children’s Benadryl to his water (2.5 mgs which is like 6-7 mgs of Benadryl) I’ve also been putting a small amount of hydrocortisone cream on there, but I don’t have the money for a cone. Do you think wrapping in gauze or something would be helpful? Or is wrapping going to make it worse?? Thank you! ~*

    • isak says:

      You can wash the area with a salt water solution. Salt has anti-bacterial properties. Soak the wounded area in warm salt water or put a warm, wet cloth that has been soaked with salt water on the wound for several minutes two to three times a day. Mix the saltwater solution with 2 teaspoons of table salt per cup of warm water.

      You don’t want to cover the area because bacteria loves warm, dark places.

      Here are a couple sources of info for making your own collar: collar one | collar two (video).

      Some people have stuffed a long sock with plastic bags and wrapped that (not too tight) around their cat’s neck as a collar.

  2. Zella farmer says:

    I have a 4 month old puppy that got fleas and ticks from a boarding kennel he was dipped at the humane society but he now bitting his paw raw what can I put on him to stop the itching.

    • isak says:

      You can wash his paw in a salt water solution. Salt has anti-bacterial properties to it and will also help to start drying the area. Soak the wounded area in warm salt water or put a warm, wet cloth that has been soaked with salt water on the wound for 10-20 minutes two to three times a day. Mix the saltwater solution with 2 teaspoons of table salt per cup of warm water.

      You don’t want to cover the area because bacteria loves warm, dark places, but it certainly will help if he will stop chewing it.

  3. Michele Breen says:

    My dog is 12 lb. she has a little bit of red on her bum. Can I use polysporin? Or should I use hydrocortisone? If she licks either one would it be safe?

  4. Nikki says:

    I have a 6 moth old Shar-Pei/Shepherd mix, who is outside a LOT. She has her own doggie door, and is a very high energy pup. A few weeks ago I noticed her belly area where there’s not much hair, has turned almost completely black. She had also started lightly mouthing on her back paws, which I know is usually a sign of an over growth of yeast between her toes/potentially under her nail bed. I mixed some white vinegar/water (until I can get apple cider vinegar) and I’ve been able to get her back paws dunked then pat dry once a day before bed, which has dramatically reduced her chewing on them. But the darkening of her skin keeps increasing in size/area, and is now covering her entire belly, inside of her back legs, and in her arm pits. I just spent my tax return getting her final shots /rabies vaccine, and I have home made her food since the day I got her. I make sure to switch up the ingredients, and even drive 3 hrs away to pick up special ones to make sure she’s getting a nutritionally complete home made meal everyday. Is the darkening of her skin yeast related? She gets probiotics once a day in her food, along with coconut oil and fish oil, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. 🙁 she doesn’t seem bothered by it at all, but I’m worried it could be yeast, and its growing fast. Please help, my poor Charlee is my world, and I can’t stand feeling like a bad dog mommy. 🙁

    • isak says:

      There are several reasons that her skin might change colors especially where her fur is the thinnest including contact dermatitis, seasonal changes and even age. These are often benign changes without any serious consequences to your dog’s overall health, however, sometimes that is not the case and indicates a problem that needs to be addressed by your vet.

      If she is not bothered by it — she’s not scratching or licking it, then I don’t think it is due to yeast.

  5. Janet Jose says:

    My dog Lassie have a colitis diarrhea with blood (black diarrhea) for couple days. Then her anus became irritated (red and inflamed) I took her to the vet but he want to runs some test on her and that is very expensive. The groomer expressed her anal glands but that don’t help. Do you think can I used any cream over the counter to help her with that? she also licking her back feet but I checked her feet and I cannot see anything wrong. What I can do? I am desperate but I don’t know how to help her. I appreciate any advise

    • isak says:

      The reason for the tests is to determine the cause of colitis. Potential causes include:

      • Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, and Giardia
      • A secondary reaction to antibiotics and many other medications
      • Stress
      • Pancreatitis
      • Dietary intolerance or allergy
      • Dietary indiscretion, such as eating grass, garbarge, or people food
      • Bacterial infection
      • Viral infection
      • Foreign body
      • Inflammatory and irritable bowel disease (IBD)
      • Bowel cancer in older dogs


      The specific cause of colitis will dictate the appropriate treatment.

      Non-specific treatment (general treatment of the symptoms) includes fasting for 24 to 48 hours, feeding a low residue or hypoallergenic diet, increasing dietary fiber content, and adding fermentable fiber such as psyllium, beet pulp, or fructooligosaccharides (FOS) to the food. Some dogs with colitis will do better on low-fiber diets. Antimicrobial drugs may be indicated, depending on your dog’s diagnosis. Anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive drugs may be used in cases of inflammatory or immune-mediated colitis. Drugs that modify the colon’s motility may also provide symptomatic relief.

      For most dogs diagnosed with colitis, the prognosis is excellent for a speedy recovery. Stress colitis is one of the leading causes of colitis in dogs. Treatment with a simple change in diet and medication to resolve the inflammation or infection in the colon is all that is required for most dogs. The majority of dogs experiencing stress colitis are back to normal within three to five days. Chronic, severe, or recurrent cases should have further diagnostic tests performed to determine the exact cause and proper treatment. For many dogs with chronic colitis, strict dietary control and judiciously used medications keep the condition under control. source

  6. Kimberly says:

    I have a cat that has hemmhroids and was wondering if I put a cone on his head if I could use preparation h cream on him.

    • isak says:

      Cats do not get hemorrhoids like humans. What are you seeing? It may be something else.

      If there are marble sized looking bubbles around the rim of the rectum, it is most likely his anal glands infected. There are 2 anal glands located on the rim of the rectum. These glands naturally express fluid when a cat poops. They can become impacted and infected. If there is a lot of tissue protruding from the rectum, then that can be rectal prolapse. Either condition requires vet care. The longer the tissue is exposed the chance goes up for the tissue to become necrotic (die).

      Keep the tissue damp and moist with warm compresses, or soaking her bottom in warm water. Do not let her chew on the area. This is where the cone will help.

  7. Beverly says:

    My cat has a problem with itching around the neck area, and is now broke out. I’ve bathed her several times, but have not seen any fleas. She is strictly an indoor cat. My husband does wood working and has brought some of the saw dust in on his shoes and clothes. I vacuum frequently, but wonder if she might be allergic to it, since when he is working on a project is when it is the worst. Any suggestions?

    • isak says:

      Sometimes cats can have fleas that you do not see. Or so has been my experience. And generally the neck seems to itch the worst.

      It’s interesting what you say about the sawdust. I have a friend who had to give up woodworking because the dust from the exotic woods she was working with made her ill. So I wouldn’t rule that out as a possibility. I guess the only way to confirm that would be to have your husband remove his clothes and shoes at the door when he comes in to see if things change.

  8. joe says:

    yes use 50 lbs

  9. Mzmilton says:

    What are your thoughts on bag balm, my cat peanut has scratch himselve, pulled out his hair. And needs some relief. He been bath now his hair and skin is so dry looking. I prefer home remedy products. Please help flea repellent, something for excessive dry skin. HELP HELP!!
    TY Mzmilton

    • isak says:

      The problem with cats is that they will lick themselves to clean anything you put on him. However, many people have used it without problems.

      What is causing him to scratch his hair out?

  10. Craig says:

    My Maine coon cAt was groomed to closely with cutting off tight tangled hair down to the skin
    2 days later his skin in these areas is really red
    Can I use hydrocortisone ointment and or neosporin ointment
    Or even witch hazel??
    Any recs???
    Thank you

    • isak says:

      Where is the wound? If it is in a location that your cat can easily lick, I wouldn’t use topicals. If it is out of reach, neosporin will be fine.

  11. June Ostrom says:

    My 3 yr old dog keeps chewing on his back .just above his tail .he has chewed the hair right off .it is starting to get raw .what can i do to help him .he has flea treatments regularly .i think its dry skin.

    • isak says:

      There is a product called Septoderm that works really well on hot spots like this. It’s a liquid and can be generally be found at pet stores or online.

      You can also mix a solution of apple cider vinegar and water (50-50) and apply it to the area. IT works quite well.

  12. Yaneth says:

    My 7 month puppy’s skin under her eye is irritated from her tears. Should I take her to the vet or get her ointment and if so which one?

    • isak says:

      If her tears are enough to irritate her skin, then it would be good to have a vet check her eye for the cause of the problem. You don’t want to risk her eyesight. She could have a scratch that is getting infected or conjunctivitis or some other issue that would be fairly easy to take care of now.

  13. Hannah says:

    I noticed several comments on ears . I had a terrible problem with my Bichon/Havanese mix with the floppy ears. The only thing that worked every time was a homemade mix recommended by a Childrens Ear Dr.- Use Equal parts of:
    1) alcohol 75 %
    2) hydrogen Peroxide
    3) white vinegar

    You only need about a Tablespoon of each and either spray, pour, use a dropper or soak in a cotton ball and squeeze into ears . They will shake the excess amount. You can do this once or twice a week for ongoing protection. Try and use a cotton ball and dab lightly if there is much inflammation until it calms down and then really soak the ears. Good Luck

  14. Michelle S says:

    I have a 1.5 yr old blue nose Pitt he has a swollen anal gland. He is not to happy about me trying to squeeze & express it can I use preparation H on it to help with the inflammation until I can get him into the vet ?

    • isak says:

      Try epson salt soaks – An absolute must when the anal glands are infected. Purchase from the pharmacy and prepare according to the directions on the container. Soak the anal area of your dog for five minutes, two to three times a day. Make sure the liquid is at a warm and comfortable temperature. The rare dog will be amenable to a sort of sitz bath. But more commonly, your dog will require that you place these solutions on large cotton balls or cloths to help soak the area. This treatment will help the anal sacs to drain out. It is important that the solution be warm. Depending on how chronic or severe the problem has been, you can do this for 3 days or for as long as one week.

  15. Ann Armstrong says:

    Excellent info.keep it up.

  16. Kiki Lanclos says:

    I have a Yorkie with extremely bad skin, ear infections, constantly scratching & dragging her bottom. ( I think she was from a puppy mill). Since a puppy, she is now 11, she has such bad skin that I can bathe her today & she smells the next day. When it gets bad enough she ends up developing a staff infection. I have been to such a wonderful vet so many times that I can no longer afford & control it. It is mostly fungal infections that do not respond to antibiotics, in fact makes it worse. Therefore I am either fighting fungal infections, along with stap. I can’t afford the vet or meds as often as I need. Your help is appreciated.

  17. Sherry Roy says:

    My beautiful pit bull Bella has a tumor under her jaw and its infected its all wet looking and drips blood. I think I made it worse by putting hydroperoxide didn’t know it was bad when I was doing it. Please tell me what over the counter antiseptic I can use that will not harm her. She does have a vet appt. but not til next week. I have Equate first aid antiseptic on hand now but need the ok to use it if so is there anything better to use please she is the love of my life

    • isak says:

      What kind of tumor, any idea? Is this something new or has she had it for a while and somehow knocked it open?

      If it’s a wound that has become infected you might try salt water rinses. Salt has natural anti-bacterial properties to it. So mix a solution of salt and water — 2 tsp of salt in a cup of warm water, stir til the salt is dissolved. Then apply the solution to the affected area. If you have an oral syringe, a turkey baster or even a small squirt bottle, squirt the mixture into the wound until what drips off is clear. If you cannot squirt the liquid into the wound, then you need to apply the mixture to a clean cloth until it is almost dripping wet and hold it on the wound for as long as possible. Repeat this until the wound seems clean. Dry the area, then apply your ointment. Repeat this 2-3 times a day.

  18. Dianna Monroe says:

    I don’t have preparation h cream but I do have suppositories, is it safe to use these on my 50 pound dog?

  19. moonlightlady3320 says:

    Don’t forget natural remedies. Diatomaceous Earth sprinkled lightly into your pet’s food will keep their intestinal tract healthy. Applied to their coat and skin wards off fleas, ticks, dust mites. Put in a cat’s litter box keeps the dust mites away. Remember to get food grade diatomaceous earth and not the industrial grade used to clean swimming pools. Your pet’s coats will shine and they will be very healthy.

  20. Tanya says:

    Hiii everyone. I have an 11 month old pitbull who is currently in heat…(was supposed to get her fixed this week)… I was using these wipes on her and I think she was allergic to them, she has red pimple like soars all over her vulva. Of course my initial reaction is to freak out, and make a vet appointment, is there any cream I can put on her to make them go away?? They don’t seem to be bothering her, she licks her vulva a lot but I thought all bitches do that in heat….PLEASE HELP!!!! (I have Benadryl anti itch cream, and neosporin but I’m willing to buy anything)

    • isak says:

      I don’t know that the pimples are from the wipes. They could be the result of her constant licking to keep herself clean. Anything you apply topically, she will lick off so I wouldn’t apply any ointments or creams. You might call your vet and explain the pimples and see what they recommend. They may prescribe some oral antibiotics. In the meanwhile, you can clean her vulva with a gentle antibacterial wash. Don’t pop the pimples. They could become infected.

  21. Diana Sarabia says:

    My 9yr old 4 pound chihuahua has been diagnosed with a flea allergy long ago. I have found that she doesn’t scratch unless she has a flea on her. About two weeks ago she started to scratch and I immediately bathed her (tea tree and oatmeal shampoo) and was only able to find one dead flea. I have bathed her twice since then and tonight she woke me up because of her panting, scratching, and licking. I examine her and find a huge (inch long and wide) wound that looks like a hotspot on her back. She has had wounds before from itching but never this bad. Usually a bath and aloe Vera would clear it right up. I freaked out and put cortisone 10 cream on her so she would stop itching and possibly get some relief. I did this before looking it up and seeing that it could potentionally be harmful to her. I put a shirt on her so she cannot lick the area but I have to work and I’m low on money so I want to avoid the vet but will go if totally necessary. Like I said, she has been diagnosed before and has been given flea medication already. Is there anything I can do to make my pup feel better?

  22. Randal says:

    Dear Readers,
    I want the world to know this:
    I used MALASEB shampoo and topical solution on a Mini-Dachshund and a Cornish Rex Feline, in August of 2007, because the dog had fungal patches under his front legs, against his chest, from constant rubbing.
    The Cat had Alternaria, and was plagues with oozing waxy material out of his entire body, ears, nail beds, everywhere! Malaseb was prescribed by two separate vets.
    I am a RN, and used these products appropriately.
    Both of them stopped eating abruptly, 48 hours following their baths. They were admitted to the ER, both with Pancreatitis!!! I almost lost both animals, because of MALASEB. Their lives were severely threatened , and they were never restored.
    PLEASE find another way of dealing with their skin conditions.

    • isak says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your pets. Do you remember what brand of Malesab you used on your pets? It is widely suggested for dogs and cats with dermatological conditions responsive to Ketoconazole and Chlorhexidine Gluconate, but if there is an issue where it affects the pancreas of our pets, we want to warn people. Thank you for the heads up.

  23. Rhonda says:

    I have so much trouble with my small dogs getting ear infections and that Panalog gets expensive and does not last long any other suggestions . Thanks

    • isak says:

      Generally the first plan of attack is to figure out the source of the problem. These generally fall into one of four categories:
      • Anatomy of the breed — dogs with ears that hang down
      • Diet — food (or even environmental) allergies are especially likely when both ears are involved. An excess of grain and/or sugar in the diet is one of the most common causes of ear infections in dogs. The sugar feeds the yeast which lives naturally in the body and causes a yeast overgrowth. This results in the dark, yeasty-smelling buildup that can occur inside the ears.
      • Lifestyle — dogs who regularly swim
      • Parasites — mites can invade the ear canal but these are relatively uncommon.

      Addressing this part should prevent future outbreaks.

      Some options to replace Panalog include:
      • Make your own: 1 tube Monistat, 1 tube Polysporin, 1 tube Cortaid mixed together. If the ears are gunky, inflamed or smell bad, start with a pea sized dollop twice a day. Use your finger to gently push it into the ear. Then rub the ears. Dogs will only shake their heads once or twice! It’s a creamy, very soothing mixture. Once you have the ears under control, lessen how often you use it till you’re only using it once a week. Once a week keeps ears from getting bad again.
      • Colloidal Silver
      • Zymox

      If they are itching like crazy, you could give them benadryl twice a day to reduce the itch. The dose is 1 mg per pound every 12 hours.

  24. Brandie says:

    About a year ago my cat got fleas from the neighbors dog i got advantix didnt help got frontline didnt help got a cheap one from walmart and did a dawn bath it got rid of the fleas finally but since then ( past 4 months or so) he has been licking and and scrathching excessively hes becomming bald on his rear his tail his belly his legs ive been giving him baths on this shampoo for cats with itchy skin and ive tried giving him benadryl but he hates it sneezes as soon as it touches his mouth and starts drooling everywhere i dont even think he gets any ive also rubbed some vitamin e oil on his skin ( it helped a pit i had with a similar issue before) nothing helps he will be going to the vet im jus waiting on my taxes just wondering what i can try in the meantine or if anyone had any insite

    • isak says:

      These are the general sources of itching like you described:

      • Food intolerance/allergy
      • Atopy (housedust and pollen allergy)
      • Insect bites
      • Ear mites and other mites (it’s possible for mites to wander onto the skin around the head and neck and as cats sleep curled up, spread to the rump and tail.)
      • Bacterial infections ?(bacterial skin disease in cats is generally uncommon)

      Sometimes cats have fleas but they are not obvious. I use Revolution on my cats. I buy the large dog version and dose it down for my cats. This product has helped my cats the best.

  25. Heidi says:

    My two month old puppy keeps rubbing his bottom on the ground seem to itch him I keep taking him baths but doesn’t seem to help his bottom has gotten pretty irritated since yesterday. will preparation H help with that or what else can I do?

    • isak says:

      It could be that he has worms. Has he been de-wormed? He could also be trying to express his anal glands. Is he pooping normally? If so, this generally helps express his glands. You can use Preparation H in small amounts, but you don’t want him licking it off. Also see if you can find some Panalog for internal parasites (worms). They usually sell this where pet products are sold.

  26. Anne says:

    I took my chihuahua to the groomer with her sister for baths and nails. We noticed a few days later that she had started limping. Her back paw pad looks some what crusty/scabby between the pad. I’m not sure if they used trimmers and knicked her or what. She was fine when I picked her up and was not bleeding. There is a piece of dried “skin” peeling away. Any ideas on what we can do for her?

    • isak says:

      You can apply a little bit of ointment like Neosporin or even Vaseline to keep it soft. Try to not let her lick it. If that’s a problem, you may want to wrap her paw.

  27. Kate says:

    My dog recently had a large puss on her rear end that ended up going away. We noticed today that she was licking the site quite frequently. She wasn’t crying and doesn’t seem to be in pain. After taking a look it now looks like an open wound about the size of a dime and a little deep. I want to put an ointment on it but I’m afarid she will lick it all away and possible cause harm to her. What can I do to gelp her?

    • isak says:

      If she is licking it, there may still be something going on. Rinse it 2-3 times a day with warm salted water. Salt has antibiotic properties. Then dry the area and push a little Neosporin ointment into the wound. Use just a little because she may try to lick it off.

  28. Loretta engelhardt says:

    My cat is old and he has the blue dots in his ears. I saw them for the first-time several years ago. I didn’t know what it meant until recently when he started itching his ear alot. I can’t afford to take him to the vet. I wanted to know what I can do to help with the pain and itching.would steroids help.

    • isak says:

      If he has had the dots for years, they may be ceruminous gland adenomas, these are the most common tumours associated with cat’s ears. They look like little blue blisters in your cat’s ear canal and sometimes on the inner ear flap. The good news is that they are almost always benign and so can safely be left as they often do not cause the cat much harm when they are small.

      However if your cat is scratching his ears, it may be something else going on — such things as ear mites, bacterial infections and fungal infections and a variety of other odd causes. Steroids may help with pain, but they will not fix an infection. For an infection, you will need antibiotics and/or clean his ears. Do his ears smell? Is there a lot of dark waxy matter inside? If so, he probably needs his ears cleaned.

      Ear cleaning:
      Place a little bit of liquid ear cleaner (available at a pet supply store or ask your vet for a recommendation) onto a clean cotton ball or piece of gauze. Fold your cat’s ear back gently and wipe away any debris or earwax that you can see on the inside of the outer ear. Lift away the dirt and wax rather than rubbing it into the ear. Do not attempt to clean the ear canal — probing inside of your cat’s ear can cause trauma or infection.

      You may need to do this for a few days until the pH is re-balanced in his ears.

  29. Amber says:

    My half Boston half Pug baby has a rash underneath his thigh. It’s black and is scabbing. But it’s very red around it. We took him to the vet and they gave us “hot spot spray” and told us to put it on 4x a day. I don’t think it’s doing anything. Help!

    • isak says:

      Is this one wound? Rash makes me think of many bumps, but what you are describing sounds like one wound. Does the red around it look like an infection? Is it warm to the touch? If so, can you wash it with some warm salted water to soften the scab and see if there is any pus that comes out? Salt water has antibiotic properties. It will also help dry the wound. You can also try some neosporin ointment on the area after the salt water rinse.

  30. Tina Martinez says:

    Hello, I took my cat to the vet several weeks back. She has a spot by her eye that she has scratched or rubbed raw. They gave her a shot of hydrocortisone but said the first may not completely solve the irritation because it was bad. What can I do aside from taking her back to vet?

    • isak says:

      The best solution is to get the second injection from the vet. The second visit is generally cheaper because it’s a follow-up. You can call them and ask how much a follow-up visit with an injection will be before going.

      Any idea what is causing the injury? If you can’t fix it at the source, this may just keep recurring.

      You can buy a topical cortisone cream for cats at your pet supply store. You can also find a low-strength over-the-counter cream from your local drug store. Make sure it is low-strength — generally 0.5 percent to 1 percent strength creams — in the event your cat gets it in her mouth. To apply, gently cleanse the affected area, then apply cream to the affected area, softly rubbing it in until it evenly coats the affected area. Apply up to twice a day. DO NOT use the cream on your cat’s eyes.

  31. sumeet says:

    my 4 year old labrador has cloudy eyes and one eye is too itchy…can it be cataract or smthing else???…what can i do to treat him as i cant find any good vet here around

    • isak says:

      How long have the eyes been cloudy? And what do you mean by cloudy? Is there any discharge coming from them? Four years old seems young for cataracts, so the question is what is causing the problem. It could be something quite simple or an indication of something else. So a visit to the vet would be the best option.

      You can also rinse his eyes a couple times a day with a sterile eye rinse that you can buy from the pet food store to see if you see any improvement. You can try applying a small amount of the original formula Neosporin (NOT “plus pain relief”), but be careful as this might cause a softening of the outer layer of the cornea and lead to other problems. So use just a small amount and see if you see any change.

  32. Anne says:

    My dog went to the groomer and now has a terrible razor burn. I’m putting on a spray from petco but it doesn’t seem to be working.

    Help my Charlie 🙁

    • isak says:

      Try hydrocortisone creams, antibiotic ointments (like Neosporin) and even specialty razor burn gels. Aloe vera and oatmeal baths can soothe irritated skin and make Charlie more comfortable. If he licks the area a lot, you might need to get him an e collar so he can’t reach that spot.

  33. amanda says:

    My cat is having a allergic reaction to sentry purrscription flea collar. I put it on him friday and when i got home from work today i found him crying in the closet. His neck is bare, red, and bleeding. I dont have any money to take him in. I made a little cone with a box to prevent him from scratching it and cutting it open more. What can i use on him to prevent him from scratching, and on his neck?

    • isak says:

      Boy, that is some reaction.

      Wash the area with some warm, soapy water on a cloth, then rinse the soapy water off. Afterwards, you can apply Neosporin to his neck. You should wash and re-apply the ointment a couple times a day for 2-3 days.

  34. Miriaha says:

    I adopted a beagle about a week ago, she has been scratching on her sides, and chew on her tail and back end area (not her actual butt) I found 2 fleas on her so we went and got a Seresto collar for her but she was still scratching like crazy. So today i got her some Burt Bees icth soothing shampoo, gave her the bath and shes still itching. Before the bath though I was using a fine comb and saw no flea dirt, there were no fleas in the water, but she had really bad dandruff. Does anyone please have any suggestions on what i can do, i can only imagine how sore she is, and uncomfortable. Thanks

    • isak says:

      Has she been scratching since you got her or did it start after she was with you? I’m wondering if she is reacting to something in your home — like a different food than she is used to or maybe her bedding was washed in a detergent that she is reacting to. For short term, you can try giving her some Benadryl to reduce the itching. There is also a liquid called Septiderm-V Antiseptic that comes in shampoo and lotion form that may help. I have used it on dogs with hot spot problems in summer. The dandruff could be related to food as well. You might look for a food without grain in it, especially corn.

  35. Lisa Ann says:

    My cat has developed an allergic reaction to fleas. He started ripping out the fur on his stomach and back legs. I don’t have the money to take him to a vet right now. I bought flea treatment for him. What can I do in the mean time to soothe the irritated itchy feeling?

    • isak says:

      Sure sounds like he’s a mess. You might try Septiderm-V Skin Care Lotion. It’s usually available where pet products are sold.

      Also some people have good luck with vinegar and water:

      • Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 1 part water (dilute this more if necessary).
      • Dip a paper towel in the mixture.
      • Rub the damp paper towel over your cat’s skin and fur. It is okay if they lick it off.

  36. Deb says:

    My cat has a wound by his ear most likely from fighting with his sister and scratched him pretty good, what over the counter medicine can I apply to it to heal without making a vet appointment?

  37. Cassandra Holmoe says:

    I have a lab mix. He scratched the side of his face close to his ear. He broke the skin and its oozing. We have been gicving him benadryl and cleaning it with benzalkonium chloride. I dont have any money to take him to see a vet. Im in between jobs right now. Is there something else that i can do.

    • isak says:

      You can rinse the wound with saltwater (mix some salt in warm water and apply with a washrag, then apply some Neopsporin to the area. Do this a couple times a day.

  38. Katie says:

    My cat has a scratch on his nose, is a diluted betadine solution safe to use if he can lick it off?

    • isak says:

      Yes. It (betadine) should be diluted to the colour of weak tea. Saltwater will also work (1 Tablespoon to 8 ounces of water).

    • isak says:

      Yes. It (betadine) should be diluted to the colour of weak tea. Saltwater will also work (1 T to 8 ounces of water).

  39. Appple says:

    My dog lick his paws constantly and he have some red bumbs on his belly looks like bite but he is on his flea n tick meds on regular basis. And he can’t stop scratching his whole body I took him to vet so many time and they gave him allergic medicine which is so expensive and he stop itching until I gave hi that meds but that meds is very expensive for 2 weeks dose I paid $57 so I can’t afford it for long. Please help me out here. Thank u

    • isak says:

      The meds you are receiving are only treating the symptoms. You need to find out what is causing the reaction. It could be the food he is eating. If he is eating a dry food that contains corn, it could be a reaction to the corn. It could be a reaction to something in your house. Maybe you wash his bedding in a detergent that he is reacting to or you clean your house with something that bothers him. You can give him occasional baths in a doggy shampoo for itchy skin, maybe an oatmeal shampoo. You can also apply a mixture of vinegar and water to his paws to reduce the itchiness. But you need to locate the source or you are just treating the symptoms. How are his ears? Any problems with them? Do you remember any changes that occurred just before the itchiness started? Did you change his food? New carpet?

  40. Terri says:

    What if my dog licks at the topical ointments, sprays? Is that going to harm her?

    • isak says:

      It probably depends on how much your dog digests, but they should generally be safe. Of course, it would be best if your dog did not lick off what you apply as they miss the benefit of the meds. Perhaps you can cover the area or put a collar on your dog?

  41. Regina Bourque says:

    Two days ago I got a 8 week old puppy from a friend that was terribly infested with fleas. I bathes my puppy in Dawn’s originals detergent and it killed all the fleas in her.My puppy doesn’t have any fur in her tail from all the fleas she had on her. I noticed she bites at her tail due to itching. Can I put Cortisone 10 on her tail to help heal her tail and get some relief? I do have fog shampoo with oatmeal. Being she’s 8 weeks is it safe to bath her with dog shampoo with oatmeal or do I need to get some for puppies?

    • isak says:

      Congrats on your new puppy! I would not recommend using Cortizone 10 on her tail. She could have a reaction to it, especially as young as she is. If the skin on her tail is not raw, you could mix some vinegar and water and apply that. It should relieve the itchiness. If it is raw, you can apply a bit of Neosporin to her tail.

      The dog shampoo with oatmeal should be fine, however you do not want to bathe her too often as this will remove her protective oils and that can cause dry, itchy skin. A dog with normal skin should be bathed once a month with dog shampoo or human baby shampoo. If you want to bathe more often, use a soap-free or moisturizing shampoo to prevent the skin from becoming dry. Maybe your oatmeal shampoo says moisturizing on the label?

  42. Annette says:

    My dog was very nervous so our vet recommended theramone plug in. It worked to calm her down. Available from your vet.
    We also have a storm jacket from Big Lots that work too
    A cheaper way is to try a t shirt that fits fairly tight. It’s like wrapping a blanket round them, a security thing I guess.

    • isak says:

      Thanks for the tips. I have been hearing more and more people talk about the t-shirt idea. It sounds so simple and it seems to be working. I wish I knew this years ago. My old girl Alice is scared to death of thunder, but now that her hearing is not as sharp as it used to be, she is not so bothered.

  43. Annette says:

    I just put preparation h on my dogs bum and she has stopped licking already.
    I used a very small amount.
    This is what I read on the internet. It could save me a fortune in vets bills I hope.

  44. Mike Brasher says:

    Marie says:
    August 19, 2016 at 8:45 am
    If my dog has anxiety and is scared of loud sounds I take him out bit as soon as he hears a loud sound he comes running back in he bites at he’s paws what can you get them for it I have anxiety my self were I have panic attacks but what can I give my dog

    My Dentist used to prescribe a couple Xanax for the 4th of July. Around nightfall, give 1/2…and hour later, give another 1/2, then 2 hours later, another 1/2. And stay with the dog, a lot of times your presence alone will help him keep calm.

    • isak says:

      There is a new product out that I recently used on one of my dogs called Sileo. It’s a gel that you put on your dog’s gums. It will calm him down for a few hours. You have to get it from your vet.

      You can also try the herb Valerian. It has calming qualities. I have had good luck with it, too.

  45. Carol says:

    My Boston Terrier suffered from continued skin redness and irritation. I bath her weekly with a dog shampoo containing tea tree oil, works wonders!

  46. C hughes says:

    My pug has a vaginal prolapse during heat which cream can I use ?

  47. Eric says:

    I also have a pit-bull and I found out that she too was crazy allergic to chicken. I mean, she would be miserable for days after eating a chicken product and we would basically have to sedate her with oral Benadryl. It’s amazing how many products contain chicken. Every major brand contains it – even if it says “beef” on the front of the package, you’ll find chicken in the ingredient lists. I found out thru trial/error and now I read every ingredient and buy peanut butter flavored natural treats.

    Aside from the allergies, she also struggles with bacteria issues that make her itch. It sometimes feels as if her stomach is wet with sweat, and she was constantly itching to the point where her nipples would bleed and she would chew her paws and legs till they were bald and raw. I was panicked thinking that it was another food issue.

    I was putting Benadryl anti-itch cream (diphenhydramine hydrochloride 1%) on her belly just so she could sleep. I tried coconut oil, olive oil, oatmeal baths, special hot spot shampoos… And nothing seemed to work for her! The vet suggested we try Malaseb medicated shampoo. It has been a life saver! It neutralizes the bacteria that causes the itchy belly/paws. She is so much happier now. I highly recommend it and you can get it several places online. I use the one made by Bayer that has a white & maroon bottle and bathe her once a week with it. It doesn’t smell very good (as most medicines do), but adding a drop or two of lavender oil seems to help with the scent – and most importantly – it works!

    Hope this helps – and this is a great list to bookmark and reference! Thank you!

  48. Marie says:

    If my dog has anxiety and is scared of loud sounds I take him out bit as soon as he hears a loud sound he comes running back in he bites at he’s paws what can you get them for it I have anxiety my self were I have panic attacks but what can I give my dog

  49. Sarah says:

    Can I put epaderm ointment on my skin as he has very dry skin and he keeps on bitting at him self he has been deflead so it’s not that

    • isak says:

      I’m not familiar with epaderm ointment, so I cannot say if it is safe for your pet or not. The problem with putting things on a cat or dog is that if they can reach it, they may lick it off, so the question is whether it is safe to be ingested. You need to locate the source of his dry skin in order to treat it and the search should start with his food. Could it be that his itchiness is due to an allergy to what he is eating?

      Try an egg a day fried over medium (whites fully cooked, yolk runny) with a tsp of coconut oil melted on it, and feed a grain free diet. There are enzymes in the yolk that help with allergies, the coconut oil helps with the dry skin. Grains are the most likely allergen.

      Here are some ways to help improve your dog’s dry skin.

      • When your dog needs a bath, try using plain water, a good, non-drying solvent. If you must use shampoo, use a moisturizing type with humectants, and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner. Avoid blow dryers.

      • If you have your dog groomed, speak to the groomer about turning down the heat on the blow dryer (it’s usually set pretty high).

      • Feed moist food—canned, cooked, homemade or raw.

      • Add digestive enzymes to every meal (probiotic bacteria, 2 to 10 billion CFUs/day).

      • Provide fresh, filtered drinking water.

      • Add fresh oils and other supplements to meals like:

      Flax seed oil (1/2 tsp. of oil/15 pounds twice daily) or freshly milled flax seeds (1.5 tsp./15 pounds twice daily)

      EPA/DHA from fish oil or algae (5 to 20 mg of EPA/pound of body weight/day)

      Lecithin granules (1/4 tsp. to 1 Tbs. per meal)

      Nutritional yeast (1/2 to 1 tsp. per meal) or hypoallergenic B complex (10 to 50 mg twice daily)

      Kelp powder (1/4 to 1 tsp. per meal daily)

      Spirulina (500 to 1,000 mg twice daily with meals)

      Alfalfa, nettles or horsetail (dried or powdered, 1/4 to 1 tsp. of individual herb or a mixture)

      Good luck.

  50. Vette says:

    I have a 1 year old Blue Pit and he has started having red areas on one of his paws and on the side of his tail near his butt. He scratches constantly. I know he’s allergic to chicken and i give him Beneadryl for that, i just need to know what can i give him to relieve him of the scratching and redness

    • isak says:

      The moisture caused by excessive paw licking between the toes can cause a secondary bacterial or yeast infection. This can actually worsen the itchiness.

      Antihistamines like Benadryl are generally ineffective in discouraging paw licking. When they do have a positive effect, it is probably due to the general sedation (sleepiness) that they produce. More effective might be a footbath containing baking soda. Track your dog through the bath when you come in from a walk to remove pollen and irritants. Then pat his feet dry. You can rub this same solution on his butt where he licks.

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