Miconazole shampoo is used as a treatment for fungal infections. Though miconazole is approved for use in both humans and animals, its administration in animals is usually through a shampoo, while its administration in humans is usually in the form of an ointment or cream. When used properly, this type of medicated shampoo can effectively treat infections of the skin that are caused by fungi in the Trichophyton genus. It is commonly used on dogs and cats.
Many types of mammals can contract a skin infection caused by a Trichophyton fungus. In animals, the most common type of this infection is ringworm, while in humans, athlete's foot and jock itch are more common. Humans can usually use an ointment containing miconazole on the affected area, but in animals, it may be more difficult to tell exactly what areas are affected. For this reason, treatment with a miconazole shampoo, which can be spread over the entire body, is ideal.
When treating an animal with miconazole shampoo, it is important to follow all directions carefully. Fungal infections are difficult to eradicate completely, and stopping treatment too soon can lead to a recurrence of the infection. The prescribing veterinarian will give specific instructions about how often to bathe the animal, though it is usually done two times a week until symptoms are no longer visible and then once per week for some time after. Skin infections that miconazole shampoo is used to treat are easily transferred to new areas of the skin, to other animals, or to humans, so it is important to take the proper precautions when shampooing animals with skin infections.
The usual concentration of miconazole in the shampoo is 2%, which is considered safe for use on animals as young as 6 weeks. The shampoo will not harm humans who bathe the animals. It is not approved for use outside of veterinary medicine, however.
Miconazole shampoo can harm animals if it gets into the mucus membranes or if it is swallowed. Animals need to be supervised while the shampoo is on them so that they do not lick it off. It is also important to keep it out of their eyes and nose, as it can cause irritation to these membranes. Infrequently, miconazole shampoo may cause an adverse reaction such as swelling, redness, or rash. These symptoms should be reported to a veterinarian.