Can I Give My Dog Ciprofloxacin?

Can I Give My Dog Ciprofloxacin?Ciprofloxacin, or Cipro for short, can be given to dogs to prevent or treat bacterial infections. This broad spectrum antibiotic is not FDA-approved for animal use but it is prescribed by veterinarians.

Skin, respiratory and urinary tract infections (UTIs) respond to Ciprofloxacin. But providing your dog with an existing supply is the wrong approach. It’s easy to unknowingly misuse this antibiotic which would unnecessarily put your pet at risk.

Although adverse reactions to Ciprofloxacin are relatively rare, there are sometimes side effects associated with canine use. This, along with the results of a proper diagnosis, should be considered prior to administering this popular drug to any dog.

Can I Give My Dog Ciprofloxacin? Answer: Yes, but only w/ a vet’s prescription

Providing Cipro can easily be inappropriate and potentially harmful to a precious pet.

Giving your dog Ciprofloxacin without veterinary guidance is just too dangerous. This antibiotic can negatively interact with existing medications, many NSAIDs and even certain supplements. So be careful with Cipro and especially if your dog is taking other drugs. Just because Fido has an infection doesn’t mean it will be effective. Only certain bacterial infections will respond to Ciprofloxacin.

There’s a great deal of knowledge required in order to safely treat dogs for infections. Don’t go it alone!

Ciprofloxacin Restrictions

Pregnant dogs and puppies should never be given Cipro. In addition, some adult canines may be allergic or hypersensitive to this antibiotic which requires suspension of the drug’s use. If your dog is taking an iron supplement, or an antacid, then Ciprofloxacin should be reconsidered. There are other medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, that may not interact well with this fluoroquinolone bacterial antibiotic.

Discuss, with your vet, any drugs that your dog is currently taking prior to Ciprofloxacin use.

Dose & Duration for Dogs

Cipro is designed for humans which can make dosing for canines tricky. Ciprofloxacin is available as an injection but there’s also a 5% and 10% suspension formula. The most common way to administer this antibiotic, for both humans and dogs, is in oral tablet form.

Speak with a vet about the correct Cipro dose and duration for your dog’s situation. Most canine cases call for 10 to 12mg per pound of body weight taken daily. It may be best to divide this amount over different time periods throughout the day. If you miss a dose, give it to your dog as soon as possible but never provide 2 doses at once.

Your dog must complete their Ciprofloxacin treatment plan even if they appear to be infection free.

Concerning K9 Side Effects

Some dogs experience adverse side effects even though Ciprofloxacin is known to have a good safety record. Most concerning for canines is the possibility of irreversible joint cartilage damage. More common complications involve changes in bowel movement consistency. Diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting and lethargy are known to occur. Closely observe your pet during Ciprofloxacin use.

Immediately notify your vet if you notice negative reactions while your dog is on any type of antibiotic.

What Vets Think About Cipro

Some veterinarians do not favor Ciprofloxacin, also known as Ciloxan, for dogs. There’s some debate as to this drug’s absorption ability. Also understand that if your dog is dealing with an infection as a result of parasites, molds or viruses it cannot be treated with Cipro. That’s why getting a diagnosis should be the first step towards properly addressing your dog’s problem.

With so many antibiotic variations and brands, Cefdinir being one, you want to be sure that the most appropriate kind is administered to your dog.

Conclusion on Ciprofloxacin

Do not provide your dog with Ciprofloxacin unless a vet explicitly told to do so. Proper antibiotic use requires detailed instructions, including dosing and duration. There are potential side effects, and other risks for dogs, especially when this drug is misused. Ciprofloxacin, when it is appropriate, can rid a beloved pet of a bacterial infection. Speak with a professional about getting a prescription for your dog and learn as much as possible prior to use.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenner January, 2015

I adopted a 3 year old Toy Poodle from the NY Animal Control Center in Manhattan. First they said she had kennel cough and when I said I couldn’t take her because I had a 14 year dog at home, they called me two days later to say she was fine. Out of prudence I have kept her separated from my older dog. After having her for 10 days, I took her to the vet and was told that she has a bad case of kennel cough. The vet sent me back to the shelter to get her meds, and the shelter is being non-responsive. Can I just give my 7 pound Toy Poodle Cipro for this kennel cough since no one is helping her?


Grace April, 2014

As a person who worked at a veterinarian office for 5 years, I have come to the conclusion that it is at the point in dog ownership where only the rich can afford the outrageous veterinarian charges. These offices, calling themselves hospitals, charge as much as medical doctor offices. Bills of $1,000 to $3,000 are not unusual; even $5,000 if open surgery and long stays are required.

It’s common for vets to make $300,000/$400,000 after deductible expenses, while it’s not unusual for most of their staff to earn minimum wages. It is also unknown to most pet owners that it’s rare to have any employees in the office/kennels at night watching their pets for medical problems.


Lisa May, 2014

Hi Grace. Yes, I had a puppy who died of kidney failure. I was not told of the diagnosis, just that I needed to bring back to the office at night before the vet/specialist closed. She was so weak she could not walk, and had already been on IV and other treatments before I picked her up that same morning after treatment.

They stayed open so she could be watched during the night and cared for the next morning. She plead with her eyes not to hand her over to the vet that evening. She was comfortable in the living room with the family on the couch watching over her, almost happy.

But the vet insisted she needed to be there and that she would be watched overnight. I assumed someone would be there if she needed an IV. Instead, we got a call in the morning that she had died in her cage over-night, alone.

I asked why she hadn’t been given treatment or comforted since the vet was so indignant she had to come in that evening – or she would die if we didn’t bring her in that night- forcing us to comply. They then told me the only person with the dogs at night was the janitor. Then they wanted almost $400 for the overnight stay and to handle her body and another $300 for cremation.

Apparently, with kidney failure, she was going to die and could have been home with all of us near her which made her happy. Did she have to die alone in a cage and at great expense?

The vet either placed or threatened to place a lien on our house within a week of sending the bill. This was a vet specialist, and a female vet, who was referred by our regular vet. How horrible it is to think of this scenario much less have lived it with our precious puppy.


Dina February, 2016

That is so very sad. I’m so sorry that your baby passed alone in a cage because of that money hungry vet who didn’t even help and has the nerve to charge you for that stay! I would have disputed her charges, but I know how fruitless that can be when they send you to debt collection. Maybe you can file against her in small claims court and also report her to the Better Business Bureau. Definitely warn other customers or potential customers about her on Yelp and other websites. You’ll be doing them a favor.


Beverly March, 2014

I have an 11 year old male greyhound. He has always been in good health, till this last February. He started peeing a lot and not being able to hold his urine. He would go to the door to go out and before I could get his leash on him, he would pee on the floor. I thought it was him just getting older, because he still ate good and played. He really did not seem sick. Then one morning he could not jump up on the bed or couch. He looked bad to me. This came on fast.

I took him to vet and they did a urine test. Gabe had a 103 degree temperature. The test came back that he had a bladder infection. My vet gave him Cipro and Lodine. Gabe really went down hill fast after taking him to the vet. He also started bleeding from his rectum. So, back to vet we went and they did a blood test and a poop test and found out he had an ulcer also. So then they started him on Tagamet.

The bleeding did not start till after a round of Lodine which I believe caused the ulcer. Medicine can start ulcers in the lining of stomach, so we took him off of pain meds. He lost almost 8 pounds. during this ordeal. He had to take another round of antibiotics and Tagamet. To say the least, he was one sick boy. I really thought he was not going to make it.

In saying all of this I should have taken him to vet long before I did. I will not make that mistake again. I let it get bad not realizing he was sick. He ate well and played good, up till the day he just could not get up and about. Because of my waiting and not seeing, he was as sick as he was and I almost lost my best friend. He eventually got a released from the vet.

Since our K9 friends can not tell us how they feel and where they hurt and since they are so different from us and we should not guess at what to give them. We should just take them to the vet and not even think twice about it. Good luck to all you animal lovers. They are the best friends anyone can have. We should give them all the love and care they give to us!


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