Read This Before Giving Your Dog Ciprofloxacin For An Infection!

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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.

Can I Give My Dog Ciprofloxacin?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:

  • Skin-related
  • Respiratory
  • 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!

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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8 thoughts on “Read This Before Giving Your Dog Ciprofloxacin For An Infection!”

  1. Christine says:

    My 33 pound mini Australian Shepherd has been put on a 10 day regimen of 500mg cipro for a UTI. Does the dose seem a bit high? I’m concerned!

  2. Lynda Hardin-Poston, PhD says:

    Cipro is often used for bacterial kennel cough. So I gave my dog a tiny bit every 4 hours for 3 days. By the end of the 3 days, the cough was almost gone. It only took one tablet because she was so small. She only weighed 4 pounds and as a full grown Norfolk Terrier, she should have weighed between 10 and 12 pounds. She was significantly underweight.

    Ruby is naturally small. I think she may have been the “runt” of the litter because she only weighs 8 pounds and is well filled out. She is a delight, bright, happy, full of energy and a real clown. I am so thankful I found this beautiful little animal and was able to offer her a good, loving home.

    Had she remained in the puppy mill, her life would have been a hell of starvation, no attention, love, or care. She would be bred and rebred until she died. Now she has a life that she deserves and all the love she can handle. I would say Cipro is fine for dogs (if you are extremely careful with it but less is more).

  3. 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?

  4. 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 expenses, while it’s not unusual for most of their staff to earn minimum wages. It’s 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

    2. It is by no means common for vets to make $300 – $400K. The average salary is about $75,000.

  5. I have an 11 year old male Greyhound. He has always been in good health until recently. 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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