Cephalexin Usage for Dogs

By Susan Paretts

Cephalexin, also sold under brand names Keflex and Rilexine, is a broad-spectrum antibiotic of the cephalosporin class. This first-generation, beta-lactam cephalosporin is commonly prescribed to treat many common bacterial infections in dogs, including staphylococcal infections.

Cephalexin for Dogs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved cephalexin for use in dogs. Your vet may prescribe cephalexin for your pooch if he's suffering from a skin infection, especially if he has a type of deep skin infection known as pyoderma. It also is prescribed to treat urinary tract, bone and respiratory tract infections, according to Vetstreet. Cephalexin comes in chewable tablets, capsules and as an oral suspension liquid. You must refrigerate the liquid, which only stays good for about two weeks. The chewable tablets range from 75 mg to 600 mg and the capsules come in both 250 mg and 500 mg doses. Your vet will recommend the proper daily dosage for your particular dog. He also may administer an injectable form of the medication in his office to your pooch.

Length of Dosage

Your vet will tell you how long to give the medication to your dog. Note that he may prescribe this medication for up to several weeks or months, depending on the type of infection your dog is suffering from, because cephalexin is considered safe for long-term use. Continue to administer this drug to your pooch for as long as your vet prescribes, even if his symptoms improve during this time.