An antiseptic is a substance that inhibits or controls the growth of microorganisms. Antiseptic shampoos used in equine vet practice usually contain the antiseptics povidone iodine or chlorhexidine. There is a large variety of antiseptic soaps and shampoos on the market with a variety of names and compositions.
These shampoos are used frequently in veterinary practice for the treatment of bacterial and fungal skin infections. In many cases, these conditions are presumed and not proven.
The key to the use of antiseptic shampoos in the horse is allowing adequate contact time (at least 10 minutes) and thorough rinsing to ensure that there are no soap residues.