Clotrimazole for Dogs

Clotrimazole is a medicine that is commonly used for the treatment of infections caused by fungal growth. When fungus enters into warm, moist places in your dog's body, it has the opportunity to grow and spread, which then brings about an infection as the body responds to the invading organism. This medicine is also known by the brand name label drugs Otomax and Otibiotic, both of which are formulated for use in animals. There are also generic formulations that can be used in veterinary medicine as well. Read on for a brief overview of how clotrimazole is used in treating your dog's fungal infections.

Clotrimazole Overview

Clotrimazole is, in itself, an antifungal drug only. This means that it works to eliminate certain types of mold and yeast which can cause infection in your pet's body, but it does not have any effect against bacteria and other sources of infection. Clotrimazole is most effective against Malassezia pachydematitis, which is a type of yeast that causes ear infections. Therefore, the medicine is typically used to treat ear infections, although it can be used in other cases of fungal infection as well.

The brand name drug Otomax combines clotrimazole with a drug that has antibacterial properties as well. This effectively expands the overall power of the drug and means that it can be effective at treating a wider range of infections than clotrimazole can by itself.

Using Clotrimazole for Your Pet

Clotrimazole is provided in tubes and given as a drop. It is typically administered directly to the ear or the site of the external infection. In most cases, you'll continue the administration for approximately one week and will need to provide your pet with the drug twice per day. The exact amount of medicine and number of drops to give to your pet will depend upon both his size and the severity of the overall infection. It's important to follow your vet's advice in order to have the best chance of eliminating the infection without any trouble.

Side Effects and Risks of Clotrimazole

Clotrimazole is generally effective, but there is the possibility that it will not be able to treat your pet's infection if the fungus is resistant to the medicine. This drug is generally safe for use in pets. However, you should inform your veterinarian about any other medicines that your dog is taking, as clotrimazole can react badly with certain other drugs in your dog's system.

The most common side effects of clotrimazole usually include the following:

  • Partial hearing loss
  • Head tilt
  • Dizziness
  • Compromised adrenal function (in Otomax only)

It's also important that you not give this medicine to your dog if she is pregnant, as it may lead to harmful birth effects. If you notice these or any other unusual symptoms that may be associated with clotrimazole, take note of the symptoms and bring your pet in to the vet for an immediate examination as quickly as possible.