Comparison of Dermatological Complications Associated with Repeated use of a High Anionic vs a Low Anionic Soap to Decontaminate Canines
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Harmful materials are released into the environment during emergencies and disasters. These materials pose a risk to animals involved in search and rescue efforts without the benefit of personal protective equipment. Search and Rescue (S&R) canines are often decontaminated multiple times during deployments to limit their potential exposure to toxic or harmful substances they come into contact with. Consecutive decontamination has the potential to induce epidermal irritation, decrease the natural protections associated with a healthy dermis and thereby increase the risk of absorption and internalization of hazardous material. The focus of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of two soap products in the removal of oil-based contaminants and to determine the subsequent likelihood of inducing epidermal irritation and transepidermal water loss when used serially over a standard 14-day deployment. The results of this study revealed that Dawn® Ultra is more effective than DermaLyte® at removing oil-based contaminants. The serial use of each of these products resulted in mild to moderate epidermal irritation within 4.9 to 15.8 days for Dawn® soap and 5.8 to 21.4 days for DermaLyte® soap. Transepidermal water loss did not quantify or predict visibly scored epidermal irritation. These results will guide the development of S&R dog decontamination protocols.
Mabry, Christopher James (2015). Comparison of Dermatological Complications Associated with Repeated use of a High Anionic vs a Low Anionic Soap to Decontaminate Canines. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from