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Pet Medication 101: Ketoconazole

ketoconazole for pets

It’s important to understand a medication’s uses and side effects before giving it to your pet. This medication info sheet is meant to give you a good understanding of what ketoconazole is used for, how it works, and potential side effects in cats and dogs. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your pet any medication.

1. Drug Name:


2. Brand Names:

Nizoral, Ketochlor

3. How Dispensed:

Prescription only

4. Forms:

200mg tablets, topical cream, shampoo (with Chlorhexidine)

5. Drug Type/Class:


6. Uses in Cats and Dogs:

Treats fungus of the lymph nodes, skin, nails, respiratory system, bone, and other parts of the body

7. How it Works:

Ketoconazole works by inhibiting the production of a fungal cell wall. This causes the fungus to be structurally deficient, making it unable to reproduce or survive.

8. Side Effects and/or Signs of Overdose:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Liver toxicity/jaundice
  • Cortisol suppression
  • Low platelets
  • Bleeding of the mouth
  • Haircoat color change
  • Cataracts

9. Drug Interactions:

  • Alprazolam
  • Aminophylline/Theophylline
  • Amlodipine
  • Antacids
  • Astemizole
  • Buspirone
  • Busulfan
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Cisapride
  • Cyclosporine
  • Diazepam
  • Digoxin
  • Doxorubicin
  • Fentanyl
  • H2 blockers
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Midazolam
  • Mitotane
  • Phenytoin sodium
  • Rifampin
  • Sildenafil
  • Sucralfate
  • Tramadol
  • Triazolam
  • Vincristine/Vinblastine
  • Warfarin sodium

10. Cautionary Statements:

  • Due to its toxic side effects and the availability of safer options, use in cats is generally not recommended.
  • Use with caution in patients with liver disease, low platelet counts, and those undergoing surgical procedures.
  • Use with caution in patients with serious illnesses or trauma.
  • Do not use in pregnant pets unless it is for a life-threatening infection.
  • Use with caution in breeding pets, as it can cause temporary infertility.
  • Use with caution in nursing pets because it is excreted in the milk.

Read more:

Ringworm in Cats and Dogs

Aspergillosis in Dogs and Cats

Medication Info Sheet: Fluconazole

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