“ Brand: Dermcare / Type: Dog conditioner / Application: For use on pets with atopic and contact dermatitis „
If you read my reviews regularly you will know that I have a Shih Tzu dog called Molly. For the last ten years she has been my treasured friend, and for the most part she has been blessed with good health. She has to be careful though, as she has a skin allergy problem, which is a mystery to the vet, but it has been assumed that it stems from a reaction she has to an unknown agent. Changing her diet from mainstream pet foods to specialist products including Lily's Kitchen and Orijen, has really had the most amazing results, and the flare ups of her condition have now been severely limited. This time of year sees most of her attacks which makes me suspicious that it maybe also be grass pollen related.
In addition to changing her diet we were advised to bath her regularly in an oatmeal based shampoo and conditioner, as this alleviates itching which is the dreadful result of skin allergy.
Having tried many products on the market over the years I came across a conditioner which is made in Australia for the veterinary market. Available over here from Amazon, the product is called Dermcare Aloveen Oatmeal Intensive Conditioner. It retails in two sizes- 200mls for £9 or 100mls for £6.50. You do have to add £3.99 shipping charges on top of this as the seller is www.pets-megastore.com.au. You can also purchase direct from them in Australia but this works out to be more costly.
Dermcare was founded in 1981 by Professor Mason. He was the first vet in Australia to be registered as a specialist Veterinary Dermatologist, and he is now senior lecturer in dermatology at the University of Queensland. I like this fact, and it is encouraging to know that the products have been developed with the expertise of a specialist vet. After all you don't just want your dog to smell like a flower shop, but to have calm itch free skin. Dermatitis in dogs causes great suffering to the animal, and he or she can bite and chew the coat vigorously in order to relieve the severe itching that develops. This can lead to wounds which can be horrific, especially if they become infected. Molly had these before I got her problem under control and it was very distressing for me and her.
The cream based conditioner- Aloveen contains aloe vera and oatmeal, and can be used as a leave in conditioner. Here is where I feel this product shines, because after shampooing it is lovely to be able to simply apply this cream over the coat and then towel dry as normal. Molly isn't really keen on baths - it's like that birthday card I saw once in a shop which had a dog on the front with the caption which said "Collar's off- this doesn't look good!" I think Molly puts up with baths rather than enjoys them, and so this conditioner is ideal as it cuts the bath time process down to the minimum. Also being left on the coat it continues to act as a soothing agent for any areas affected by dermatitis.
You don't need to add much in any one application. It is expensive to purchase, so the fact that a little goes a long way is a positive attribute. I also value the fact that it contains natural ingredients.
The cream has a lovely clean fragrance, and leaves the coat soft silky and moisturised. It is easy to dry the coat using a hair dryer following application which I normally do. As this is a leave in product I tend to use my clippers on her coat first before bathing if I am trimming her up, as residue isn't good for the clipper blades. I realise most shih Tzu owners probably don't need to worry about this as they will use commercial grooming salons, but I enjoy hairdressing so have always done her coat myself, which saves money and trips out.
There are other oatmeal products on the market and Pet Silk do a lovely alternative which you can purchase from Hub International at www.hubint.com. This is a rinse out version, but still has the fresh, moisturising and softening qualities, but isn't as good at relieving the itching as Aloveen is. There are often oatmeal products available at TK Maxx which are excellent.
Obviously if your dog is presenting with skin problems it is imperative to make a trip to the vets to confirm the diagnosis that dermatitis is indeed the problem. This condition also runs hand in hand with flea allergy, so you must keep up with flea control as your dog only needs one tiny flea bite to start off the whole problem again, and if severe you may need medications such as steroids and anti-histamines to relieve the acute symptoms. Certain breeds are really prone to skin allergies including shih tzus, westies and many more.
I would say that Aloveen has been a miracle find for me as it has proved to be the most effective treatment for Molly in the fight against dermatitis, and the leave in properties are the icing on the cake. You may have to look at diet and flea control as well as garden allergens to attack the problem from all angles, but for ongoing coat care and relief from itching this conditioner is now my first choice.
This review is also published on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.