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Itch Relief Product Selection Guide

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Dog Flea & Tick Control Products Comparison Chart 
Flea Control and Prevention 
How to Remove a Tick 
Flea And Tick Control
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Advantage Multi Topical For Dogs (Prescription)
Advantage Multi Topical For Dogs (Prescription)
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Itch Control Products

The intense itching caused by flea and tick bites can be extremely uncomfortable for your dog and may lead to secondary skin infections triggered by excessive scratching and licking. Concerned pet owners often ask us how they can help boost their dog's comfort after flea and tick bites. Our first recommendation is to get your pet on a flea/tick preventive right away. But, in addition, the selection guide below provides a guide to the many products we offer that provide fast, soothing relief and antiseptic action for existing bites.

Products with Hydrocortisone

Hydrocortisone is one of the most widely used ingredients in products designed for effective itch relief. It is also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. The Drs. Foster & Smith Itch Stop Series was created by our veterinarians with an efficacious amount of non-stinging, hydrocortisone to stop itching and burning. These products can be applied through bathing, with the convenient swatch of a pad, or in easy-to-apply salve, lotion or spray. Itch Stop products deliver fast, temporary relief for your dog.

Other products that contain the active ingredient hydrocortisone include:

Similarly, Relief Shampoo, Crème Rinse, and Spray each contain Pramoxine Hydrochloride for relief of itching, flaking, and irritation.

Products with Antiseptic Ingredients

Many topical remedies contain antiseptic or antimicrobial ingredients that create an inhospitable environment for microbes. When dogs scratch a flea/tick bite until the skin breaks, the site is vulnerable to secondary skin infections, which can also produce oozing and odor. Products with antimicrobial ingredients are often recommended for cleansing these areas after flea and tick bites.

The Drs. Foster & Smith Septi-Soothe® Skin Treatments were developed by our veterinarians with the antiseptic agent chlorhexidine, which provides a cleansing approach to your dog's flea and tick bites, surface cuts, minor hot spots, scratches, and other minor skin lesions. Chlorhexidine also tackles odor-causing bacteria and yeast to help prevent infection. Like the Itch Stop Series, Septi-Soothe products are gentle, soothing, and available in many convenient forms, including pads, shampoo, and spray.

Sentry Hot Spot Skin Remedy contains Benzalkonium Chloride, effective against Staphylococcus intermedius, a common microbe associated with hot spots. ChlorhexiDerm® 4% Shampoo contains chlorhexidine gluconate for deep cleaning and antimicrobial activity. Allercaine with Bittran II contains both Benzalkonium Chloride, an antiseptic, and lidocaine, a local anesthetic that helps soothe itching, stinging and pain. Bittran II gives it a bitter taste that discourages pets from chewing treated areas.

Antihistamine Products

When pets develop flea allergy dermatitis in response to flea and tick bites, an antihistamine product can be helpful. Antihistamines block the effects of histamine in the body. Antihistamines do not cure allergies, but they can help ease some of the symptoms, such as scratching and licking.

Most of these products require a prescription. One exception is non-prescription Aller-chlor, which uses the active ingredient chlorpheniramine to provide temporary relief from itching.

The following antihistamine products require a prescription:

Natural or Herbal Alternatives

Drs. Foster & Smith Oatmeal Shampoo offers a soothing formula containing hydrolyzed oat protein to provide relief from itchy, dry skin. Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo is another great option because it adds no harsh detergents, perfumes or dyes that can further aggravate skin that is already irritated. Both of these shampoos cleanse the skin without drying it out.

Products with Tea Tree Oil or aloe can also support normal comfort after flea/tick bites. Espree Advanced Care Tea Tree & Aloe Shampoo and Conditioner, Vet's Best Hot Spot Spray, and Vet's Best Hot Spot Shampoo include these ingredients. Pet Organics Anti-Itch! contains aloe vera and D-Limonene and deodorizes with a fresh citrus scent. Skin Soothe utilizes zinc, taurine and L-lysine to promote healing and normal skin comfort.

Drs. Foster & Smith Itch Stop Series
Drs. Foster & Smith Itch Stop Series
Zymox® Topical Spray
Zymox® Topical Spray
Cortisoothe® Shampoo
Cortisoothe® Shampoo
Drs. Foster & Smith Oatmeal Shampoo
Drs. Foster & Smith Oatmeal Shampoo
Vet's Best Hot Spot Spray
Vet's Best Hot Spot Spray
Skin Soothe
Skin Soothe
Allercaine with Bittran II
Allercaine with Bittran II


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