The Side Effects of Ciprofloxacin for Dogs

By Shea Laverty

Bacterial infections can strike anyone at anytime, and any species. Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) is an antibiotic in a group of fluoroquinolone drugs, which fight bacteria in both both human and dogs. It is not FDA-approved for dogs. Ciprofloxacin is often legally prescribed as an extra-label drug. Cipro has several side effects in humans, including some serious, albeit rare ones. Generally, ciprofloxacin has few side effects for dogs, but rare exceptions may cause canine discomfort.

Mild

Mild side effects of ciprofloxacin in dogs include diarrhea or loose stool, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, joint stiffness or muscle pain. If these symptoms develop, continue treatment and consult your veterinarian.

Serious

Serious side effects of ciprofloxacin in dogs include seizures, convulsions, confusion, depression, sudden pain, swelling near or of the joints, nausea, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, yellowing of the eyes or skin, more or less urination than usual, or diarrhea that is watery or bloody. If your dog develops these side effects, immediately discontinue ciprofloxacin treatment and consult your veterinarian.

Swelling and Lameness

Ciprofloxacin may cause damage to the cartilage of young dogs' joints.This damage can lead to swollen joints and lameness. Because of this potential for damage, puppies, especially those between four and 28 weeks, should not have the drug.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to ciprofloxacin in dogs include difficulty breathing, closing of the throat, swelling of the lips, tongue or face, or hives. If your dog displays these signs, immediately discontinue treatment and seek emergency veterinary attention.

Drug Interactions

Consult your dog's veterinarian about all drugs she is currently taking before beginning ciprofloxacin treatment. Ciprofloxacin may interact with warfarin, theophylline, probenecid, insulin or oral diabetes medication. It may also interact with NSAID arthritis medication.