Last Updated on
Antibiotics are a very common treatment for both people and dogs.
Still, there’s a lot of uncertainty about their use. For an infection or most other medical problems, not knowing what to do is normal.
Obviously, your dog should be given an antibiotic when it’s necessary. But which one exactly, and at what dose and duration?
Leave those decisions to your vet because antibiotics can be harmful.
Adverse effects include diarrhea and vomiting. And renal toxicity can also occur which is quite serious.
The shear number of brands and wide-ranging dosage specifications further complicates matters.
An Antibiotic Makes Sense For Your Dog (when the need arises)
But act based on whatever leftover supply you may have in your medicine cabinet!
Get your dog properly diagnosed.
Sure, antibiotics work well for speeding up a pet’s recovery or for preventing infections. In fact, often times, they are the only realistic solution.
Nevertheless, a professional’s expertise is a must. Never even consider an antibiotic for a puppy without vet approval!
Yup! Antibiotics are super effective at preventing (or putting a stop to) bacterial infections.
Your dog may be carrying harmful bacteria. Certain meds will kill or eliminate such threats.
The benefits of antibiotics cannot be overstated. They have extended life for countless pet dogs.
Key To Effectiveness
Any antibiotic therapy has a clear goal:
Eliminate infection before the dog develops a tolerance to the medication.
But something needs to be stressed…
Safe and effective results greatly depend on proper dosage and duration.
This is why you don’t stop a dog’s antibiotic treatment early (unless instructed otherwise).
Dosing can also be tricky.
For example, it’s often the case that under-dosing is more problematic than over-dosing.
Downsides For Dogs
Some animals have adverse reactions to certain antibiotics (allergic or otherwise).
Keep a watchful eye.
Consider that your dog may be under stress during this difficult time.
A vet may recommend additional medicine and/or food supplements along with antibiotics.
Owners, on the other hand, shouldn’t combine meds without consultation. Dangerous drug interactions are possible.
When They Are Used
Everyone knows that antibiotics are for infections (or the threat of infection).
Problem is this applies to so many situations.
Does your dog have a fresh wound?
An antibiotic likely makes sense. That’s easy, but there are much less evident scenarios.
The point is this:
Get help when in doubt about the nature of your dog’s problem.
Note: Standard vaccinations should be given as a first line of defense.
Which Ones Are Good?
There are too many antibiotics to cover in detail here.
Amoxicillin (broad-spectrum) and Enrofloxacin (wide-spectrum) are well-utilized names.
As is Cephalexin (used for Pyoderma). It’s relatively safe for dogs.
Doxycycline is another that’s popular – even without evidence of infection.
Basically, different classes target distinct ailments or injuries.
The best antibiotic is usually based on several factors. Your dog’s medical history should be taken into account.
The Bottom Line
Dogs are routinely given antibiotics.
They are fairly safe when used properly.
Nevertheless, avoid exposing a precious pet to unnecessary risks.
Speak with your veterinarian. Get a prescription.
Do it right. Get your dog the right antibiotic along with detailed dosing instructions.