Dog Yeast Infection Treatment with Fluconazole

A dog yeast infection is a condition that can affect any part of a dog’s skin on any part of the body, including the ears. Yeast infections in dogs can be treated with oral medications such as Fluconazole.

Dog Yeast Infection Explained

Yeast naturally lives and grows on a dog’s body, but it becomes a problem when too much of it has grown. When a dog has a yeast infection on his skin, it will cause him to itch, especially in the areas of the mouth and paws. The dog’s skin will be irritated, red, inflamed and will develop an offensive odor. The irritated skin can cause a secondary bacterial infection. The skin in the area of the infection can become tough and thick.

Reasons a dog can develop a yeast infection include taking antibiotics (or too many antibiotics), hormonal problems, stress, a compromised immune system, vaccinations and a bad diet.

Dog Yeast Infection Treatment with Fluconazole

After diagnosing a dog with a yeast infection, a veterinarian may prescribe fluconazole. Fluconazole is a medication that prevents and treats yeast infections along with fungal infections and ringworm. It’s administered orally as a tablet per the dosing instructions prescribed by the veterinarian.

Fluconazole works by impairing the growth of an organism that causes a yeast infection, by interfering with the enzymes that make up its cellular walls. The walls or membranes of the organisms are created by lanosterol, which gets converted to ergosterol. A lack of ergosterol will cause the cellular walls to become weak and leak, thus causing the organism to die. The medication, when first taken, is fully absorbed within two hours. Ten percent of the medication is eliminated via the metabolic process; the rest is excreted in a dog’s urine.

Yeast infections can be hard to combat, so a successful treatment may take several weeks. The amount of time a dog will have to take fluconazole depends on the severity of the yeast infection. A dog should be given the full course of the medication prescribed to prevent a relapse of the yeast infection and a resistance to the medication.

Side Effects of Fluconazole

The most common side effect of fluconazole is a loss of appetite. Other side effects, which aren’t as common, include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and a lack of energy. The more serious side effects include anemia, jaundice and a rash. Dogs that are pregnant, nursing or that have liver or kidney disease should not be given fluconazole.

Signs of an allergic reaction to fluconazole are swelling of the face, scratching, sudden diarrhea and hives. Other serious reactions are shock, gums that are pale, limbs that feel cold, shock and coma. If a dog has any of these side effects, he should be seen by a veterinarian.  

A dog yeast infection can be an uncomfortable, painful condition, and a smelly one for a pet owner to deal with. Treatment with fluconazole can help treat the symptoms of this condition and clear the infection.