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The efficacy of a commercial shampoo and whirlpooling in the treatment of canine pruritus – a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study


RS Mueller, Medizinische Kleintierklinik, Veterinärstr. 13, Munich, Germany. E-mail:


Twenty-two dogs with a history of at least 4 weeks pruritus were studied to determine the effect of whirlpool use on the efficacy of topical therapy with an antipruritic shampoo (Allermyl®, Virbac; Bad Oldesloe, Germany). Dogs in group 1 received initially topical therapy with conventional shampooing (2 mL shampoo per kilogram bodyweight) once weekly for 4 weeks. Dogs in group 2 received the same therapy using a whirlpool (Sanwhirl, Peter Aschauer GmbH; Gräfelfing, Germany). The treatments were crossed between the groups resulting in each dog in groups 1 and 2 receiving both therapies. Group 3 was the control group and was treated once weekly in the whirlpool without any shampoo during the 8 weeks of study. Prior to each therapy, dogs were evaluated by a clinician not aware of the type of treatment using a clinical scoring system (Canine Atopic Dermatitis Extent and Severity Index – CADESI). Owners evaluated the pruritus daily on a visual analogue scale. There was a significant difference in pruritus scores but not CADESI scores after therapy between the control treatment and the conventional shampoo therapy or shampoo treatment in the whirlpool. These results provide evidence for the short-term benefit of shampoo therapy for canine pruritus.