Enrofloxacin for Dogs

One of the more common medicines that veterinarians routinely prescribe to dogs for a variety of conditions is enrofloxacin. This medicine is useful at treating a wide variety of different types of infections and other related conditions.

It is generally found in the brand name drug called Baytril, although there are generic forms of the enrofloxacin drug available for use as well.

Enrofloxacin Overview

Enrofloxacin is a type of antibiotic that belongs specifically to a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones. These drugs are related to the more common antibiotic ciprofloxacin, or cipro for short. These drugs function like other antibiotics in that they work to kill and stop bacteria from spreading. Harmful bacteria are responsible for your pet's infections, whether they're surface level on the skin or if they've taken hold internally. It's crucial that you stop bacteria from infecting your pet's body as quickly as possible, as left unchecked these bacteria may spread throughout your pet's body and eventually attack his vital organs, causing permanent damage or even death.

Enrofloxacin works by altering the DNA of bacteria in your pet's body. This prevents the bacteria from being able to function properly, and they consequently die, ridding your pet of infection. Unfortunately, because enrofloxacin cannot target unhealthy bacteria while leaving beneficial bacteria, your pet's helpful stomach bacteria will also be destroyed. Enrofloxacin is helpful at treating skin infections, urinary tract infections, infected wounds, and respiratory infections.

Using Enrofloxacin

Typically, enrofloxacin is provided to pets through an oral tablet that can be given along with food or a treat. There is also an injectable version of the drug, but most vets shy away from it. The exact dosage of the medicine will depend upon your dog's weight, size, age, breed and overall health. Generally, you'll provide the dosage once per day or split into halves twice per day.

Enrofloxacin Side Effects

Enrofloxacin has a few side effects to be aware of. First, like other antibiotics, it's important that you continue the full regimen of the drug through its conclusion, even if your pet appears to improve in health. It's also vital that you inform your vet of any preexisting health conditions or medicines that your pet is taking, as enrofloxacin can interact poorly with certain types of medicine in your dog's system.

Enrofloxacin has a few mild side effects like diarrhea and vomiting. In rare cases, it may cause seizures in some animals. However, it's dangerous for use in animals younger than about 2 years of age and should be avoided if at all possible. In puppies, it may cause serious cartilage and bone development problems, which can lead to long term and potentially very serious health concerns for the rest of your pet's life. Be sure to discuss these issues with your vet if you're concerned.