How to Treat Dry Skin in Dogs and Cats

Shampoos for Dry Skin in Dogs and Cats

Countless surveys have confirmed most pet owners consider their fury friend to be a member of the family. They love them, feed them, and care for their pets when they get sick. In some cases, however, the medical issue cannot be resolved with simple home remedies. A dog or cat owner must then make an appointment with a veterinarian.

Even though it is covered with fur or hair, skin disorders in pets are quite common. Some are chronic and can last for years, even a lifetime, while other are acute and must be treated immediately. Most of the dermatological problems dogs and cats suffer from have a human counterpart. The causal agent is often found in our/their environment.

Symptoms of Dry Skin in Pets

Both cats and dogs will scratch, lick, and bite at an itch, which is perfectly normal. But if this activity becomes persistent, it is time to call his/her veterinarian. Nonstop scratching can result in serious injuries, including redness, inflammation and infection. What may have been a relatively minor issue can become a major one if the problem is ignored.

The medical term for excessive scratching of undamaged skin is pruritus, and it is a symptom of numerous skin disorders. When it affects the skin directly, the most common diagnosis is some form of dermatitis. Because they are less adept at cleaning themselves, dogs are more likely to suffer from these issues than cats.

Causes of Dry Skin in Pets

Most skin or coat problems in pets can be placed in one of the following categories: nutritional, parasitic, environmental, allergic, neurogenic, or infectious. Many occur because a dog or cat has a sensitivity or allergy to something in the food or environment. For example, your pet might be allergic to dust, flea bites, an ingredient of food, or any number of irritants. Excessive scratching often ensues, as well dry, flaky skin and a dull, lackluster coat.

In fact, our canine or feline friend’s coat can be used as a general gauge of health at almost any age. When itching is an issue, the hair or fur may be in a persistent state of stress. The only way to relieve this tension is to treat the symptoms of the dermatitis, whatever they may be. In addition to prescription medications that are specifically designed to address each form of the disease, more general solutions and supplements can help.

Treating Dry Skin in Pets

Parasites, inexpensive pet food, even sunburns can result in dry, red, itchy, uncomfortable skin. Once the underlying issues have been addressed, it may be possible to soothe affected areas with the right shampoo. But before we discuss a few popular brands, it is important to note that cats may not benefit from bathing as much as dogs. In fact, over bathing can actually aggravate their dry skin, since cats are meticulous groomers and may not need to be bathed. However, if your veterinarian recommends bathing, it is often best to use a conditioner to prevent drying out your cat’s skin.

Shampoos for Dry Skin in Pets

Allergroom with Glycotechnology Routine Shampoo for Normal or Dry Skin in Pets

Allergroom is specially formulated for dogs and cats with normal or dry skin. This shampoo is a moisturizing, hypoallergenic cleaner without ingredients which cause drying, such as coal, tar, selenium, or sulfur. It is also free of sensitizing agents, including soaps, detergents, and fragrances. Allergroom is designed for frequent use and is pH controlled to optimize the condition of the skin and coat of your dog or cat. Numerous tests have confirmed this cleaner can protect the skin from environmental damage. It may also help delay the onset of irritation resulting from yeast or topical bacteria.

Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner for Pets

Designed for pets with sensitive or dry skin, this aloe & oatmeal based shampoo helps soothe irritated or damaged skin. Not only does it infuse much needed moisture, it also gently cleans your pet’s skin and coat without robbing them of the oils they require for general health. Safe for both cats and dogs, Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo and Coat Conditioner contain moisturizing vitamins, such as A, D, and E.

DermAllay Shampoo and Conditioner Spray for Pets

A gentle cleansing system designed to treat dry, itchy skin in dogs and cats, DermAllay is 100 percent hypoallergenic. It contains safe, soothing moisturizers and ingredients, such safflower oil, sodium lactate, and solubilized oatmeal. When paired with the Conditioner, the duo imparts essential fatty acids, which add moisture to the skin and helps restore a natural, healthy luster to the hair and coat of your furry friend.

Leave us a note in the comments section below if you have any experiences using any of these fine products on your dog or cat. We all would be interested to know what successes you had while using any of these products. Thank you.

Have a squeaky clean day,





How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

As domesticated as they may be, our dogs and cats have retained some of the instincts that ensured their survival in the wild. First and foremost, they are reluctant to show pain, since injured animals are easy prey for predators. It is for this reason that it can be difficult to discern when our furry friends are sick or injured. For obvious reasons, oral discomfort in pets often evades detection.

According to the experts, 75 percent of middle-aged pets have some form of gum disease.  The percentage is slightly higher, perhaps as much as 85 percent, in canines. Of course, there are other dental concerns and disorders besides gum disease. They include abscesses, infections, loose, crooked, or cracked teeth. But most of them are a result of a serious gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

Both of these disorders are caused by plaque, which is a sticky deposit that forms on teeth and can cause irritation, infection, inflammation, even bone lose. At its earliest stages, gingivitis is the result of plaque buildup near the gum line. This mixture of bacteria, mucus, and food particles may irritate the sensitive gum tissue, resulting in future dental issues.

The good news is gingivitis can be painlessly treated and reversed, if it is caught in time. But if it is not, the dental plaque will harden into a thick deposit known as tartar, which cannot be removed by normal means, i.e., brushing, flossing, rinsing. The only way to get rid of it is to have a dental professional remove it with instruments.

Signs and Symptoms of Dental Disease in Pets

Even a mild case of gum disease should produce visible signs of irritation, including a reddening of the gum line around the affected area. In more advanced cases, the gums may actually bleed, which may cause a loss of appetite. Your pet may also have a hard time sleeping at night and may rub his face against soft surfaces. On occasion, his face may swell, making it harder for him to eat, bark, or meow.

What can you do to help your pet with dental disease?

No matter how cute and cuddly they may be, most pets don’t like people looking in their mouths. One again, this is a visceral vestige of their untamed days. Now, your pet probably won’t snap at you if you try to take a look at their teeth and gums, but they will, at the very least, struggle and try pull away.  In other words, it will be unpleasant for the both of you, but there’s no way around it.

Large plaque deposits can turn to tartar in just three days! And as we mentioned, tartar cannot be removed with brushing or rinsing alone. At that point, you must make an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian and your pet must be anesthetized, in order to remove these dangerous and destructive deposits. The time between dental procedures can be increased by introducing your dog or cat to brushing at an early age. They may not enjoy it, but in most cases they’ll get used to it. After all, it is for their benefit.

Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

Just as it is for human beings, brushing helps maintain oral hygiene in pets. How often you need to break out the brush depends on your dog or cat. Some breeds are predisposed to dental problems and may require regular cleanings, while others will only need it a few times a year. How can you tell who needs a cleaning and when?

The only surefire way is to examine your pet’s mouth firsthand. If your dog or cat has fetid breath, severely discolored teeth, red, irritated, or bleeding gums, or any combination of the aforementioned, he most likely has some form of gum disease.  Depending on the severity of the disorder(s), it may be necessary to take him to his veterinarian for a professional cleaning. But in less extreme cases, you may be able to handle it at home. Be sure to ask about your pet’s dental health during your pet’s next veterinary exam.

Start a Brushing Regimen with Puppies and Kittens

Because they loss them in short order, it is not necessary to brush your pet’s baby teeth, only the permanent ones. With that said, it is often best to introduce the procedure at an early age anyway. Waiting until adolescence or adulthood could be disastrous, since your pet may not accept anything in the mouth, even from his owner.  Toothpastes, rinses, gels, sprays, and other solutions are now sold specifically for pets. Most are designed to curb the growth of anaerobic bacteria, which is what causes dental plaque and tartar buildup.

Tools for Cleaning Your Pet’s Teeth

Simply use a pet’s toothbrush and message your pet’s gums several times before you introduce an actual pet dental product, which won’t be needed until his permanent teeth come in. And when they do, he will be familiar with the routine and should not give you too much trouble during cleanings.

Happy Brushing,


New Pain Medicine for Cats

Wouldn’t it be great if when your cat was in pain, it could just say “Mee — ooooowwwww”?  But, seriously, it’s tough to know when your cat is hurting and what to do about the pain. Felines are especially adept at hiding pain; it’s an instinctive survival strategy. In the wild, weak or injured cats are likely to get less food and lose their status in the pride or colony.  So hiding weakness or pain helps protect the cat’s survival.

House cats experience pain for a variety of reasons whether it’s from an injury, surgery, or from internal issues like disease. While signs of pain in cats vary widely, here are some behaviors to look for:

  •  being withdrawn and less playful
  •  acting anxious and seeking more attention than usual
  •  eating and drinking less
  •  changed posture which can indicate pain in a certain area of the body
  •  repeated grooming – especially in one specific area
  •  changing sleeping patterns
  •  avoiding physical contact

The reasons for feline pain can be complex, so if you suspect your cat is experiencing pain, the first step is always to talk to your veterinarian. He’ll examine your cat, help determine the cause of pain and provide treatment suggestions.

Onsior Pain Reliever for Cats

Onsior is Available at VetRxDirect

The good news is there’s a new, pain relief medication on the market for cats. Onsior (robenacoxib) is the first non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for cats. NSAIDs like Onsior are very effective at relieving pain and inflammation and have few side effects. Onsior is usually prescribed for cats recovering from surgeries. And because the medicine comes in small, flavored tablets, it’s not a pain to dose your cat with. Learn more about Onsior on VetRxDirect’s product page and then talk with your veterinarian.


To your cat’s health!



What is Cushing’s Disease in a Dog?

More commonly known as Cushing’s disease, hyperadrenocorticism is a chronic condition occuring when the body makes too much of a natural steroid called cortisol. Cortisol production is controlled by the adrenals, two small glands sitting atop the kidneys. The primary purpose of the hormone is to help the body deal with increased stress. Cortisol also helps maintain weight, skin condition, tissue structure, and performs other vital activities ensuring good health. But when the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol it can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of serious illness.

What causes Cushing’s disease in dogs?

Human beings, horses, and cats can all get Cushing’s disease, but the condition is far more commonly found in dogs. The two most common types of the disorder are adrenal-dependent and pituitary-dependent.  About 80 percent of diagnosed cases are the result of a tumor on the pituitary, a tiny gland at the base of the brain.

The pituitary is responsible for producing numerous hormones, one of which is adrenocorticotropic hormone. If a tumor develops on the gland, it can result in an overproduction of the hormone, which can stimulate the adrenals to produce more cortisol than the body can manage.

The remaining 20 percent of canine disease cases are caused by tumors in the adrenals, which can also stimulate an overproduction of cortisol. The treatment prescribed by your veterinarian may be determined by the type of Cushing’s disease affecting your pet.

Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Both types of Cushing’s produce similar symptoms which can seriously affect your canine friend’s health. They include increased thirst, urination, appetite, reduced activity, excessive panting, frequent skin infections, hair loss and abdominal distention.

Which Dogs are at Risk?

Because it is a slow growing disease, most cases of canine Cushing’s occur in older dogs over the age of six.

Diagnosis of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Since hormones travel through the bloodstream, the most effective way to diagnose Cushing’s disease is with a blood test. Frequent blood screening is often required during the first few months of treatment and then three or four times each year after initial diagnosis. A veterinarian uses these tests to determine the medication and dosage schedule needed to manage the symptom of the disease.

Treatment of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

The only way to cure Cushing’s disease is to excise the tumors, which can be dangerous and costly. As a result, most veterinarians do not recommend surgery as an option. They are far more likely to prescribe medications designed to manage the most serious symptoms of the disorder.  Dosage amounts and schedules may need to be adjusted from time to time, depending on your dog’s response to the treatment. Let us take a moment to review a few of the most common prescription medication used to treat Cushing’s disease.

Vetoryl (trilostane) for Cushing's Disease in DogsTrilostane

Dog lovers with pets diagnosed with Cushing’s disease got good news when the FDA approved Vetoryl (trilostane), the first medication that can be used to treat both adrenal-dependent and pituitary-dependent Cushing’s in canines. The prescription drug works by preventing the adrenal glands from producing cortisol. In numerous studies, most dogs experienced a complete reversal of serious symptoms. Side effects were generally quite mild and included diarrhea, vomiting, lack of energy, and weight loss. Trilostane should not be given to dogs with liver or kidney disease, take prescription medications to treat heart disease, or are pregnant.


The only other drug to be approved to treat canine Cushing’s by the FDA is Anipryl (selegiline). However, it is only effective for dogs suffering from the pituitary-dependent type of the disease. The drug has proven highly effective at ameliorating the most serious symptoms of the chronic condition.


Mitotane is used to treat the symptoms of Cushing’s disease as well as adrenal tumors. It works by reducing the level of cortisone produced in the adrenal glands. Sold in both capsule and suspension form, the drug is relatively inexpensive and highly effective in treating this disease.

Does your dog have Cushing’s Disease? Which medications has your pet’s veterinarian prescribed? Any secrets or suggestions to help those pets newly diagnosed? Please leave comments below.

Post Your Pet’s Best Smile and Win!


Contest Name: Post Your Pet’s Best Smile and Win!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. This Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Inc. The information you provide as detailed below will only be used for promotion administration purposes. This Contest is open only to legal residents who are at least fourteen (14) years old at the time of entry. Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries collectively received during the Contest Period.


The Post Your Pet’s Best Smile and Win! Photo Contest is open to everyone. You may participate in the contest in two ways: by submitting photos, and by liking photos. To submit your photo, include a photo of your smiling cat or dog in the “write something” field on VetRxDirect’s Facebook wall and include the phrase, “Pet Smiles Contest.” People who submit photos may also like other people’s photos. Photos submitted that are in compliance with the Contest Rules will be available on Facebook for viewing and Liking. A Comment counts as one vote and a Like counts as one vote. The same viewer may Comment and Like the same entry and it will count as a maximum of two votes. VetRxDirect is not responsible for any unauthorized use of your photos by Facebook users.

Photo Submission Criteria

All photos must be consistent with the contest theme and in compliance with the Contest Rules. VetRxDirect reserves the right to remove photos at any time that are not in compliance with the Contest Rules. We have the following limits on subject matter:
• No objectionable content, such as alcohol, smoking, guns, violence, obscenities, or nudity
• No content that is defamatory to any group or individual and/or violates any law


By March 15th, 2013, the photo that received the most Likes and Comments will be declared the winner. The winning entry will receive a coupon for $50 to be used on Winner will be notified two days after winning photo has been selected. Winners will be informed via direct message or email, and prizes will be released within two weeks of announcement.

Image Ownership

All digital images must be original work. Participants retain ownership rights to their photos. By submitting your photograph you grant VetRxDirect an unlimited, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, nonexclusive right and license to use, reproduce, publish, modify, perform and display the image on VetRxDirect’s website and in any marketing or advertising of any kind related thereto, in any medium now known or later developed. VetRxDirect will not pay you any compensation for your photograph or any use we may make of it. VetRxDirect is not obligated to use your photograph and we may not notify you if we do not use it. By submitting your photograph you agree and represent to VetRxDirect that you are the sole copyright owner of the photograph.




Examining your Pet’s Dental Care

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According to legend, dogs’ mouths are cleaner than any other mammals. This often leads many of us to believe our pets’ dental health is superb. However, this is not the case.

Dogs, as well as cats, need routine dental checkups much like us humans do. Many of us only think about dental care when our cat or dog has a problem. Scheduling regular dental exams before these problems arise can prevent issues. See VetRxDirect’s Dental Month blog post for more information.


  • Dental disease is the second most common disease in cats and dogs?
  • Before our pet’s third birthday they can develop dental disease?
  • Visual examination of our pet’s mouth only reveals 30% of our pet’s dental health?
  • Our pets are masters at disguising pain and can be suffering from dental disease long before they show signs?

It is important to visit your veterinarian and schedule regular dental cleanings and exams for your pet. This will not only help your veterinarian diagnose dental issues early on, it will also promote a longer, healthier and more comfortable life for your pet.

Use coupon code DENTAL13 and Enjoy 10% off entire orders
containing at least one pet dental product through Pet Dental Month of February!*

Also, enjoy 10% markdowns on the following dental products during February:

  • Biotene Veterinarian Drinking Water Additive (soon to be Oratene) is an oral gel containing a patented enzymatic system that is added to your pets drinking water and helps remove plaque and inhibit odor causing bacteria.
  • C.E.T HEXtra Chews – Available for both as Hextra for Cats and Hextra for Dogs, provides your pets with the support needed to remove plaque and loosen tartar.
  • Clenz-a-dent Food Additive – Sprinkling this daily on your dog or cats’ food can aid in plaque control, tartar control and help them maintain fresh breath. This product should not be given to any pets suffering from hyperthyroidism.

*Customers must be signed into an account at to validate coupons. Coupons cannot be combined or used with any other discount or offer. All discounts are valid for online orders only. Cannot be used on telephone orders.

Keep smiling,


FortiFlora Manufacturer’s Rebate Available

We’ve talked in the past about the importance of probiotics in your pet’s diet. Purina Veterinary Diets currently has a $10 off one box of FortiFlora mail-in rebate offer, making now the best time to try pet probiotics.

You can find a link to the rebate form by visiting VetRxDirect’s FortiFlora for Cats or FortiFlora for Dogs product pages. Click on “FortiFlora Rebate” in the blue text box next to the “Add to Cart +” button and print off the rebate form.

Hurry, the FortiFlora rebate is only valid until 3/31/13. Please visit the Purina Veterinary Diets FortiFlora Nutritional Supplement rebate page for the details.

Have a great day,