Antibiotics That Dogs Can Take

By Sandi Hoffman

Antibiotics are strong medications that fight bacterial infections. Although they are not just for human consumption, use care in administering these drugs to your animal. Usually, antibiotics are helpful to dogs with infections; nevertheless, some canines can be allergic. You should always consult a veterinarian before you give a very young dog an antibiotic because some drugs have a negative effect on puppies. For example, tetracycline can be harmful to a puppy's teeth.

Follow some simple rules and the medications should be safe for your dog. Use the correct drug for the infection, and be sure you are administering the correct dosage. Most importantly, keep the dog on the medicine for long enough to eliminate the infection.

If there comes a time when your dog needs an antibiotic, you can order the pills from pet store catalogs. Additionally, you can use antibiotics that might be sitting in your medicine cabinet from the last infection you or a family member might have had. Just be certain that the medicine is not more than a year past expiration.

Cephalexin

If your dog has an infection from a wound, this is the drug to use. It is inexpensive and you do not need a prescription. Keep these common brand names in mind, Keflex and Celaxin. To determine how much to administer, consider the dog's weight. Give the animal 15 milligrams per pound of body weight once every 8 to 12 hours.

Amoxicillin

This all-purpose antibiotic is not expensive and easily attained. It is, however, ineffective for infections caused by Staphylococcus, also known as staph. For infections other than staph, dispense 10 milligrams per pound every 8 to 12 hours. You can order this without a prescription from any online pet store.

Clavamox

This is stronger than Amoxicillin but very similar in many ways. A key difference is that it does eliminate a staph infection. It is helpful for respiratory and ear infections as well. The correct dose is 6.25 milligrams per pound. It comes conveniently packaged in three different sizes, 62.5 milligrams, 125 milligrams and 250 milligrams. The most common human version is Augmentin. You need a prescription from your veterinarian for this medicine.

Baytril

Consider administering this powerful antibiotic for very serious infections or only when others have failed to help. It is useful for skin, ear, urinary and mammary infections. The dose is 6.7 milligrams for 5 pounds of weight given twice a day every 12 hours. You will need a prescription from the veterinarian for this medication.