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Following a few simple guidelines will make applying a lotion, ointment or patch to your dog’s skin much easier — and less messy. Read on for detailed instructions.
There are many reasons your veterinarian might prescribe a medicine that’s applied to the skin. Whether your dog is dealing with a skin problem, a pain condition or something else, you should always put your health and safety—and that of your dog—first. So if your pet becomes so agitated that you feel you’re at risk of being bitten, or if the procedure seems excessively painful for your pet, stop and get your veterinarian’s advice.
Topical medications come in several forms, such as creams, ointments, lotions, and patches. It’s important to use only the medicine your veterinarian has prescribed, and to use it exactly as advised. Even if the problem seems to be resolved, you should treat your pet for the full length of time prescribed. On the other hand, you don’t want to use the medication too frequently or aggressively, as doing so can make your pet’s problem worse, especially if your pet has sensitive, already-inflamed skin, which can be further damaged by overtreatment.
Before you get started, you’ll want to find a safe work area and gather the following basic supplies:
Your veterinarian will recommend the best technique for applying the medication, depending on whether it’s a cream, ointment, lotion, or patch. If the medication comes with an applicator, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the applicator.
When applying topical medications, be aware of the following issues:
This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.
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