Open-field study comparing an essential oil-based shampoo with miconazole/chlorhexidine for haircoat disinfection in cats with spontaneous microsporiasis

J Feline Med Surg. 2017 Jun;19(6):697-701. doi: 10.1177/1098612X15625709. Epub 2016 Jan 18.


Objectives The goal of the present study was to compare the antifungal efficacy of an essential oil (EO) shampoo proven to be effective against Microsporum canis with miconazole/chlorhexidine for topical haircoat disinfection in cats treated concurrently with oral itraconazole. Methods Cats received treatment with oral itraconazole (Itrafungol) at a dose of 5 mg/kg/day pulse administration for 1 week, every 2 weeks for at least 6 weeks and were washed twice a week with a neutral shampoo with added EOs of Thymus serpyllum (2%), Origanum vulgare and Rosmarinus officinalis (5% each) for the period of systemic treatment. This protocol was compared with a conventional treatment (oral itraconazole + 2% miconazole/2% chlorhexidine shampoo). Results The treatment was well tolerated and adverse effects were not recorded. All cats were clinically negative at week 11. With respect to animals with extensive lesions, the speed of resolution was higher in cats with focal lesions. The animals showing diffuse lesions required more than a course of treatment to achieve a mycological cure. There was no significant difference between the number of weeks to obtain mycological cure for cats treated with EOs and animals treated conventionally. Conclusions and relevance The treatment appeared to be effective and well appreciated by the owners. The use of shampoo with the added EOs of T serpyllum, O vulgare and R officinalis would seem an interesting, natural alternative to conventional topical treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cat Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cat Diseases / parasitology
  • Cats
  • Chlorhexidine / administration & dosage
  • Chlorhexidine / therapeutic use
  • Dermatomycoses / drug therapy
  • Dermatomycoses / veterinary*
  • Disinfection
  • Female
  • Hair Preparations*
  • Itraconazole / administration & dosage
  • Itraconazole / therapeutic use
  • Lamiaceae*
  • Male
  • Miconazole / administration & dosage
  • Miconazole / therapeutic use
  • Microsporum*
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Hair Preparations
  • Plant Oils
  • Itraconazole
  • Miconazole
  • Chlorhexidine