hydrocortisone cream for dogs

Hydrocortisone cream for dogs: Is it safe?

The use of an hydrocortisone cream for dogs is getting popular to fight skin problems. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from various skin diseases but they tend to be more complicated due to the thicker hair coat on their body.

Even a minor scratch or flare-up can be very irritating. Dogs can’t resist the itching and this can worsen the situation. Steroids are used topically against skin problems in humans as well as animals. Hydrocortisone is one of the most commonly used topical steroids. The popularity of hydrocortisone cream for dogs is due to its high efficacy.

can i use hydrocortisone cream on my dog

In this article, we will address if it is safe to use a hydrocortisone cream for dogs based on scientific evidence. We’ll be covering the method of usage, precautions, and possible side effects as well.

Can I use hydrocortisone cream on my dog?

Hydrocortisone is a glucocorticoid that was discovered by Edward Kendall in 1932. It is secreted from the adrenal cortex and is effective against inflammation, neoplastic disorders dermatoses, immune and allergic disorders. Hydrocortisone was approved by the Food and Drug Authority in 1952.

It is commercially available as a cream or spray for topical application. Tablets with hydrocortisone are also available. Most commercial preparations contain 1% hydrocortisone acetate as the active ingredient. Passive ingredients include water, mineral oil, propyl alcohol, glycerol Stearate, Propylparaben, etc.

Research has proven that hydrocortisone is safe for use on dogs. Make sure you are administering the right dosage. If using a topical form of hydrocortisone, apply it properly according to the recommendations. Beware! Please consult your veterinarian before using hydrocortisone against any skin problem.

dog skin disease treatment

Signs of skin conditions where hydrocortisone cream can be used

Dogs have hair on their coat. Length of hair varies with breeds but all dogs are susceptible to ectoparasites, skin allergens, and other conditions like dermatitis. Hydrocortisone is used mostly against such disorders. Let’s take a look at different signs that your dog might show when he is suffering from a skin problem.

Constant scratching and licking of a particular area are the most common signs of skin problems. If your dog has been showing these lately, you should examine his skin. Careful examination is needed as dogs have a coat that can hide the problem. If you find redness, inflammation, or hairless patches on the skin, this may indicate a problem.

You should apply the hydrocortisone cream to the affected area. Make sure the cream is applied to the skin and the hair coat doesn’t hinder the absorption.

remove dog hair to check skin

Signs other than itching and scratching that can be somewhat hidden by an anxious behavior. Skin problems cause a lot of discomfort to the dogs and they are subdued. Your dog may show less appetite than usual, feel reluctant to do normal activities, and be lethargic. This can be due to the pain experienced while in movement. If your four-legged friend is showing these signs, you should look for any abnormality on their skin.

How to use an hydrocortisone cream for dogs

An hydrocortisone cream is a medicine and should be used as such, according to the prescribed method. Failure to do so can result in poor results due to improper absorption. You should confirm the amount of cream required to with your veterinarian.

Before applying the cream, wash your hands. Clear the affected area from hair. If the hair is too dense you can trim or cut them. Apply a small amount of cream on the affected area and rub it gently. This should be repeated 3-4 times daily. The exact amount of the cream required and the frequency of the medicine depend on the condition of the animal and the extent of the affected area.

Do not touch your face or eyes when applying the cream. If you accidentally do so, wash yourself thoroughly. You should also wash your hands with soap after the application of the cream.

Signs of skin conditions where hydrocortisone cream can be used

Precautions when using an hydrocortisone cream for dogs

  • Do not use an hydrocortisone cream for dogs if he is allergic to glucocorticoids. Consult complete medical history of your dog with your veterinarian before he decides to use of hydrocortisone.
  • Some glucocorticoids can be passed on through breast milk. The use of hydrocortisone should be avoided in pregnant and breastfeeding dogs, if not necessary.
  • Certain puppies may be more sensitive to topical medications. Hydrocortisone should be applied only to the affected areas after consulting your veterinarian.
  • If the drug preparation is for topical use, it should be applied to the skin only. It should never be used for other problems.
  • Do not cover the affected part with a bandage or otherwise unless advised by the veterinarian.
  • Do not let your dog lick the applied cream. You can use muzzles or to prevent your dog from licking the medicine and the affected area.

Side effects

Severe side effects of hydrocortisone cream for dogs are rare but mild reactions can be seen sometimes. Overdose of the medicine can lead to difficulty in breathing and even dizziness. Dosage should be reduced in young pups to avoid undesired effects.

Severe side effects of hydrocortisone cream

Final recommendations

The use of Hydrocortisone cream for dogs is common in case of skin problems. It is a glucocorticoid that has proved its efficacy against itchiness, redness, alopecia, and other immune disorders.

It has been approved by FDA and can be used topically against the above-mentioned conditions. The dosage and frequency of the medicine should be confirmed with the veterinarian.

Optimal results can be obtained to cure skin diseases if you use hydrocortisone cream for dogs according to the recommendations of your veterinarian.


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