Fluconazole for Dogs: Uses, Side Effects & Safety

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Dogs are susceptible to various infections, from bacterial to viral and fungal. Fungal and yeast infections can pose health challenges for our canine companions. 

Whether it's a superficial skin infection or a more serious systemic condition, these infections can cause discomfort, pain, and sometimes even life-threatening complications. As a pet parent, it's crucial to be aware of the treatment options available to address fungal infections, and one commonly prescribed medication is fluconazole. 

Fluconazole is commonly prescribed to dogs to treat fungal and yeast infections. It belongs to a class of drugs known as antifungals and works by inhibiting the growth of fungi. If your vet prescribes this medication to your dog, it's essential to understand its uses, potential fluconazole side effects, and safety considerations. 

Keep reading to learn more about fluconazole for dogs to help you make informed decisions about your pet's healthcare.

What is Fluconazole?

Fluconazole (brand name Diflucan®) is an antifungal medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as antifungals.1 

Fluconazole is a medication that stops certain fungi from growing properly by changing their cell walls, making them less able to survive and spread in the body. It can treat different fungal infections, like yeast infections and skin infections caused by fungi.1

This medication is also quickly absorbed after taking it by mouth, whether your pet has eaten or not, and it spreads throughout the body.1

dog itching ear

Fluconazole for Dogs: Uses

Fluconazole for dogs is commonly prescribed to treat fungal infections. These infections can affect various parts of the body and cause discomfort and health issues for your pet. 

Understanding the symptoms of yeast and fungal infections is crucial for recognizing when your dog may need treatment with fluconazole. 

Symptoms of yeast and fungal infections in dogs may include: 

  • Skin issues include visible irritation, itching, sores, rash, and hair loss.
  • Ear infections with symptoms like ear scratching or shaking, redness, and discharge.
  • Urinary tract infections that cause increased frequency of urination, straining or difficulty urinating, or blood in the urine.
  • CNS infections that cause behavioral changes, seizures, and coordination difficulties.

Fungal infections can affect animals in various ways, and the symptoms can vary depending on the type of infection and location of the affected area. Symptoms of skin infections can include itching, hair loss, and scaling, while other types of fungal infections can cause respiratory illness or neurological symptoms. 

Because symptoms can be diverse and resemble those of other conditions, it's essential to consult a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. Identifying and managing the fungal infection can help prevent complications and ensure the health and well-being of your dog.

Fluconazole is an effective treatment for various types of fungal infections, and it's commonly used to address conditions such as: 

  • Cryptococcal meningitis: This fungal infection is caused by the Cryptococcus species, often affecting the central nervous system. 
  • Blastomycosis: This is a fungal infection caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis. It commonly affects the lungs and respiratory tract. 
  • Histoplasmosis: Caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum, histoplasmosis is typically contracted by inhaling spores and primarily affects the respiratory system. 
  • Candidiasis: Also known as a yeast infection, candidiasis is caused by the overgrowth of the Candida species. It can affect various parts of the body, including the skin and GI tract. 
  • Dermatophytosis: Dermatophytosis refers to fungal hair, skin, or nail infections and is commonly known as ringworm. 
  • CNS infections: CNS infections are fungal infections that affect the central nervous system and can lead to a range of neurological symptoms. 
  • Fungal urinary tract infections: Fungal UTIs occur when fungi invade the urinary tract, including the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Symptoms may include urinary urgency, pain, or bloody urine in dogs.1 

Remember that this is a prescription medication, meaning you can't get fluconazole for dogs without a vet's prescription. Your vet must first diagnose your dog with a fungal infection before deciding on the appropriate treatment plan.

dog biting foot

Dosage & Administration

The fluconazole dosage for dogs can vary depending on the type and severity of the infection being treated. 

The typical fluconazole dosage for dogs is 5-10 mg/kg, given orally once every 24 hours.2 However, the specific dosing guidelines may differ based on the particular condition. For instance, your vet might recommend giving it to your dog twice daily. 

The recommended dosage for cryptococcosis, candidiasis, and other yeast infections is 2.5-5 mg/kg, given orally once every 12-24 hours. Meanwhile, the typical dosage for urinary candidiasis is 5-10 mg/kg, given orally once daily.1 

The length of time your dog must remain on medication will also vary depending on the condition.1 It is important to follow your vet's instructions regarding this. Completing the full course of treatment ensures that the infection is completely eliminated and prevents the development of resistance to the medication. 

Even if your dog feels better before the prescription is finished, it's essential to continue giving the medication as directed until the prescribed course is completed. Not finishing the prescription should result in the infection returning. If you have any concerns or questions about your dog's medication, be sure to contact your veterinarian. 

Contact your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns about fluconazole for dogs dosage or administration. They can provide the necessary guidance on when to give your dog the medication to ensure its effectiveness and safety. 

Side Effects

There's little information about fluconazole for dogs side effects because there's limited experience with it in domestic animals. However, it appears safe to use, with occasional loss of appetite reported.1 

If you notice any unusual reactions like lethargy, GI issues, or behavioral changes in your pet while taking this medication, let your vet know immediately. 


Medication safety is crucial when treating your beloved pet, and there are a few safety considerations when your dog is prescribed fluconazole. 

Unfortunately, the safety of this medication in pregnant or lactating animals hasn't been fully determined.1 Therefore, these dogs should only take fluconazole if the vet deems it necessary. You should always discuss your options with your vet and let them know if your dog is pregnant or will become pregnant in the near future. 

There's also minimal information on the toxicity of fluconazole. In rat studies, high doses resulted in respiratory depressions, salivation, and urinary incontinence. If your pet overdoses on this medication, take them to the vet as soon as possible to remove the medication from their system and provide supportive care.1

Keep in mind that fluconazole may also interact with several drugs, affecting their levels and potentially causing toxicity or reduced effectiveness. These interactions include medications like amphotericin B, cisapride, corticosteroids, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine, diuretics, midazolam, NSAIDs, tricyclic antidepressants, and more.1 

Always tell your vet if your dog is taking any medications or supplements. This ensures comprehensive care tailored to your pet's specific needs and prevents the risks associated with drug interactions. 

Fluconazole should also be avoided in dogs hypersensitive to it or other antifungals. Keep in mind that because this medication is eliminated via the kidneys, it may not be recommended for dogs with kidney disease or renal failure, or doses may need to be adjusted for these dogs.1 

It's essential to understand that medication dosages vary based on the specific condition being treated and the individual pet. Each pet's medical history, size, weight, and other factors help determine the appropriate dosage. Therefore, you should consult a veterinarian before giving your cat or dog the medication prescribed for another animal. 

Administering the wrong dosage can lead to ineffective treatment or harmful side effects. Always follow your vet's instructions carefully, and never share medications between pets unless specifically instructed by a professional. This ensures that each animal receives the proper care tailored to their unique needs and condition. 

Final Notes

Fluconazole for dogs is a valuable medication commonly prescribed for treating various fungal and yeast infections. When using this medication for your pet, follow your vet's instructions carefully. This includes adhering to the prescribed dosage, completing the full course of treatment, and monitoring your pet for any adverse reactions. 

Additionally, it's important to communicate openly with your veterinarian about any concerns or questions regarding your pet's medication. Your vet is your best resource for guidance and advice tailored to your pet's needs. 

Luckily, accessing veterinary care is easier than ever before with Dutch. Dutch telemedicine for pets lets you access convenient veterinary care from the comfort of your home. While you can't get fluconazole for dogs without a vet prescription, you can get your dog treatment without taking them to an in-person clinic. With Dutch, you can schedule virtual consultations with licensed vets and receive prescriptions from our online pet pharmacy delivered right to your door to ensure your pet receives timely care. 

With a Dutch membership, you can have peace of mind knowing that professional veterinary advice is just a few clicks away. Whether you have questions about your pet's health, need a prescription, or need guidance on medication management, Dutch can provide the support you need to keep your pet happy and healthy. Sign up for Dutch today. 


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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

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During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

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