For many years, hydrocortisone was created for human use in order to alleviate allergic reactions and inflammation. The product is especially useful for people who experience skin rash flare-ups every now and then. So, can you put hydrocortisone on a dog?
While hydrocortisone is often extremely beneficial to humans, the product is actually harmful to dogs. The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved hydrocortisone for dogs, so you’ll want to avoid using it on your furry pal. The good news is that companies have developed safer forms of hydrocortisone for dogs throughout recent years.
What Is Hydrocortisone Cream For Canines?
Dog-friendly hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid that has been shown to treat dry and itchy skin in canines.
Human-grade hydrocortisone is also formulated to treat dry, inflamed, and irritating skin, but it’s not recommended for dogs. If human-grade hydrocortisone is applied on a dog, it will likely experience severe side effects such as dehydration, poor bladder, and vomiting.
Dog-friendly hydrocortisone is a great alternative to human-grade hydrocortisone.
What Specific Skin Conditions Does Hydrocortisone For Dogs Treat?
Over the years, hydrocortisone for dogs has been successful at treating certain canine skin issues. These are the most common conditions that dog-friendly hydrocortisone treats.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Dogs can experience allergic reactions just like humans. Similar to humans, the signs of an allergic reaction in dogs include excessive itching, sneezing, vomiting, fatigue, and runny nose. One condition that may cause these symptoms is flea allergy dermatitis.
Dog-friendly hydrocortisone may be able to relieve a dog’s discomfort from this condition. Always remember that hydrocortisone for dogs will not treat the root cause of allergies. If your dog suffers from chronic allergies, it’s best to visit a veterinary clinic for appropriate treatment recommendations.
Atopic dermatitis is also thought to be linked to allergies in dogs, but the symptoms of this condition include swollen, dry skin combined with reddish/brownish patches. Dogs who have this condition may also have skin inflammation and irritated skin. In order to improve the symptoms of this condition, many dog owners have applied hydrocortisone topical for dogs on their pup’s skin.
Also known as pruritus, hot spots are often characterized by really painful, itchy, and dry skin. The condition is likely caused by pest bits and possibly allergies. Although many different breeds can get hot spots, the condition seems to affect Beagles the most. Hydrocortisone for dogs may also be able to treat a pup’s hotspots.
If your dog has encountered poison ivy, it’s probably dealing with severe itchiness. When poison ivy isn’t treated promptly, the condition could significantly exacerbate by becoming more inflamed and infectious. Dog-friendly hydrocortisone topical cream can help with the itchiness and promote a quick recovery.
Should You Take Your Dog To The Vet?
Even if you’re pretty positive you know exactly which condition is making your dog miserable, you should still err on the side of caution by taking your dog to the vet. If you have a close relationship with your vet, talking to him/her on the phone about your dog’s condition may suffice under some circumstances.
How Does A Vet Diagnose Canine Skin Problems?
When you first arrive at the veterinarian clinic, the vet will probably ask you many questions about your dog’s skin history and current symptoms. In addition, the vet will want to know if your dog has recently been around other dogs and whether or not your pup has traveled anywhere in the past year.
The vet will then perform a thorough physical examination, checking for ticks, mites, signs of excessive bathing, and much more. During the physical examination, he/she will also observe any of your dog’s behavior changes. For instance, the vet will note if your dog is panting, urinating, running around, or licking his skin.
The vet will also conduct some diagnostic tests. Here are the most common skin tests: Hair pluck, coat brushing, and skin scraping. After some time, the vet will be able to diagnose your pup’s skin condition.
How Should You Apply Hydrocortisone Cream To Your Dog?
When applying hydrocortisone cream to your furry friend, there are a few important safety tips you should definitely keep in mind.
Request The Help Of A Family Or Friend
If your furry friend is experiencing a lot of pain from the skin condition, it’s likely that you’ll need extra hands. While one of you comforts your dog, the other can apply hydrocortisone topical cream. A great way to comfort your dog is to say soothing words or let him play gently with a dog toy.
Practice Good Hand Hygiene
Practicing good hand hygiene is such an important part of this process, so make sure you and your helper wash your hands before, during, and after the application. Don’t forget to wash your hands if you happen to encounter blood.
Avoid Applying Hydrocortisone Cream On Open Wounds
An important safety tip that you should know is that this topical steroid should never be applied near an open wound. So, before using this product to treat your dog’s rash, be sure to check for any open skin or sores. During the check, you’ll be able to determine the extent of the problem. If you think it’s too much to handle, you can always take your dog to the vet for some treatment suggestions.
Apply The Cream With A Cotton Swab
A great way to apply the cream is with a handy cotton swab. All you have to do is place a little bit of steroid cream on the cotton swab and then spread it throughout the affected area. Try to aim for your dog’s skin rather than the coat. If the steroid cream mostly gets on your dog’s coat, the treatment won’t be very effective. Make sure to contact a vet if you notice any bleeding.
Use A Recovery Cone Or Collar
A recovery cone is always a great item to keep in your home. If you don’t have a recovery cone yet, you should get one for the application. An excellent recovery cone or collar can be found in pet stores and online. You can also easily try some DIY dog cone projects.
The recovery cone will prevent your dog from licking the area after you applied to cream, which ultimately lowers the risk of the area becoming infected. After the application, periodically check your dog to ensure that it’s still not able to lick the affected skin. Many dogs do not like the recovery cones, but it’s crucial for a great recovery.
Visit A Vet If The Problem Persists
If you don’t notice any improvements in your dog’s condition within two weeks, you should consider visiting a vet. A vet will be able to let you know the root cause of your dog’s condition.
How To Protect Your Dog From Getting A Skin Condition?
As a loving dog owner, you probably want to know how to protect your dog from skin conditions so that it won’t have to suffer ever again. While every skin condition can’t be prevented, you are able to protect your dog from some of them. Here are some great tips that can potentially prevent your dog from getting another skin condition.
- During allergy season, consider keeping your dog inside as much as possible.
- Avoid letting your dog spend a lot of time outside in extreme temperatures.
- Alter your dog’s diet according to a vet’s recommendations. Today’s best dog food for allergies greatly help avoid certain skin issues.
- Wash your pet’s dog bed regularly.
- Give flea and tick treatment for dogs if needed.
- Don’t let your dog play with other dogs who have skin conditions.
- Offer your dog water frequently throughout the day.
- Avoid excessively bathing your dog.
- Don’t let your dog lick or paw at its skin.
- Take your dog to regular checkups at the vet.
- Talk with your vet to discover great ways to protect your dog from certain skin conditions.
The Bottom Line
The primary takeaway of this article is that that you cannot apply human-grade hydrocortisone to your dog. If you apply this type of steroid cream to your dog, it could experience a ton of unpleasant side effects.
Dog-friendly hydrocortisone is generally okay, though. Thankfully, hydrocortisone for dogs can treat a wide variety of skin conditions.
For the best possible outcome, take your dog to the local veterinarian. The vet will want to know your dog’s symptoms and previous skin history . An experienced vet will be able to tell you if dog-friendly hydrocortisone is the best treatment for your furry friend.
1. Can human hydrocortisone cream be used on dogs?
The short answer to this question is no. Human hydrocortisone cream is not good for your dog because it can cause many severe side effects such as dehydration and diarrhea. The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t even approved human-grade hydrocortisone for use in pups.
While it may be tempting to use the human-grade hydrocortisone that’s in your medicine cabinet right now, you should really wait to talk with your vet about using dog-friendly hydrocortisone. If the vet doesn’t recommend dog-friendly hydrocortisone for your pup, he/she will be able to recommend a better treatment.
2. Can I put hydrocortisone on my dog for itching?
Dog-friendly hydrocortisone cream is a much better option for your best pal. While the cream is the most popular form, dog-friendly hydrocortisone is also available as oral medications, lotions, shampoo, and sprays. If you apply dog-friendly hydrocortisone correctly, it can be a really effective treatment for itching and dry skin conditions.
During the application, you’ll need to ask a close loved one for help, wash your hands frequently, use a recovery cone, and apply the steroid cream directly to the skin. Depending on the extent of the problem, your dog’s condition may still persist after two weeks. If this is the case, contact your vet.
3. What happens if a dog licks cortisone cream?
The first question that you need to ask yourself is “Did my dog eat the entire tube?” If your dog didn’t eat the entire tube, it will probably only experience some vomiting and diarrhea. On the other hand, if your furry palate the entire tube, it could experience severe intestinal tract damage. Make sure that your dog drinks lots of water throughout the day. You should also contact your vet as soon as possible.
4. What does hydrocortisone do for a dog?
There are many benefits of dog-friendly hydrocortisone. For dogs who are suffering from a skin condition, the product has been shown to treat the symptoms. Dog-friendly hydrocortisone works by relieving dogs’ itchiness and dry skin, which significantly eases their discomfort. The product may be able to treat the symptoms of the following skin conditions: Atopic dermatitis, hot spots, poison ivy, and flea allergy dermatitis. After applying dog-friendly hydrocortisone, your dog should return back to normal.