Mupirocin Ointment for Dogs

If your dog is diagnosed with a serious bacterial skin infection, your veterinarian might prescribe mupirocin 2 percent ointment to treat it. Before prescribing the ointment, your vet will culture the wound or lesion to determine the type of bacteria infecting it. Mupirocin, manufactured by Taro Pharmaceuticals, is the generic version of Bactoderm, manufactured by Pfizer Animal Health.

vet examines the Shar Pei dog
Shar-Peis are prone to skin infections for which mupirocin ointment might give relief.
credit: pyotr021/iStock/Getty Images

For Dogs Only

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the generic mupirocin ointment for canine use in November 2010. Approval for the brand-name equivalent, Bactoderm, came in 1988. Mupirocin is not for use in people, felines or any other animal. The FDA specifically warns against administering it to animals intended for food. Mupirocin ointment contains a broad-spectrum antibiotic in a water-soluble base that also contains polyethylene glycol.

Able to Overcome Infections

Mupirocin ointment helps eradicate certain canine dermatological bacterial infections. Your vet might prescribe the drug for various types of pyoderma -- pus in the skin. Mupirocin is effective against several Staphylococcus strains, including S. intermedius, S. epidermidis and S. aureus. The drug is also effective against various strains of Streptococci, along with E.coli, Pasteurella multocida, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Enterobacter cloacae. It's not prescribed for severe burns, puncture wounds, or deep wounds or lesions.

Clean and Apply

Your vet will likely recommend applying mupirocin ointment to affected areas twice daily. The entire area of infection requires covering with the ointment. Before applying the medication, cleanse the area with a cleanser recommended or prescribed by your vet. Do not administer mupirocin ointment for more than 30 days. Store the medication in a dry area with a temperature between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Precautions and Contraindications

Mupirocin ointment has few side effects but, as with any drug, precautions exist. Pregnant or nursing dogs should not receive this drug. Do not use mupirocin ointment for canine eye infections. If your dog develops a skin rash from the ointment or any type of allergic reaction, such as hives, discontinue using the medication and inform your vet.

Because of the polyethylene glycol base, using the drug in a deep wound could potentially cause kidney damage. Your vet will monitor your dog's kidney function if your pet receives large amounts of mupirocin ointment for a deep infection. Your dog should not be able to reach wounds treated with mupirocin. He must wear an Elizabethan collar, or the wound must be securely bandaged. If your dog consumes the ointment, call your vet.