Last Updated on
Are you wondering if Ciprofloxacin (Cipro for short) can be given to your dog?
That depends! It is true that this broad spectrum antibiotic also prevents and treats bacterial infections for furry friends. In fact, it has an excellent track record for medium to larger sized canines.
While not FDA-approved for dogs, Ciprofloxacin is well-utilized by vets — even though there are valid concerns which we’ll go into.
The drug is commonly prescribed for 3 types of infections:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
But this antibiotic will not work for parasites, molds or viruses. Improper use must be avoided and, perhaps most importantly, certain dogs are poor candidates for Cipro.
Medium to Large-Size Dogs Can Take Ciprofloxacin
A prescription is required.
Never use a leftover supply — whatever the situation. A professional must be consulted for numerous reasons.
A Vet’s Help Is Necessary
We talked to Doctor Sara Redding Ochoa of Whitehouse Veterinary Hospital about this antibiotic and she offered this very interesting tidbit…
“Most of the time your veterinarian will culture the infection before starting on Ciprofloxacin to make sure that your dog will actually respond to the drug.”
While your dog may have an infection, the right treatment often isn’t so straightforward. The fact is only certain bacterial infections (such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa) can be treated with Ciprofloxacin.
A great deal of knowledge is required. Do not go it alone!
What A Study Concluded
You should be aware of the following clinical study: Ciprofloxacin Pharmacokinetics in Clinical Canine Patients.
Basically, it concluded the following:
Small dogs are at a heightened risk for harm – even when Cipro dosing is adjusted for body weight.
The data shows that dogs with comparatively lower body weights have much lower breakpoints or susceptibility to Ciprofloxacin. Quoting from the study…
“The size of the dog was an important covariate with larger dogs achieving lower plasma drug concentrations than smaller dogs, despite a similar mg/kg dose.”
It is, therefore, no wonder why some animal doctors do not favor Ciprofloxacin (or Ciloxan).
Additional Cipro Concerns
Pregnant dogs and puppies should never be given Cipro.
Further, some adult canines are allergic or hypersensitive to this particular antibiotic. And Ciprofloxacin should also be avoided if the dog is taking iron supplementation or an antacid.
Warning: This fluoroquinolone bacterial antibiotic may negatively interact with a wide variety of NSAIDs. Great caution is required if your dog is taking other drugs.
Dog Dosing And Duration
Correct dosage is obviously essential as well as the treatment’s duration.
A Rule of Thumb: Dogs are typically given up to 12mg of Ciprofloxacin per pound of body weight (taken daily). Even this acceptable amount, according to the above-mentioned study, comes with a breakpoint of ≤0.06 μg/mL versus ≤1 μg/mL in humans.
Any missed dose should be given ASAP. On the other hand, never provide 2 doses at once.
And Cipro treatment should be fully completed — even if your dog appears to be infection-free.
FYI: Ciprofloxacin can be injected. There is also a 5% and 10% suspension formula, but oral tablets are the most common form.
Side Effects To Watch For
Again, some dogs experience adverse effects upon taking Ciprofloxacin. Perhaps most concerning is a possibility of irreversible joint cartilage damage.
Much more common complications involve changes in bowel movement consistency. Diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting and lethargy are known to occur.
Close observation is key.
Notify your veterinarian if you notice negative reactions while your dog is on any type of antibiotic.
The Bottom Line
Many vets use Ciprofloxacin in their practices.
This particular antibiotic is frequently relied upon for dogs with bacterial infections.
Be sure to get detailed instructions, including dosing and duration. Even then, there are potential side effects and various other risks.
The good news is, when appropriate, Ciprofloxacin can be a live-saver for a precious pet dog. Get a prescription!