Health & Wellness
If your dog was diagnosed with a respiratory infection, skin infection, urinary tract infection (UTI) or another bacterial infection, they might have been prescribed enrofloxacin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, by their veterinarian.
However, there's a negative, but rare, side effect that you’ll want to talk with your vet about before giving this antibiotic to your pup — especially if they’re a large breed.
Enrofloxacin is an antibiotic in the fluoroquinolone family, similar to (but not the same as) ciprofloxacin, or Cipro — a medication used by humans. A brand name of this medication is called Baytril.
Along with treating several infections, enrofloxacin can be a solution for abscesses. However, it’s not the best option for all dogs, so talk to your veterinarian to ensure it’s the right for your pup.
“It’s not always the appropriate choice for an infection, so a veterinarian should determine whether or not it’s the right medication to prescribe,” Dr. Emily Singler, VMD, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, says.
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While most dogs tolerate enrofloxacin well, there have been reports of various side effects, including gastrointestinal upset (like vomiting, diarrhea and decreased appetite), elevated liver enzymes, seizures, incoordination, depression, lethargy and anxiety.
Some studies have also shown that the medication can contribute to joint problems in large-breed dogs as they grow up, Dr. Singler says.
“Most veterinarians feel that the risk is extremely low and that the benefits outweigh the risks when a puppy really needs enrofloxacin,” Dr. Singler adds.
If your dog shows side effects after taking enrofloxacin, consult your veterinarian to determine if this antibiotic is still your pup's best treatment option.
Enrofloxacin is typically administered as an injectable solution by your veterinarian or as an oral tablet at home. The antibiotic can sometimes be compounded into other formulations, including liquid drops.
If your dog has trouble taking one antibiotic, another may be considered to help them get back to all their favorite activities infection-free.
The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.
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