Nystatin Cream for Dogs

By Betty Lewis

Nystatin cream is a prescription cream used to treat skin infections in dogs. It may be used on its own as an antifungal, or in a combination with other drugs to treat other skin infections. Though it has low chance of potential side effects, it should be used as directed by your veterinarian.

About Nystatin Cream

When combined with thiostrepton, neomycin and triamcinolone, nystatin is marketed under several names for veterinary use, including Panalog, Animax and Derma-Vet. The commercial formulations are a combination of an antifungal, antibiotic and corticosteroid, useful for certain skin infections. In its generic antifungal version, it is effective against fungi, such as the yeast infection Candida albicans. Nystatin kills the fungus by disrupting its cell membrane. Though it's an antifungal, not all fungi are vulnerable to its powers.

Uses for Nystatin Cream

While nystatin on its own is sufficient for treating Candida albicans and other susceptible fungi, it requires the addition of a corticosteroid and antibiotic for other uses; otherwise it is ineffective against infections caused by parasites, bacteria or viruses. As a combination, it may be prescribed to treat ear infections and inflammations as well as infections between the dog's toes or in the anal gland.

Nystatin Cream Side Effects

Generally, nystatin and its commercial equivalents are used with little to no side effects in dogs. When in the combination form, the triamcinolone element of the medication may be absorbed into the dog's circulatory system and long-term use of the cream may affect a dog's adrenal gland function. Other potential side effects include:

  • Increased appetite, thirst and urination
  • Weight gain
  • Dull coat
  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Behavior changes
  • Muscle wasting 

Long term use also can lead to secondary resistant infections and delayed wound healing.

Using Nystatin Cream Safely

If your vet prescribes nystatin, use the cream as directed, even if your dog appears to be fully healed to prevent a relapse or development of resistance to the medication. A dog with deep abscesses or skin infections should not use nystatin cream, nor should a pregnant or lactating dog. Try to avoid getting the cream in your dog's mouth when applying the cream and call the vet if your dog ingests nystatin. Tetracycline may interact with this medication.

Tips

  • If nystatin is applied to an area your dog is prone to licking, use an E-collar to keep him from bothering the affected area and prevent him from ingesting the cream.