Cephalexin is a popular antibiotic used for treating bacterial infections in humans. Such infections include those affecting the upper respiratory tract, urinary tract and even the skin and bones. As a dog owner, you’ll want to know if this particular drug can safely work for canines as well.
Vets do prescribe Cephalexin but that doesn’t automatically make it appropriate for your particular dog. Many people consider using a leftover supply from a previous prescription, but providing antibiotics without professional guidance can result in negative side effects and/or ineffective treatment.
So while Cephalexin isn’t considered a very dangerous drug, it’s still important to administer it correctly. Taking matters into your own hands, when it comes to your dog’s medical matters, can prove to be a bad idea and this drug is no different. In any case, let’s take a closer look at the use of Cephalexin for pets.
Can I Give My Dog Cephalexin? Answer: Yes, with vet approval
If you suspect that an antibiotic is needed, using some of your own Cephalexin may not be the way to go.
The problem with providing this drug, without guidance, is that it really should only be used when you have good evidence for introducing it. Most infections require a proper diagnosis so they can be effectively treated. An infection is cause enough to take your dog to a veterinarian, or at least make a call to their office.
While Cephalexin is known to be well-tolerated, there may be more appropriate kinds of antibiotics which could be much more suitable. Alternatively, they may suggest letting things run their course. In any case, we don’t recommend taking it upon yourself to administer Cephalexin unless you have previous experience and are knowledgeable in this area.
Dosage & Key Info
If you plan to give your dog Cephalexin, there are some critical facts you need to know beforehand. If your best buddy has a history of kidney failure, seizures or allergies to similar medications then reconsider your plan and instead get advice from a professional. Also, never administer antibiotics to a pregnant or nursing dog. Typical dosage ranges from 10mg or 15mg for every pound of body weight, given every 8-12 hours but check with your vet first.
It’s very important to be consistent with dosing and timing since failure to do so reduces the effectiveness of this therapy. Also, you may find it is necessary to provide Cephalexin with food especially if your dog experiences diarrhea, vomiting or any nausea at any time during treatment. There are a long list of side effects associated with this drug which also is marketed under the names Biocef, Keflex and Keftab.
Cephalexin Side Effects
This name is an oral cephalosporin antibiotic which usually works well but sometimes there are complications. This is the case with all drugs which is why it’s best to have a good vet to count on. Some of the typical side effects that humans may experience can also affect a beloved pet dog. These can include nausea, stomach cramps and dehydration.
Other negative signs specific to canines may appear as panting or shortness of breath, swelling of the face or mouth area, excessive drooling, rashes, bloody stools and hyper-excitability. But in general, there is less conclusive information regarding the effects of Cephalexin as it applies to pets. It has been suggested that many older dogs don’t take well to antibiotics such as this one.
Conclusion on Cephalexin
Don’t go it alone by treating your dog using Cephalexin that you may have laying around. There could be superior treatment options available to your dog. Speak with a vet and get your four-legged friend treated the right way. Avoid making matters worse. The best way to handle an infection is to put it in the hands of a well-trained professional. If you do plan to go it alone and use Cephalexin on your dog, be sure to take precautions by learning as much as possible. In our view, it is prudent to keep your personal supply of Cephalexin out of reach simply because a proper diagnosis must form the basis for a full recovery.