Ciprofloxacin for Dogs - Effectiveness & Safety

Ciprofloxacin for Dogs - Effectiveness & Safety

Author WDF Staff


Dogs are prone to infections. There are different ones that can affect them. If it is a bacterial infection, it has to be treated with antibiotics. There are various antibiotics available to dog owners and vets. They might be similar, but some are more effective against specific infections. One of those antibiotics is ciprofloxacin for dogs. If your dog has to take ciprofloxacin, you might want to know a bit more about it so you know what you can expect.

What is ciprofloxacin for dogs?

As we already mentioned, ciprofloxacin for dogs is an antibiotic. More precisely, it is a systemic fluoroquinolone antibiotic often used as a replacement for enrofloxacin. It is for bacterial infections. The brand that contains ciprofloxacin is called Cipro, but there are different generic versions available on the market. It is most commonly used for;

Ciprofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. That means it is effective against different types of bacteria. However, long-term ciprofloxacin exposure can cause bacteria to adapt and become more resilient. This medication is usually prescribed when other, more common, antibiotics fail.

black dog on grass

Is it effective?

Since ciprofloxacin is prescribed as a “last resort,” it should be pretty effective. However, that is just a theory. We decided to look a bit deeper. We learned that this drug is considered relatively effective, but it should be carefully given to dogs. Dogs should not be treated with this drug for too long because its effectiveness will drop. It is crucial your vet follows all the changes in your dog’s health, and you have to make sure your dog finishes the antibiotic course.

SAFETY TIP: This medication is not safe for pregnant dogs. It will affect the development of the cartilages and joints. It should never be given to pregnant or nursing dogs.

Is ciprofloxacin safe?

Another thing dog owners want to know about this medication is, “Is ciprofloxacin safe for my dog?” The good news is - yes, ciprofloxacin is considered safe. However, you should strictly stick to your vet’s instructions and the duration of the treatment. A few things can make this drug unsafe for dogs, and you have to make sure your dog is not at risk. Here are the most important safety measures regarding ciprofloxacin for dogs;

  • Not safe for pregnant dogs.
  • Dogs under 1 year should not take this medication.
  • Ciprofloxacin can react with other drugs like NSAIDs, Aminoglycoside antibiotics, Nitrofurantoin, Sucralfate, Cyclosporine, Penicillin, Aminophylline, and Cephalosporin antibiotics.

SAFETY TIP: Make sure your vet knows all other drugs your dog might be taking. You don’t want to give your dog ciprofloxacin that will react to other medications your dog’s taking.

Ciprofloxacin side effects

Like every other drug in the world, ciprofloxacin can cause side effects. However, most of us are fine with mild side effects as long as our dog gets rid of a nasty infection. However, the key to safe medication administration is knowing what side effects to look for. If you notice they are lasting too long or your dog gets a severe reaction, you might want to call your vet. The most common ciprofloxacin side effects are;

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Seizures in dogs with CNS disorders
  • Convulsions
  • Cataracts (if dogs are exposed to ciprofloxacin long)

cane corso puppy

Just because side effects are possible doesn’t mean your dog will necessarily develop them. You should still be aware of what they might be and make sure you notify your vet if they are happening.

How is ciprofloxacin given to dogs?

Ciprofloxacin comes in two forms - oral tablet and injectable solution. The injection can only be administered by your vet, so you should know how to continue the treatment at home with oral tablets. It is best to give this medication on an empty stomach. However, if your dog vomits, you can give it with a small amount of food. It is commonly given twice a day, every 12 hours. The usual ciprofloxacin dosage is 2.2 - 6.8 mg per pound of body weight. However, if your vet tells you to stick to a different schedule, make sure you do that.

Where can I get it?

The first thing to do in order to get this medication is to visit your vet. This medication requires a prescription, and only a licensed vet can do that. If you have the prescription, you can go to your local pet pharmacy and get it there. If you prefer ordering medications online, you can order a generic version of the drug from Chewy’s online pharmacy.

World Dog Finder team

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