Ketoconazole killed my dog

Fungal infections on the dog skin lead to intense itchiness, inflammation, and flaky, crusty, or scaly skin. This condition makes the dog very uncomfortable and needs medical attention the soonest possible. If ketoconazole was prescribed for your dog’s infection but the conditions deteriorated and eventually he succumbed to the illness, you must be very devastated. This must be a very hard time for you and your family, receive my heartfelt condolence.

This article will help you understand more about Ketoconazole uses, dosage, side effects, and what could have contributed to the death of your dog.

Why Ketoconazole Can kill my dog

The following are some of the factors that can cause ketoconazole to kill a dog:

Underlying Health Conditions

When a dog already has underlying medical issues such as liver and kidney illness, Ketoconazole can have harmful side effects, including death. It is good to discuss any illnesses your dog has had in the past with your veterinarian.

Reaction with other medicine

There may be a fatal drug interaction if your dog takes Ketoconazole together with other medications like corticosteroids or cyclosporine. It is best to let your veterinarian know about any medications or supplements your dog is on so that he can determine how to give Ketoconazole.

An allergic reaction

Certain dogs can be allergic to Ketoconazole, which could have fatal consequences. An allergic reaction can cause difficulty breathing, swelling, hives, and vomiting, among other symptoms.


Depending on the size and specific demands of the dog, your veterinarian will recommend the appropriate dosage. Giving your dog more Ketoconazole than is advised could have serious repercussions.

What Is Ketoconazole?

Ketoconazole is a prescription drug used to treat specific yeast or fungal infections in animals, including dogs, horses, birds, small mammals, reptiles, and very rarely, cats.

 It comes in a variety of forms, including oral liquid and tablet dosages, intravenous solutions, creams, and shampoos.

Although newer drugs like Vetoryl are more successful in treating the condition, ketoconazole has also been used to treat hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease) in dogs.

Systemic fungal infections can be extremely dangerous and may need extensive medical care. In many circumstances, an animal will get ketoconazole treatment for up to a year, and in rare instances, a dog may require continuous treatment for life.

Critically ill animals may begin their treatment in a hospital to enable the addition of a second intravenous antifungal called amphotericin B to the ketoconazole.

Despite being FDA-approved for human use, ketoconazole is not yet FDA-approved as a stand-alone veterinary drug. However, Veterinarians can lawfully prescribe some human medications to animals in some situations, and it is widely used in the veterinary field. This is referred to as extra-label or off-label use because this use is not disclosed on the drug label.

How Ketoconazole Works

Ketoconazole functions as an antifungal drug by preventing fungi from producing an enzyme required to strengthen their cell membranes. This prevents a specific fungus’ metabolism and growth. Ketoconazole has also been used to treat canine Cushing’s disease since it moderately inhibits the body’s ability to produce hormones like cortisol in mammalian cells. Cyclosporine, a drug used to modulate the immune system, can be altered by ketoconazole. By doing this, it boosts the body’s supply of cyclosporine and lowers the dose needed for it to be effective.

Your veterinarian can suggest a compounded formulation of ketoconazole depending on the situation. Compounded medications are prescribed when an FDA-approved drug cannot adequately treat your pet’s condition, such as when your pet has trouble swallowing pills in capsule form, when the dosage strength is not widely available, or when the pet is allergic to a component of the FDA-approved drug. The FDA does not approve of compounded drugs. They are made according to a patient’s needs by either a licensed veterinarian or a licensed pharmacist.

How to Give This Medication

Follow your veterinarian’s instructions for administering this medication to your pet. If you forget to administer your pet’s ketoconazole dose, administer the next dose as soon as you remember, or if it is almost time for the next dose, resume your regular schedule. Never administer two doses to catch up.

To increase absorption, ketoconazole should be given with meals. It may take 10–14 days for ketoconazole to start working when treating one of the severe systemic fungal infections.

Usually, therapeutic shampoos are used in addition to ketoconazole when treating dermatitis brought on by a yeast infection. Treatment could last for two to four weeks.

Remember to wash your hands after administering this medication.

Ketoconazole Possible Side Effects

Some pets are more susceptible than others to this medication’s side effects, making them more likely to experience them.  

Ketoconazole’s side effects can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Incoordination
  • Reversible lightening of hair coat
  • Liver irritation

What Are The Common Signs & Symptoms of Yeast Infections in Dogs?

There are numerous typical symptoms and signs that your dog may have a yeast infection, such as:

  • Skin redness
  • Itching
  • Flaky or scaly skin
  • Sores on the skin
  • Musty odor
  • Change in skin texture and color
  • Hair loss
  • Head tilting and shaking (ear yeast infection)
  • Hearing loss (ear yeast infection)

Usually, an odor and redness, and swelling of the infected area are your dog’s initial signs of an infection, though other symptoms like warmth and pain might emerge later. Call your veterinarian dermatologist to make an appointment for your dog if you see any symptoms of a yeast infection in dogs.

What Are The Causes of Dog Yeast Infections?

Your dog may develop a yeast infection for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • An underactive or overreactive immune system
  • Allergens (smoke, mold, dust, dander, cleaning products, etc.)
  • Foods high in sugar and carbs
  • Heat and humidity
  • Poor hygiene
  • Trapped moisture in skin folds, ears, or paw pads
  • Frequent bathing (ear yeast infections)
  • Swimming (ear yeast infections)
  • Trapped object in the ear, ear wax, or discharge (ear yeast infections)
  • Certain ear drops (ear yeast infection)

Is it Possible to Treat Dog Yeast Infections at Home?

Although a dog dermatologist should treat yeast infections to ensure there are no complications or secondary infections, there are ways to prevent your dog from getting yeast infections, such as:

  • Drying your dog completely after a bath or water play
  • Regularly use a clean cloth or cotton ball to wipe off the dirt from your dog’s ears.
  • Feed your dog a nutritious, protein- and nutrient-rich diet.
  • As part of their regular hygiene practice, brush your dog frequently to remove debris and dead skin and prevent hair matting.

Drug interactions

Talk to your veterinarian before administering ketoconazole with any other medications, including vitamins and supplements. Ketoconazole may interact with the following medicines:

  • Antacids
  • amitriptyline
  • clomipramine
  • benzodiazepines
  • buspirone, busulfan
  • calcium-channel blocking agents
  • cisapride
  • corticosteroids
  • cyclophosphamide
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • fentanyl
  • glipizide
  • glyburide
  • H2-blockers
  • isoniazid
  • ivermectin
  • macrolide antibiotics
  • mitotane
  • phenytoin
  • omeprazole
  • quinidine
  • rifampin
  • sucralfate
  • theophylline
  • vincristine/vinblastine
  • warfarin

Dosage Of Ketoconazole For Dogs

The advice provided below is for typical dosing of the medication in dogs and shouldn’t replace your veterinarian’s instructions for your pet.

Ketoconazole dosage varies significantly based on the underlying condition being treated.

Dogs typically receive 5 to 7 mg per pound (10 to 15 mg/kg) of medication orally every 12 hours.

Fungal infections frequently need to be treated for several weeks.

The condition that is being treated, how the patient reacts to the medication, and if any side effects manifest themselves determine how long the therapy will last. Unless your veterinarian specifically instructs you otherwise, be sure to complete the prescription.   

Is There Any Monitoring That Needs To Be Done With This Medication?

While taking ketoconazole, a complete blood count should be monitored, particularly platelets. For the first six months of long-term use of this medication, liver enzymes should be checked every two to three months, and then every two years after that. The effects on your pet should be watched carefully, with a focus on any indications of low cortisol levels. To ensure that the drug is having the desired effect, your veterinarian can perform checks on your pet.

Ketoconazole Overdose Information

Despite the rarity of ketoconazole overdoses, symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and liver irritation.

Contact your veterinarian, seek emergency veterinary treatment, or get in touch with an animal poison control hotline immediately if you suspect an overdose.  

Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764-7661

ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888) 426-4435

Attorney Or Lawyer For The Death Or Injury Of A Dog

If a dog owner loses their cherished pet as a result of negligence or other wrongdoing, they may contact a lawyer to demand financial recompense.

Dogs are treated more like personal possessions than actual living beings. You might be entitled to file a lawsuit for the economic value of your dog if it dies as a result of someone else’s negligence. The expenses cover the cost of getting your dog, putting it through training, and providing for its medical needs. Damages for emotional distress may also be compensated.

In numerous instances, courts have accepted that the special bond between humans and dogs gives rise to claims for damages for emotional distress when a dog is killed or injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. In light of this, a lawyer or attorney may be able to help you obtain financial compensation for your loss even if your dog was not physically harmed.

How To Cope When You’re Grieving The Loss Of A Pet

Try to let yourself feel

It’s acceptable to experience all the emotions associated with the loss you’ve experienced. When you feel like crying, let yourself cry. The stress-related chemical release is aided by crying. Additionally, it’s acceptable if you choose not to cry because everyone deals with problems differently.

Try to practice self-compassion

Take good care of yourself. Try to engage in some self-care activities while you are grieving.

You can try a few self-care practices at home, such as taking a warm bath, doing yoga, practicing meditation, or doing something you like.

Talk To Someone Who Can Relate

Because sharing your feelings can be so helpful during a time of grief, going to therapy or finding a support group can be very beneficial.

Consider a mourning process

The rituals of mourning have been used by cultures and societies throughout human history to cope with the emotional distress brought on by a loss. After a pet dies, you might discover that sticking to a routine helps you cope with your grief. You may use a tried-and-true approach, like holding a tribute, or you might develop your own method.

Remove items at your own pace

Some people may wish to quickly get rid of their pet’s possessions after a loss, whilst others may need to do it more gradually.

If it is tough for you to let go of your pet’s possessions, allow yourself to do so at a pace that is comfortable for you. Whatever you do, there is no right or wrong way to accomplish it.

Think about finding a way to remember your pet

A beautiful way to remember your pet and the love you had for them is to create a memorial for them. If you enjoy being creative, try writing, making a photo collage, setting up a resting area for them within or outside your home, or engaging in other creative activities.


Can Ketoconazole cause liver damage?

Ketoconazole might result in severe liver damage in some dogs, necessitating liver transplantation or even leading to death. When treating dogs with pre-existing liver disease, ketoconazole should not be used.

What kind of monitoring will my dog need while on ketoconazole?

To identify negative effects, blood tests for platelet counts, cortisone levels, and liver enzymes should be performed often, roughly every 2-3 months. Additionally, your veterinarian will advise regular visits throughout the course of treatment to evaluate the medication’s efficacy. 

How do I store ketoconazole?

This drug needs to be kept in a cold, dry environment. For storage instructions, always read the label or ask your veterinarian.

If my dog appears to be getting better, should I stop the medication?

It’s crucial to continue administering this medication as directed for as long as your veterinarian directs. Drug-resistant and re-infection could result from abruptly stopping the medication.

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