Erythromycin for Dogs

Erythromycin belongs to the group of antibiotics and may be used in canines. Typically, erythromycin will be used to cure infections caused by a wide range of bacteria. The drug will inhibit the synthesis of proteins from the bacteria and this will result in the elimination of the harmful bacteria.

Uses of Erythromycin

Erythromycin can be used in bacterial infections in canines. By inhibiting the growth and development of bacteria and the protein synthesis, the infection should clear in 7 to 14 days of erythromycin treatment.

Erythromycin is effective for most known bacteria that infect the skin, bones or sinuses of the pet. The drug can also be used in the Lyme disease, caused by ticks. However, erythromycin cannot be used in intestinal infections such as the infection caused by E. coli. The drug cannot be administered to reduce infections caused by intestinal worms.

Erythromycin cannot be obtained without vet prescription.

Erythromycin Side Effects in Dogs

Erythromycin is typically safe for use in dogs, as it has FDA approval. However, there are a few side effects that may be caused by erythromycin.

Dogs under treatment with erythromycin can experience:

  • Vomiting, which is present especially during the first few days after starting the treatment
  • Liquid feces
  • Skin rashes
  • Lack of appetite
  • Increased water intake
  • Gastric ulcers, if the dog commonly takes antibiotics
  • Secondary fungal infections that may affect the stomach or the intestines
  • Liver damage, but only if the erythromycin cure is longer than 14 days.

In some more sensitive pets, there may be allergic reactions to the compounds of erythromycin.

Erythromycin Contraindications

Erythromycin cannot be administered to dogs that are allergic to erythromycin or other antibiotics. A test should be performed prior to administering to drug, to prevent severe allergic reactions.

Erythromycin shouldn’t be administered during pregnancy or while the dog is lactating and feeding the puppies.

Erythromycin Interactions

Erythromycin may interact with other drugs such as:

  • Digoxin
  • Methylprednisolone or other types of prednisone
  • Theophylline

Inform the vet if your dog is taking any of the above mentioned medications or if there are other treatments your dog is under.

Erythromycin Dosage for Dogs

Erythromycin is available in the form of powders, tablets, capsules, liquid and injections. Most commonly, dogs will get tablets or capsules. The tablets and capsules are available in 250 to 500 mg, but you need to consult the vet for dosage information.

The enteric coated drugs may be effective in humans and will also protect the stomach lining, but these drugs cannot be used in pets, as the active ingredients cannot be properly absorbed.

The dosage of erythromycin can only be established by a vet. Typically, the vet will establish the dose judging by the weight of the pet (typically 10 to 20 mg per pound, twice per day).

Don’t administer erythromycin to your pet without getting a proper dosage.  

Don’t stop the treatment unless recommended by the vet, as the dog can develop resistance to erythromycin and this drug won’t have any effects in the future.