Chloramphenicol for Dogs

Chloramphenicol is a multipurpose antibiotic drug that is used for both dogs and cats to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. This medicine is effective against many types of skin infections, wound infections, bone infections, and more. It is also unique in that it can help to treat infections caused by bacteria transmitted to your dog via a tick. While chloramphenicol is not effective against other parasites, this nonetheless makes it a very good option for pet owners who live in areas where ticks are common. Read on for a brief overview of this medicine and how to use it effectively for your pet.

Chloramphenicol Overview

Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic that works to destroy bacterial cells which cause infection. It achieves this effect by suppressing the growth of the bacteria, effectively preventing them from developing to maturity and causing damage to your pet's body. Eventually, not being able to reproduce, the bacteria will die off and the infection will be eliminated.

This medicine has been developed and tested for use in both humans and animals. You will nonetheless require a veterinarian's prescription in order to be able to give chloramphenicol to your dog. The human formulation of the drug is known by the name Chloromycetin. Generally, however, vets will recommend that you give your pet a generic version of the medicine instead.

Using Chloramphenicol for Your Pet

Chloramphenicol is available as a capsule, in tablet form, or as an oral suspension. While all three of these forms of the drug will be effective at addressing your dog's bacterial infection, many pet owners find that the tablet form of the drug is the easiest to give to their pets. The tablet can be ground up and included along with your pet's meal or given inside of a treat for your dog as well.

The exact dosage of chlramphenicol that you'll need to give your pet will be dependent upon your dog's weight especially, as well as on his overall health condition, the severity and type of his bacterial infection, and any other medicines that he's currently taking.

Risks and Side Effects of Chloramphenicol

While chloramphenicol is generally very safe for use with most dogs, it should be avoided in certain cases. It's best to avoid this medicine in dogs that are either very young or that are pregnant. Inform your vet of any other health conditions affecting your pet, as well as any other medicines that he's currently taking, before you give him chloramphenicol.

The most common side effects of this drug typically include the following:

  • Anemia
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea

In some cases, the anemia that your pet suffers from may be serious. It's therefore important to have him under the watchful eye of a vet while he's taking this medicine. Do not extend your pet's treatment with chloramphenicol for more than about a week at a time unless otherwise instructed by your vet. Take your pet in to the vet's if you notice any other side effects.