A broad spectrum antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, urinary tract, bones, joints, and the respiratory tract, cephalexin is commonly prescribed by veterinarians to treat the above conditions in dogs. This antibiotic belongs to a class of drugs called cephalosporins, which are known to suppress the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, or protozoa. Although the FDA has not approved cephalexin as a veterinarian drug, it is a common practice to prescribe this medication. This antibiotic is available as 250 mg or 500 mg capsules and as liquid medication, and is only administered if the veterinarian has prescribed it. Usually, 10 mg of cephalexin is prescribed for each pound (lb.) of your dog's weight, with the dosage being administered twice a day This affordable medication not only treats bacterial infections, but also prevents secondary infections.
Did You Know?Cephalexin works by interfering with the bacteria's cell wall formation, causing it to rupture, and thereby, killing the bacteria.
Cephalexin is usually considered safe for dogs, unless the dog is allergic to penicillin mold and medication that function in the same manner as penicillin. Before prescribing this drug, it is important for the veterinarian to check whether the dog nursing or pregnant, or is allergic to penicillin. Here are some unwanted side effects of cephalexin for dogs that can serve as a warning to pet owners who indiscriminately use this medication for treating their dog's health issues.
▶ Animals allergic to penicillin or cephalosporins are not to be prescribed this medication.
▶ It is advised to use caution in administering cephalexin to nursing and pregnant dogs.
▶ Tell your vet about any other medication that the dog may be taking, such as probenecid, or a loop diuretic such as furosemide or warfarin, as this may interact with cephalexin and cause side effects.
▶ Never combine this medication with other drugs, especially other antibiotics or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.
▶ The oral suspension, after being mixed with water, must be kept in the refrigerator. The unused portion should be discarded after fourteen days.
▶ In extreme cases, an overdose of this drug has known to cause seizures and muscle weakness in dogs.
Ensure that you administer the right dosage, and if you forget to give your pet a dose of cephalexin, do not double the amount the next time. In the event of an allergic reaction, stop administering cephalexin, and seek emergency veterinary medical care.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for the advice of a veterinarian.