Bacitracin Ointment for Dogs

Bacitracin is a powerful antibiotic, but it is rarely used internally, because it is considered toxic and difficult to control. However, the use of bacitracin ointment may be effective in reducing numerous infections that affect the skin of canines. Most commonly, the ointment is used in eye infections.

Bacitracin for Canines

Bacitracin is an antibiotic that is obtained from organisms from the licheniformis group known as Bacillys subtilis. The compound was first extracted in the mid-1940s, but it is rarely used as an oral antibiotic, because it is very strong and may be toxic both in humans and canines.

When used as a topical ointment, bacitracin is very efficient. The ointment may contain a number of other ingredients such as:

  • Neomycin
  • Polymyxin B

Uses of Bacitracin Ointment

The bacitracin ointment may be used in canines that are affected by:

  • Skin infections
  • Eye infections
  • Prevent wound infections

Vets commonly avoid using the bacitracin ointment for skin infections, because there are other alternatives that cause fewer side effects and are as effective as bacitracin.

When used for eye infections, the ointment should be in a concentration of 2 to 5 percent. The ointment will be applied on the eyelids and the margins of the eyes. It shouldn't be applied on the eye membrane, as the dog may not allow this. When applying the cream, have someone help you and hold the dog still. You will have to hold one of the dog's eyes open and gently apply the ointment. This may be difficult, especially if the dog is in pain. When the dog's eyes are swollen and completely shut, the ointment may be used, but the vet may also prescribed some saline drops, which can facilitate the healing and help open the eyelids.

The bacitracin is also an alternative in pets that have a silver sulfadiazine intolerance.

Effects of Bacitracin

The bacitracin ointment affects the development of the bacteria. The solution will hinder the formation of the walls of gram positive cells. Bacitracin is also believed to be a protein disulfin isomerase inhibitor in the cells of organisms, but additional studies are needed to confirm this theory.

Side Effects of Bacitracin

The bacitracin ointment can cause some side effects in certain pets:

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Swelling of skin or eye membranes
  • Red eyes
  • Ocular discharges

Contraindications When Using Bacitracin Ointment

Bacitracin is FDA approved for use in humans, chickens and turkeys, but can also be used by vets in canines that have eye infections. The bacitracin ointment shouldn't be used when the dog is taking sulfa drugs. If the dog is known to be allergic to bacitracin or any of its compounds, a different type of cream should be prescribed. Even though bacitracin is used topically, it shouldn't be applied in dogs that are lactating or pregnant.