, , , ,


PRODUCT: GreenTree Septiderm-V Skin Care Bath
Volume: 8 FL. OZ. (240 ml)
Price paid: $9.99 (avail. on Amazon for $6.99 ~ $17.48 for 16 oz. bottle)
Packaging description:

For Problem Skin, Relieves Itching & Deodorizes, Excellent Grooming Aid for Dogs & Cats

Helps relieve itching due to skin problems that may be caused by hot spots, flea bites, dermatitis, rashes, and skin allergies.

Septiderm-V Skin Care Bath is a shampoo for use on dogs, cats and horses.

Regular bathing, plus the use of Septiderm-V Skin Care Lotion on all areas where inflammation, hair loss, or sores are evident, will provide relief from the intense itching of bacterial skin infection.

In addition to relieving itching, it is a very effective deodorant shampoo and an excellent grooming aid.

Septiderm-V Skin Care bath provides thorough cleansing action and removes dirt without stripping natural oils. It rinses easily and helps to control static electricity on the coat.

Contains: n-Alkyl (50% C15, 40% C12, 10% C16), Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride 1.0%, Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Bromide 0.1875%, Ethanol 0.35% in a compatible surfactant base.

PRODUCT: NaturVet Septiderm-V Skin Care Lotion
Volume: 4 FL. OZ. (120 ml)
Price Paid: $5.99 (avail. for $2.67 ~ $8.99 on Amazon)
Packaging Description:

For Problem Skin — Paws — Skin Folds — Deodorizes — For Dogs & Cats

Septiderm-V Skin Care Lotion Spray [?] is a soothing, non-greasy lotion for use on dogs, cats, and horses over the age of six weeks.

It may be applied as often as necessary and is recommended to be used in conjunction with regular bathing with Septiderm-V Skin Care Bath. Excellent for all skin related problems and as a deodorant lotion.

Contains: n-Alkyl (50% C14, 40% C12, 10% C16), Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride 0.106%, Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Bromide 0.040%, Ethanol 0.040% in an emollient lotion base containing emulsifiers and essential oils.
Company information: NaturVet, manufactured by GARMON CORPORATION; 27461 Via Industria; Temecula, CA 92590; (888) 628-8783

Photo taken 7 August 2010

I sometimes wish hadn’t been a math and science center [almost] flunkout, especially when it comes to chemistry and understanding the ingredients that go into these supposedly “natural” pet products. My biggest complaint about these two items is that they don’t smell natural at all or appear to be made of ingredients that I ultimately feel comfortable using. As I was trying to figure out what the ingredients are, I kept coming up with links describing the compounds (such as Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride [ADBAC]) as anti-microbial household cleaning products, pesticides, and low-risk toxins… but toxins nonetheless.

We’ve bathed Bowdu in the shampoo/Skin Care Bath several times over the past year now, and I think that it is moderately effective in relieving some of his itchiness. It doesn’t really lather, making application difficult. I think the lack of lather is actually okay in dog shampoos, but for a double-coated shiba, you end up having to use a LOT of it at a time, ideally allowing some time for the chemicals to penetrate into the skin for maximum effect. So expect lots of lingering in the tub, huffing shampoo fumes together with your pet. It’s a kind of bonding experience, right?

The shampoo’s fragrance isn’t altogether unpleasant. But I find it only neutralizes superficial stinks (like dead carcass scent rolls or pungent, rainy day dog park mud). When bathing him the other day, I worked the shampoo into Bowdu’s skin and his undersides, but his musky smell came back within a day. Obviously it’s not effective if the problem is hormonal or subdermal. In fact, I would suspect that the suggested semi-weekly or weekly baths, or regular “monthly” bathing recommended by the manufacturers, would do more to exacerbate natural skin oil production in my shiba. Like most dog shampoos, I’d use it sparingly, and only to alleviate mild to moderate conditions.

The Skin Care Lotion, on the other hand, is pretty intolerable. It smells like something that belongs in a janitorial closet. I can’t get over the feeling that I’m wiping down my dog with something that might be better diluted into a spray bottle and spritzed onto a kitchen counter top. Maybe that’s why the packaging inaccurately describes the product as a spray, when it didn’t come with a pump for that mode of application. Or maybe it just indicates that they didn’t put that much care into their packaging.

One final note on information gleaned from the company homepage… The Garmon Corporation offers something called “Private Label Opportunities,” where anyone can start their own line of pet health supplements with the help of their manufacturing plants.

You are probably already aware that the fastest growing segment of the pet industry is natural pet supplements. Pet supplements offer more profit per linear foot of shelf space than any other products in a pet store. So why not get a piece of the action? Whether you are already selling supplements or looking to start, why not capitalize on this with maximum efficiency. If any of the above benefits sound good to you, then private labeling might be your answer to increased profits and customer loyalty. Let your name be the name customers remember and thank.

Now, I find the language of profiteers to be repulsive and crude. That is partly why I allowed myself to be a math and science center near-flunkout, and am now pursuing a far less lucrative degree in the humanities. While my capacity to decipher complex chemical formulas is limited, I am keenly attuned to information that’s caught between the lines, lurking in the background, or hidden in those corners where the average reader (in this case, consumer) just doesn’t go. So what I see here is a company that follows the logic of the dollar to the extent that anyone is invited to pay and play. Personally, that doesn’t inspire my confidence in their quality control or company ethics, no matter how many oversight agencies they claim to be chummy with — because, um, they helped found them in the first place. Some might define this as a conflict of interest. I certainly question the transparency of this oversight process if the industry standards are established by those who trumpet their interest in profit margins and industry efficiency, with nary a statement of commitment to animal health.

At any rate, the company’s website was a reminder of the reality of corporate structures that underlie the whole “natural” and “holistic” pet care industry. Certainly, a company that makes a good product deserves to make a profit. But my money’s on the smaller, more independent brands available to me. I would rather explore such options or try homemade remedies before purchasing another bottle of these products.

Final Grade:
Skin Care Bath: B
Skin Care Lotion: C+