A lime sulfur dip for dogs and cats is a common topical treatment for skin parasites and ringworm. Dilute the concentrated lime sulfur and apply the dip as instructed by your veterinarian and the product label, making sure to take safety precautions for yourself and your pet.
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Lime sulfur dip uses
Lime sulfur is safe to use on both dogs and cats. Many skin parasites are treated with the dip, and it is the only effective treatment for cats with the contagious mite Demodex gatoi. These mites cause severe itching, alopecia, scabs on the skin, and hyperpigmentation. Your veterinarian can diagnose the condition with a skin scraping.
It is also an effective treatment for ringworm, which is actually a fungal infection and not a parasite. Ringworm is contagious, so prompt treatment is important, especially if you have multiple pets in the household. Consult your veterinarian to diagnose the skin condition and ensure that the lime sulfur dip will be effective before treating your pet.
Safety precautions and considerations
Lime sulfur dips can cause skin and eye irritation. Wear gloves to mix and apply the dip and wear safety glasses to ensure it doesn't splash into your eyes. Keep in mind that the dip can change the coloring of jewelry and can stain concrete and other porous surfaces.
Prepare lime sulfur dip for dogs and cats
The dip solution is typically sold as a concentrated solution, so you will need to dilute it prior to giving your dogs and cats a lime sulfur bath. Be sure to check the product label for specific dilution and application instructions.
Shake the bottle well and then dilute 4 to 8 ounces of lime sulfur solution in a gallon of warm water. Only use the higher concentration to treat more chronic conditions or if instructed to do so by your veterinarian. Mix the solution well before applying it to your pet. Keep the lime sulfur out of direct sunlight, as it can deactivate the solution.
Lime sulfur application instructions
Apply lime sulfur dip topically to the affected areas on your pet. Do not rinse the dip or blow-dry your pet after application. Specific instructions can vary depending on the condition you are treating and the age and temperament of your pet. Do not allow your pet to drink any of the lime sulfur solution and contact your vet right away if she does.
Once you prepare the solution, dip your pet in the lime sulfur mixture. You can then pour the solution over your pet's body until she is thoroughly soaked. It is best to have the mixture in a smaller tub or bucket that is placed in the bathtub or shower, as it is likely that some of the solution will splash out. Use a cotton ball to apply the dip to the face and be sure to keep it out of your pet's eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
After applying the dip, use a clean, dry towel to remove excess solution and allow your pet to air dry. Consider placing an Elizabethan collar on your pet until she dries if she tries to lick the solution from her skin.
Lime sulfur spot treatment
If you cannot dip your pet, you can use the diluted mixture as a lime sulfur spray for dogs or cats to wet their skin. Another alternative option is to soak a cloth, sponge, or cotton balls and use that to apply the dip to your pet.
In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend using the lime sulfur dip as a spot treatment rather than applying it to the entire body. For example, kittens weighing less than 1.5 pounds should not have a full dip. Spot treatment may also be recommended if your pet has mobility issues, is elderly, or has behavioral or aggression issues that may prevent a full treatment.
Lime sulfur dip application frequency
The frequency and number of applications can vary depending on the skin condition, so be sure to consult your veterinarian for specific instructions. A typical course of treatment would include one lime sulfur dip per week for six weeks, ensuring that at least two dips are done after the condition has cleared up. Your vet may want to do a follow-up skin scraping or exam to make sure the dip is effective. Some conditions may require additional treatment and medications in addition to the dip.