Fluconazole For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, & Side Effects

Bottle of Pfizer's Diflucan fluconazole used in treatment of cryptococcal meningitis fungal brain infection associated w. HIV AIDS-causing virus. (Photo by James Keyser/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: James Keyser/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Fluconazole is an anti-fungal medication often used to treat yeast fungal infections in dogs. Its most common use is to treat skin infections, but it can also treat fungal infections in organs or elsewhere in dogs’ bodies.

Though the FDA has not approved it for veterinary, fluconazole is available with the prescription of a veterinarian and often goes by the brand names Diflucan or Trican. If your veterinarian prescribes it, it’s important that you strictly follow their instructions for administering it to your dog.

Here is what you should know about the uses, dosage, and side effects of fluconazole in dogs.

Uses Of Fluconazole For Dogs

This micrograph shows histopathologic changes that reveal the presence of the fungal agent Blastomyces dermatitidis, 1978. Blastomycosis, caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis, is a flu-like condition with fever, chills, productive cough, myalgia, arthralgia and pleuritic chest pain. There are 1-2 cases per 100,000 people in areas with endemic disease. Image courtesy CDC/Dr. Libero Ajello. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

(Picture Credit: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

Fluconazole is most commonly used to treat skin infections in dogs, as well as infections of the nail beds. It is often chosen for treatment when other anti-fungal medications fail, as fluconazole is effective at fighting off more serious infections and often has fewer side effects.

It can be used to treat ringworm, though veterinarians often reserve the drug for infections that are more intense, such as Blastomycosis and Histoplasmosis.

Fluconazole is effective in treating infections in other areas of the body, as well. Vets sometimes use it to treat urinary infections or infections of the lungs and organs that may occur when dogs inhale fungus from infected soil.

Vets also often chose it above other medications to treat fungal infections of the central nervous system because the drug is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. This allows the medication to travel to where it is needed more effectively.

Dosage Of Fluconazole For Dogs

Feeding Cocker Spaniel-Poodle cross puppy with dog treat, close-up

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The usual dosage of fluconazole for dogs varies widely depending on the condition being treated.

A veterinarian may prescribe between 5.5 mg and 22 mg per pound of a dog’s weight, and it may recommend administering it once every 12 to 24 hours. It comes in tablet form, and dogs should take it orally with or without food.

If your veterinarian prescribes fluconazole for your dog, then you must stick to their instructions and continue giving your dog the medication for the full length of time that they prescribe.

The body absorbs the drug quickly, but you are not likely to see symptoms improve for one to two weeks. It may take several months before the condition disappears entirely.

Side Effects Of Fluconazole In Dogs

Portrait Of Shih Tzu With Protective Cone Collar after a Operation.

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Side effects of fluconazole in dogs haven’t been thoroughly studied, though several side effects have been observed in humans and some similar side effects have been seen in dogs.

Here are a few common side effects you may see in dogs who take fluconazole:

As with all medications, there is a risk of allergic reaction to fluconazole in dogs which may lead to anaphylaxis. If you see the signs of an allergic reaction, such as itchiness, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, or other symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.

Should side effects become severe or cause you concern, consult your veterinarian. They can then adjust the dosage or seek an alternative form of treatment.

Has your vet ever prescribed this medication for your dog? Was it effective? Let us know in the comments below!