Do you have an itchy dog? If your pupper has skin irritation thats making him miserable, you might have a quick fix in your medicine cabinet. You can use hydrocortisone cream on your dog in most cases. Like in people, it helps treat mild rashes, itchy skin, and bug bites in canines, too. But there are a few things you should know before using it, including how to safely apply it, why its not a long-term solution, and when to avoid using it. Read on to learn more about this over-the-counter skin soother.
Hydrocortisone is a steroid medication that reduces inflammation. It comes in cream and spray forms to apply to the skin. “It can decrease skin inflammation within 30 minutes of applying it and usually stops itching in one to two hours,” says Lindsay Butzer, a veterinarian and spokesperson for pet-supplement company Zesty Paws.
But she cautions that using steroid medications can also have a negative effect. “Steroids are a double-edged sword because theyre good at decreasing inflammation and pain, but they also slow healing and suppress the immune system.”
Is Hydrocortisone Cream Toxic to Dogs?
Hydrocortisone creams effects on dogs are still being tested. The FDA has not approved them yet, but many owners use them to treat their dogs rashes and swelling.
It is not a bad or dangerous idea, but one must be careful when using hydrocortisone products on a dog.
If your dog ingests hydrocortisone cream, you will have to be careful. A large amount of cream can cause stomach problems and various side effects, but it is not as severe as it might sound.
Keep an eye on your dogs health right after the ingestion, and keep monitoring his bowel movements.
It is common for them to present diarrhea after eating the cream, but that shouldnt last for an extended period. If it does, then you should consult a vet.
When Should You Contact Your Vet?
As mentioned before, if your dog has ingested hydrocortisone cream, wait a couple of days before worrying.
If your dog seems to improve after a couple of days, then there wont be significant issues. However, if you notice your dog with less appetite and energy during those days, you should consult a vet.
Changes in a dogs behavior and appetite levels are significant indications that they might be getting seriously sick. Take your dog and the cream to the veterinarian to help them understand the reason for your dogs health problem.
If your dog has ingested the cream and parts of the tube or the entirety of it, you should go straight to the veterinarian. The tube can cause a blockage in the intestinal tract and more significant issues like infections. These issues would require an operation that can be risky and expensive.
Note: Do not try to induce vomiting if you catch your dog eating the cream, as this can cause a lot of distress. It is also not necessary in most cases.
The cream can treat different skin conditions like allergies, swelling, redness, and other skin symptoms.
Hydrocortisone creams can be beneficial for dog breeds that are susceptible to skin allergies.
5 Uses of Hydrocortisone Cream for Dogs
Hydrocortisone is a powerful substance observed in studies to treat skin conditions in dogs successfully, and its been used in animals at least since the 70s (11).
Below are five of the most common conditions where hydrocortisone for dogs is used.
Will hydrocortisone cream hurt a dog?
Is hydrocortisone toxic if ingested?