Can I Give My Dog Cephalexin?

Can I Give My Dog Cephalexin?Cephalexin is an antibiotic for treating bacterial infections such as upper respiratory, the skin variety as well as urinary tract infections. Most dog owners will likely be trying to treat their pet for a UTI. Something like Cephalexin is common to have, often as left over supply, from a previous prescription. Are you wondering if it will work for your dog?

Let’s be clear, even though some vets will prescribe it for some canines, this doesn’t make it safe for your particular dog. Trying to dose them using a human medication such as Cefalexin can often result in negative side effects that can cause them undue pain and suffering.

Sometimes when you start trying to take matters into your own hands and make medical decisions that you’re not qualified to make, things can get dicey. We’ll take a closer look at the use of Cephalexin so you can make a more informed judgement regarding your dog’s health.

Can I Give My Dog Cephalexin? Answer: With vet approval only

If your dog needs to be treated with an antibiotic, giving them some Cephalexin that you happen to have on hand is not the way to go.

If you suspect that they have an infection, it probably needs to be diagnosed and properly treated. This is definitely cause enough to take them to a veterinarian, or at least make a call to their office.

A professional can verify a diagnosis and advise on the proper steps for treating your dog properly. This might be in the form of an antibiotic developed particularly for canine use. Alternatively, they may suggest letting things run their course.

Save Yourself Some Grief

The benefit of not treating them yourself and getting professional advice is that you’re off the hook as far as a guilty conscience goes. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you did the proper thing for your dog.

If the situation does escalate, you won’t have that feeling in the back of your mind that you may have exacerbated things. Trying to medicate a dog from home, from your own medicine cabinet, can be a recipe for disaster and Cephalexin is no different in this respect.

Dodgy Doggy Drugs

There’s an entire industry devoted to making pharmaceuticals for dogs. This is reassuring because the big drug companies that manufacture products for humans aren’t thinking about dogs when they are doing their testing and research or for determining proper doses.

That’s why it’s somewhat alarming to hear owners ask for dosages from the general public, often strangers. Often, such medicines aren’t even safe for dogs, at any dose, and there is a lot of misinformation floating around. We certainly cannot recommend a dose for your beloved dog in respect to Cephalexin.

Side Effects of Cephalexin

Cefalexin is a cephalosporin antibiotic which comes with its share of side effects. These can include nausea, stomach cramps, and dehydration, and that’s when it’s used by humans. The side effects for dogs lacks research, but they definitely do exist. There is anecdotal evidence, from owners that have given it to their dogs and have seen for themselves, that they often don’t handle it very well.

It’s not something that you want to give to them, as it likely won’t produce the desired effects. It may even worsen their situation dramatically. In particular, many older dogs don’t take well to antibiotics such as this one.

Best Steps to Take

First speak with your vet and get your dog onto a proper treatment plan. Then try to determine, if possible, what caused the problem in the first place. Altering their environment may be beneficial so they aren’t reinfected.

Also consider upgrading their dog food so that they’re getting the right mix of nutrients and vitamins. This will make perhaps the biggest difference towards improving their general well-being. It’s also one of the easiest things you can do for them.

It can be rough seeing your dog if they aren’t doing well. The best way to treat them is to put it in the hands of a well-trained professional. In the meantime, please keep your supply of Cephalexin out of reach!

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat October, 2015

My German Shepherd was given Neomycin and Cephalexin for perivulvar dermatitis. I tried sausage, chunks of chicken and hamburger to hide the capsules but she finds them. Can I open the capsules and put the powder contents in her regular dog food? I want to make sure she gets all her medicine.

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Maryanne October, 2015

I have 2 GSDs and 1 has been given antibiotics extensively. You can open the capsules but the powder is usually sour and may cause your dog not to eat all of what you put it in. They have terrific noses. I use peanut butter that has no salt. Antibiotics tend to upset the stomach so most of them should be given with food. Good luck.

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Lina August, 2015

I had a beautiful 8 year old Maltese and my vet gave her Apoquel as well as Cephalexin for her allergies. She was perfectly healthy other than the allergies when we left the office. In 3 days she was in such bad shape. I took her back in and they said she was in respiratory failure and heart failure. My vet states that the meds were not what caused her death. I am so heart broken because I’ve lost my dog with no answers on how to handle this. What do I do?

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Charlie July, 2015

My dog was prescribed Cephalexin for a skin infection caused 100% by a barrage of vaccinations that hit him when he was young. The Cephalexin almost crippled him. He was then given Prednisone to overcome the effects. The Prednisone sent him into fatal kidney failure. A review of the New York Times, 1851 to 1920, showed that domestic dogs averaged longer lifespans before the arrival of organized veterinary medicine and its dangerous medications, all intended to loot the public pocketbook.

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Wilburn April, 2015

I took my dog to see a vet for a pink rash and itching. The tech checked his heart beat. The vet came in and tried to lift my dog from the floor to the exam table by his collar. I stopped him and did it myself. No test was conducted but we were given a script for Cephalexin. The poor vet could hardly walk through the door, seeming to be unable to function. He allegedly gave my dog a shot. I held his head and front legs while he was supposed to inject. My dog always makes a noise when poked and has been unable to do blood test with previous vets because he’s too skittish. I waited and waited for a whimper, but he did not make a sound. I do not think he gave the injection. What should I do? He had no tests to confirm bacterial infection, etc. Please advise!

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Chris April, 2015

I’m not an expert or anything, but after that I’d seriously consider talking to another vet.

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Sandra March, 2015

We live in Malaysia and our 4 year old Golden Retriever is prone to hot spots, although she hasn’t had an episode in over a year until this weekend. 3 years ago she was prescribed an antibiotic and it very nearly killed her. Until yesterday I was so scared, I treated her only with topical ointment and medicated wash. We started Cephalexin last night and so far no negative reactions, but I’m still holding my breath.

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