Chlorhexidine, a disinfectant used in environmental cleaning, is also commonly used in veterinary medicine. Diluted, chlorhexidine is a good cleanser for pets' ears, skin and mouth.
Chlorhexidine comes as a dental rinse, toothpaste, ear wash, gel, shampoo, cleaning solution or powder.
According to Pet Education.com, the shampoo is most often used to treat dermatitis and pyoderma, which are bacterial skin infections.
Chlorhexidine is sold without a prescription as a mouthwash for canine halitosis, but bad breath can be a sign of another illness. If your dog has halitosis, you should have the vet exam it before using chlorhexidine.
Chlorhexidine can kill fungus, yeast, viruses and bacteria, but it is ineffective against parasites.
According to Vetinfo.com, you should use a chlorhexidine-based toothpaste to brush your pets' teeth three times or more per week. Never use human toothpaste on pets, because it contains ingredients that are toxic to animals.
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