Can I Give My Dog Bactrim?

Can I Give My Dog Bactrim?Bactrim is a popular human antibiotic used for infections with bacterial origins. The family dog is also susceptible to these conditions, so it makes sense to inquire about this drug’s suitability for canines.

Also known as Trimethoprim Sulfamethoxazole, it’s especially effective for treating urinary tract infections but it works for many others as well. The drug inhibits growth of bacteria while also destroying harmful microorganisms present in the body.

If you have a dog with a bacterial infection, you may find it practical to administer Bactrim to them. But is it safe to assume that Bactrim can work for a pet as well? As with any medication, safety is always a top concern. Of course, you’ll need a professional diagnosis before you can begin a treatment plan but here’s some good news.

Can I Give My Dog Bactrim? Answer: Yes

It is generally safe for pet dogs, as long as it’s recommended and prescribed by a vet.

Many animal doctors administer this medicine to dogs because of its high efficacy rate in curing bacterial infections. It’s even used for treating other forms of diseases like cystitis. However, there are sometimes side effects which we’ll discuss. In addition, you shouldn’t provide any Bactrim to pregnant dogs or those suffering from or prone to liver and kidney diseases.

Administering a Bactrim Dose

As with all types of drugs, especially people medicines, it’s important to provide the right amount of dosage to your dog. You need to consult a vet for this, as the medicinal therapy will depend on their overall health as well as their breed, size and weight. The particular type of infection will also be considered, as well as your pet’s response to said medication. Depending on the initial progress of the drug’s effects, your vet may decide to increase or decrease the dosage.

There are several ways to administer this type of medication. If you are giving the tablet form of Bactrim, crush the tablet so that you can mix this with dog food. You also have the option of shoving the pill down your dog’s throat if you are used to this method. If your vet recommends intravenous Bactrim treatment, for serious cases, you will need to bring your pup to the vet’s clinic for confinement.

Bactrim Overdose Symptoms

Be very careful when giving any human medicines to your dog, as the dosage isn’t the same for people and canines. Generally, dogs are given reduced amounts because they are smaller and weigh less than people too. If you mistakenly provide an intolerable amount of Bactrim to your pet, it can cause poisoning and complications.

Some of the symptoms of poisoning include diarrhea and vomiting. There could also be a decrease in appetite. In such a case, observe for signs of blood in the dog’s stool and urine, as these are signs of internal bleeding. If you notice that your dog’s eyes are becoming yellowish in color, it could mean liver damage. At this point, it becomes an emergency and you should call a vet right away.

Certain Allergy Symptoms

Although Bactrim is effective for treating bacterial infections, it can have many adverse side effects on your dog. Some dogs can develop an allergic reaction to the drug, so you should watch out for symptoms of allergy as well. If you notice that your pet is having some difficulty breathing or there are signs of swelling of the tongue, lips, and face, then you should stop administering the drug immediately.

Call the vet so that an anti-allergy drug can be administered to your dog to treat the condition. You should also encourage your dog to drink plenty of fluids, so that the drug can be flushed out of their system.

Conclusion on Bactrim

Yes, this antibiotic can be given to dogs. Vets prescribe Bactrim all the time. It’s generally safe for canines but you should also be aware of the potential for side effects and watch out for symptoms vigilantly. There may be medicines just as effective so it’s prudent to ask your vet for other alternative medications that may pose minimal risks to your best buddy.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeremy March, 2016

My dog has been on this medicine for almost a week. I have taken him off all the rest of his meds and he continues to get more and more lethargic, his back legs are giving out on him. By the time he is ready for his next dose he is walking, then withing an hour he can barely walk. He was taking the medication for a cyst, prescribed by a veterinarian.


Julius March, 2016

Trimethroprim sulfa has caused liver damage and death in Dalmatians and Vizsla dogs. Please ask your vet to properly research this commonly used antibiotic.


Trisha April, 2015

I have a dog with a small wound in his neck. It has, in the last 10 hours, swollen to the size of a softball. My dog is a Pit bull Labrador Retriever mix so he’s quite big. I can’t afford a vet visit right now and have Bactrim DS on hand from my last ear infection. Can I give him that and at what dosage?


Anne April, 2015

I would not give him any medication without knowing what is wrong with him. It could make the problem worse. How about some cold wet towels (not ice) held on the area to reduce swelling. He is going to need a veterinarian. Call your local humane society. They usually have low or even no cost services. Another option is to turn him over to a rescue group. He needs medical attention.


Van January, 2015

I have a 1 year old Lab. His ears keep bothering him, scratching and shacking his head. A vet said it was a yeast infection. Can I give him Bactrim? I do not have the money to take him to a vet right now.


Sarah January, 2015

Bactrim won’t help because it is not effective at all against yeast infections. It might even make the yeast infection worse because it can kill the normal bacteria that live in your dog’s ears. Buy an over-the-counter ear cleanser for dogs. I use a Burt’s Bees product daily according to the directions.

I clean my Beagle’s ears daily when they smell musty and a couple of times a week just to keep them healthy. Don’t ignore the yeast infection as it is painful for the dog and can lead to deafness if left untreated. Continuous cleaning with a good product should help.


Debbie June, 2015

Buy a small bottle of apple cider vinegar and mix it 50/50 with water. Then just pour a couple of teaspoons of that in his ear and let it sit. Put a cotton ball down in his ear for absorption. You should take him to a vet if it doesn’t clear up soon. You can do this procedure every day for about a week. If it’s not gone by then, he needs to go to the vet.


Pankaj December, 2014

I have two month old Labrador puppy. He is healthy with a good immune system but is suffering from a skin infection, not a boil but welt, in one of his eyes. I gave him Cefpet 50mg, Cefpodoxime Proxetil, for 4 days but there is no relief. Can I give him Bactrim and what is the proper dose? Please help.


Derick January, 2015

I have a Lab/Pit mix and he has had the same issue as your dog. I had him on Bactrim. The pill was an 800mg but I cut that in half and gave it to him twice a day. Due to the size of your puppy, you may want to cut that size in half. Also, pay close attention to ensure that your dog doesn’t have an allergic reaction like difficulty breathing or swollen tongue. If so, stop giving it to him. While on the med, have your dog drink plenty of water. Good luck.


Ginnie June, 2014

My 9 year old female Dachshund (about 16 pounds) was given Bactrim two weeks ago for a staff infection after several other antibiotics didn’t help. Now she is extremely lethargic with a loss of appetite and seems to not want to walk anymore than necessary, even when she has to go outside.

I’m taking her back to the vet today, but have you any suggestions, as he seems to be having a problem helping her. Surgery and a biopsy gave no diagnosis.


Bridgette November, 2013

My dog was given Bactrim for kennel cough and it has hurt his joints in his back legs. The vet discontinued it, but the damage has been done. I saw him lowering himself to the ground and I thought he was sick. Then he wouldn’t sit down at all. I finally got him to lay down, I thought he was dying.

I cried and prayed and he got a little better. I took him back to the vet and he told me to stop the antibiotic. I did and he came out of it, but now has trouble getting up on the couch and things. His back hips obviously hurt him. Now I’m looking for steps and joint lubricating substances, guilt ridden for what I subjected my dog to. I would ask for Amoxicillin if given Bactrim.


Debbie August, 2013

My little Maltese is 13 years old and has suffered forever with skin irritation and tropical ear infections. I have taken her to numerous vets and yet they have never gotten to the bottom of her problems or given her anything to cure her. I believe Bactim is good for these ailments. Is this true? I started her today on a small amount. Is this safe for my little aging dog?


James August, 2013

Debbie, I’m surprised none of the vets have ever prescribed Bactrim for your dog before. It’s worth a try because it is a fairly common treatment option. I hope it helps.


Annemarie August, 2013

I need some info on Bactrim for my 4 year old who we got when he was just a pup. He was treated for a bacterial skin infection a year or so ago with another antibiotic. The wet wipes we use on his creases as a daily routine has worked the best and is very effective in keeping the bacteria to a minimum on his skin.

Now we are not sure if we have some sort of Auto-immune condition of some sort of bone marrow cancer/condition. Should we use Bactrim prophetically to prevent any new infection or do we try another medication option that is more expensive and has fewer side effects. But again I ask what is known about Bactrim use and the side effects in dogs.


Michael August, 2013

My friends dog is dying from this. His immune system was destroyed. Don’t chance it. There are better, safer antibiotics out there. This is a last resort antibiotic.


James August, 2013

Michael, I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s dog. Would you be able to provide more information? Perhaps the dog was seriously ill prior to taking Bactrim? Was it recommended by a vet? I’m going to do some more research on the topic in general. Thanks for posting.


Helen Vickers April, 2013

My dog is dying because of this drug. If your dog is older make sure your vet dose a simple renal panel, which is less than 25 dollars, to assure the animal is okay to take it. My 12 year old chow was fine until 10 days of treatment. It’s not the drug manufacturer’s fault. Your vet should warn you about this.


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