Amoxicillin for Dog-Ear Infections

By Joseph Eitel

Amoxicillin is a prescription drug that is characterized as being an antibiotic related to penicillin. It is most commonly used to treat and prevent bacterial infections in both humans and animals. Amoxicillin kills bacteria by preventing production of the bacteria cell wall, though it is not effective against infections caused by viruses or parasites such as worms.

The Facts

Generally, most dog-ear infections affect a specific portion of the ear canal, which is located between the visible external ear and the ear drum. Any dog-ear infection that is located in this area of the ear is called otitis externa. The most common reason for infection in this area is bacteria, with yeast being the most likely reason for those bacteria. Amoxicillin should be considered a general, all purpose antibiotic. Not only is it affordable, but obtaining a prescription for your dog is easy, and the medication almost always works. Generally, 10 mg of amoxicillin is prescribed for each pound a dog weighs. So, if your dog weighs 10 pounds, it would be given 100 mg's of Amoxicillin every eight-to-12 hours, depending on the severity of the ear infection.

Types

Different types of infections are treated with Amoxicillin. Aside from ear infections, dogs are also prescribed this medication for skin wounds, tooth abscesses, skin infections, and bladder infections. More often than not, however, Amoxicillin is prescribed to treat infections caused by susceptible bacteria. There is also another type of Amoxicillin that does not require a prescription.

The fish-version of amoxicillin is called Fish-Mox and it can be ordered online.

Effects

For the most part, Amoxicillin is safe and incredibly effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, but it has been known to cause some side effects in animals. The most common side effect experienced by dogs is diarrhea or loose stools. This usually occurs after their first treatment of oral amoxicillin. This sometimes occurs because the drug can change the bacterial population in your dog's intestinal tract. If your dog experiences chronic diarrhea, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Amoxicillin can also have a negative effect if taken with other medications, especially the antibiotics chloramphenicol and tetracycline. You should ask your veterinarian if other drugs your dog is taking could possibly interact negatively with amoxicillin.

Expert Insight

According to Patrick Burns, an expert on canine health, keeping your dog on Amoxicillin or other antibiotics long enough is critical to the animal's recovery. If your dog's ear infection looks better after just a few days, do not stop using the Amoxicillin. According to Burns, "the antibiotic regime should last at least seven days, though 12 days is better in most cases. The general rule of thumb is give the dog antibiotics for at least three days longer than it looks like there is a problem. If you skimp on the length of the dosage, you may really regret it later on, as the drugs you were using may no longer do the trick."

Warning

All prescription and nonprescription medications should be used with caution. Though it's rare, a small percentage of dogs are allergic to some antibiotics including Amoxicillin. Antibiotics should never be given to a young dog without first consulting a veterinarian.