Ketoconzole is an oral drug which is used to treat some of the more life-threatening systemic fungal infections in dogs. Although it has also been used in cats there is enough incidence of liver toxicity that there are other anti-fungal drugs that are more commonly used. Systemic fungal infections are serious life threatening infections and may require prolonged treatment. In many cases, an animal will be treated with ketoconazole for up to a year and in some cases, a dog will remain on treatment for life. Animals that are critically ill may start their treatment in a hospital to allow a second intravenous antifungal called amphotericin B to be used with the ketoconazole. Susceptible fungi and yeast include: Blastomyces, Coccidioides, Cryptococcus, Histoplasma, Microsporum, Trichophyton, Malassezia, Candidia, Sporotichosis, Aspergillis

The drug works by blocking cortisol formation in the adrenal glands and inhibiting production of the fungal cell walls. It’s a generic form of Nizoral. Other forms of this drug have been created to reduce the number of potential side effects. Itraconazole and Fluconazole are two of these drugs.


Ketoconazole (brand name: Nizoral®) is an antifungal medication used to treat fungal infections. Because this drug affects how some other drugs are metabolized, it has also been used to reduce the dosage of expensive drugs such as cyclosporine.

Its use in dogs, cats, other small mammals, and reptiles to treat fungal infections is ‘off label or ‘extra label’. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as their directions may be significantly different from those on the label.

Features of Ketoconazole For Dogs

Ketoconazole is given by mouth in the form of a tablet. It should be given with food, and ideally with high fat foods such as cheese, butter, or cream cheese. This medication may also be compounded into an oral liquid. Follow the instructions on the label and measure doses carefully.

This medication can take a few weeks before full effects are observed, but gradual improvements are usually noticed after a few days. If you miss a dose, give it when you remember, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Uses/benefits of Ketoconazole For Dogs

Ketoconazole is used to treat both external and internal fungal infections in dogs. Vets may treat infections of the lymph nodes, skin, nails, respiratory system, bone, and other parts of the body with this drug.

There’s also a shampoo that mixes ketoconazole with another drug, Chlorhexidine. This shampoo can fight fungal and bacterial infections of the skin.

Because this drug is able to block the formation of cortisol in the adrenal glands, vets may also use it as a treatment option for dogs with Cushing’s disease.

  • can used in both cats and dogs
  • treats serious fungal infections
  • It may also be used against some yeast and dermatophyte ringworm infections

Dosage Of Ketoconazole For Dogs

The following is a guideline for typical use of the drug in dogs and must not replace your veterinarian’s advice for your individual pet.

The usual dosage of ketoconazole for dogs depends on the condition being treated and can range from 2.2 to 13 mg per pound of body weight given every 12 to 24 hours.

It’s available in 200 mg tablets, and dogs should take it orally. It’s only available with a veterinarian’s prescription.

Side Effects and Drug Reactions

Ketoconazole may result in these side effects:

  • Inhibited synthesis of cortisone
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding of the mouth
  • Sensitivity to light

Ketoconazole also blocks the systhesis of cortisone in the adrenal gland, which in some cases may be a harmful side effect, but when used correctly, it’s an effective treatment against Cushing’s syndrome.

Ketoconazole may react with these drugs:

  • Aminophylline
  • Cisapride
  • Astemizole
  • Triazolam
  • Cyclosporine
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Mitotane
  • Phenytoin sodium
  • Rifampin
  • Theophylline
  • Warfarin sodium
  • H2 Blockers
  • Antacids

Prices of Ketoconazole For Dogs

$28.99 – $80.99

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