Antibiotics for Canine Skin Infection: Use With Care

Canine skin infection can often be successfully treated with antibiotics. However, while antibiotics can be extremely beneficial, if misused they can do your dog harm. Here are some things to keep in mind when treating your dog with antibiotics.

Antibiotics Aren't A Cure All

Antibiotics are only effective for the treatment of bacterial infections. They cannot treat fungal or viral infections. Administering antibiotics to treat a viral or fungal infection may worsen your dog's symptoms.

Administering antibiotics when your dog doesn't need them can also contribute to bacterial drug resistance, making future infections harder to treat.

Dose and Dosage Are Important

Remember, 'dose' refers to the amount of medication to be given at one time; 'dosage' means the amount to be taken over a period of time.

Always follow your veterinarian's dose and dosage instructions to the letter. Give the appropriate dose at the appropriate time, or as close as possible to the appropriate time. If you forget to give your dog his medicine or accidentally give too much, call your vet for instructions.

Be Aware of Possible Dangers

When your vet prescribes antibiotics, make sure you discuss all of the possible side effects, so you can watch for them. Ask about any warning signs that may indicate a negative drug reaction. Take special note of any foods that might react with your dog's antibiotics and, of course, let your vet know if your dog is on any medications that might interfere with antibiotic effectiveness.