Tolerability of Dilute Bleach Baths in Dogs

ArticleLast Updated September 20231 min read
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Banovic F, Reno L, Lawhon SD, Wu J, Hoffmann AR. Tolerability and the effect on skin Staphylococcus pseudintermedius density of repeated diluted sodium hypochlorite (bleach) baths at 0.005% in healthy dogs. Vet Dermatol. 2023. doi:10.1111/vde.13186

Research Note

Dilute bleach baths are commonly used as adjunctive treatment for atopic dermatitis in humans and can reduce severity of infected moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in children.1

This study evaluated the clinical safety and effect on Staphylococcus pseudintermedius density of repeated dilute bleach baths on healthy canine skin. Four dogs with no history of pruritus or skin disease were bathed in 0.005% bleach for 15 minutes twice weekly for 4 weeks. Dogs were immersed to midthorax level and towel dried with no rinsing. The axillae, abdomen, and legs were assessed for local tolerability before, immediately after, and 24 hours after bathing, and density of S pseudintermedius in the axillae and groin was analyzed via quantitative PCR before, at several time points during, and after the treatment period. Baths were well tolerated and did not significantly change the density of S pseudintermedius. Further studies are needed to evaluate this treatment in dogs with superficial pyoderma and atopic dermatitis.