Is Ketoconazole Safe for Dogs?

The controversy surrounding the use of ketoconazole in dogs has caused many owners to ask “Can ketoconazole put a dog to sleep?” The medication is prescribed for fungal infections, but some dog owners question its safety.

Ketoconazole killed my dog

Ketoconazole reviews

Ketoconazole can be administered topically, or orally. Oral administration is done with tablets. The right dosage depends on the severity of the infection and other factors such as the age and weight of the dog. Higher doses can lead to adverse reactions such as itchy skin, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever in some dogs.

Ketoconazole reviews show that some pet owners have found this medicine effective against yeast infections in their pets. However, it is important not to use ketoconazole (topical route) on dry areas or open wounds, as it can cause irritation and further damage. Some pet owners also report that their dogs experienced vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy after taking this medicine and that the symptoms lasted for a couple of days after discontinuing the drug.

“My dog died after starting the drug Ketoconazole for a yeast infection. I wasn’t sure if the ketoconazole killed my dog or not, but I believe it did.”

“My 8-year-old female German Shepherd began to have severe itchiness and skin rashes on her legs, armpits, and groin area. She was so itchy that she was constantly biting at her skin and chewing her paws raw. I took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with a yeast infection. The vet prescribed a shampooing regimen, antibiotics, and a pill called Ketoconazole.”

“The Ketoconazole medication was a last resort to clear up the yeast problem in extreme cases. It has some pretty serious side effects. After just a few days of her being on the Ketoconazole, she became lethargic, full of energy at night, had very dark stools, and started vomiting every day.”

“My dog died 2 weeks after starting this pill. The veterinarian said that there was nothing they could do for her because it was internal organ failure that had caused the vomiting & lethargy, but I am sure it was due to this pill.”

Takeaway: The most common side effects include vomiting, lack of appetite, and lethargy. If any of these conditions persist or worsen, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Is ketoconazole toxic to dogs?

When using ketoconazole, your dog may experience mild side effects such as headache, nausea, and vomiting. More serious side effects can occur with the long-term use of this medication. These include liver damage and adrenal gland problems.

Ketoconazole may also interact with other drugs, causing adverse effects. If your dog takes this medication while taking certain medications, the risk of experiencing serious side effects increases significantly.

Can ketoconazole cause liver damage?

In rare cases, ketoconazole can cause serious liver damage in some patients, sometimes requiring liver transplantation or even resulting in death. Ketoconazole should not be used in dogs with pre-existing liver disease.

How long can a dog stay on ketoconazole?

Ketoconazole is usually given for 2 to 4 weeks, although the length of treatment depends on the type of infection being treated. If you notice that the improvement is slow, consult with your veterinarian. He may change the treatment, give more medications or extend the course of treatment.

Should ketoconazole be taken with food?

Ketoconazole tablets are administered orally every 12 to 24 hours, depending on the amount of the drug that is prescribed. Ketoconazole can be taken with or without food, but to prevent stomach upset, it is important to take ketoconazole with food.

Is topical ketoconazole safe?

Ketoconazole cream is considered to be very safe. However, there are some side effects that can occur. Every dog reacts differently to ketoconazole cream, but the most common side effects are itching, burning, redness, and irritation of the skin where you apply it.

What are the contraindications of ketoconazole?

Ketoconazole is contraindicated in patients with abnormal liver function, abnormal heart rhythm, prolonged QT interval on EKG, and those who have an EKG with QT changes from birth.


Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

2 Responses

  1. Ketoconazole killed my dog in October of 2018. Right after his first dose or two, he lost his appetite. He was very old and probably his liver wasn’t the best, and he died a few days later. I will always blame myself for his death, for not researching this drug. NOW I understand that older dogs don’t process oral drugs that well, even flea medication, so I’m much more careful now and will reluctantly give anything oral to a 12 or 13-year-old dog. I will never give Ketoconazole to any dog, ever again!

    1. I am so sorry to hear this, but I understand your pain and guilt. My 5-year-old Aussie stopped eating after the last dose was given. I gave it with meals & mixed in some canned cat food for extra fat and calories. 4 days later he was in complete organ failure and I had to make a decision to put him down. I blame myself as well and my heart is absolutely broken. After loosing him, I made an appointment for my elderly dog to get a health check-up as she was on the same meds. She was acting 100% normal, but my guilt and broken heart wanted to make sure she was as healthy as she could be. Now I learn that she has elevated liver enzymes. She has no other symptoms and the levels were only mildly elevated, so Vet prescribed Milk Thistle and she will be re-checked in 30 days. If you are a praying person, please pray. My heart can not take loosing her right now!

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