Medicinal plants as therapeutic options for topical treatment in canine dermatology? A systematic review

Tresch, Milena; Mevissen, Meike; Ayrle, Hannah; Melzig, Matthias; Roosje, Petra; Walkenhorst, Michael (2019). Medicinal plants as therapeutic options for topical treatment in canine dermatology? A systematic review. BMC veterinary research, 15(1), p. 174. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12917-019-1854-4

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Medicinal plants have been used traditionally since centuries for wound care and treatment of skin diseases both in human and animals. Skin diseases are one of the most common reasons for owners to take their dog to the veterinarian. The demands for treatment and prophylaxis of these diseases are broad. A wide range of bacteria including antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be involved, making the treatment challenging and bear an anthropo-zoonotic potential. The aim of this review is to systematically evaluate based on recent scientific literature, the potential of four medicinal plants to enrich the therapeutic options in pyoderma, canine atopic dermatitis, otitis externa, wounds and dermatophytosis in dogs.

Based on four books and a survey among veterinarians specialized in phytotherapy, four medicinal plants were chosen as the subject of this systematic review: Calendula officinalis L. (Marigold), Hypericum perforatum L. agg. (St. John's Wort), Matricaria chamomilla L. (syn. Matricaria recutita L., Chamomile) and Salvia officinalis L. (Sage). According to the PRISMA statement through literature research on two online databases a total of 8295 publications was screened and narrowed down to a final 138 publications for which full-text documents were analyzed for its content resulting in a total of 145 references (21 clinical, 24 in vivo and 100 in vitro references).

All four plants were proven to have antibacterial and antifungal effects of a rather broad spectrum including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This makes them an interesting new option for the treatment of pyoderma, otitis externa, infected wounds and dermatophytosis. Marigold, St. John's Wort and Chamomile showed wound-healing properties and are thus promising candidates in line to fill the therapeutic gap in canine wound-healing agents. St. John's Wort and Chamomile also showed anti-inflammatory and other beneficial effects on healthy skin. Due to the wide range of beneficial effects of these medicinal plants, they should be taken into account for the treatment of dermatologic diseases in dogs at least in future clinical research.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > DKV - Dermatology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology

UniBE Contributor:

Tresch, Milena Laura, Mevissen, Meike, Roosje Hasler, Pieternella


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




BioMed Central




Aniela Bittner

Date Deposited:

28 Jan 2020 14:51

Last Modified:

26 Dec 2023 02:07

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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