A Guide to Frequently Used Dog Antibiotics

With dozens of dog antibiotics available, it is important to understand how the medication works. Canine antibiotics come in a range of options, from chewable tablets to gel coated capsules, while treating different types of infections. Learn about the most commonly prescribed medications, including proper doses and side effects.

Albon (Sulfadimethoxine)

Albon dog antibiotics come in liquid or tablets, and treat bacterial infections by preventing bacterium from multiplying. The typical dosage for Albon is 25 milligrams per pound of a dog's weight. Side effects include dry eyes, sulfa crystals collecting in the urine and loss of appetite. It's important to make sure your dog drinks plenty of water when taking Albon to prevent UTI.

Baytril (Enrofloxacin)

Baytril dog antibiotics battle dog infections occurring in the ear, urinary tract, skin, intestines, liver and lungs. The dog antibiotics come in chewable tablets or dog ear antibiotic drops. Baytril works by tweaking the DNA of bacteria causing them to die off.

The proper dosage of Baytril is 2.27 milligrams per pound of a dog's weight. Avoid using Baytril if your puppy is still growing because some studies show Baytril damages cartilage by causing lesions. Side effects include dizziness, lethargy and loss of appetite.

Clavamox (Amoxycillin)

Clavamox is one of many brand names for amoxycillin. The dog antibiotics come in tablets and oral drops. Veterinarians frequently prescribe Clavamox for abscesses, cellulites and skin infections.

Clavamox works by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Side effects include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. A typical dose is 6.25 milligrams per pound of body weight given twice a day.

Keflex (Cephalexin)

Keflex canine antibiotics come in gel caps or liquid. The liquid form mixes into your dog's water making it easy to give. The proper dosage is 10 to 15 milligrams per pound of a dog's weight twice a day.

Dog infections of the bones, joints, lungs, skin and urinary tract frequently receive Cephalexin as a treatment. The broad-spectrum dog antibiotics prevent bacteria and fungi from reproducing. Common side effects include diarrhea and nausea. Dogs with allergies to penicillin should not take Keflex.

Sumycin (Tetracycline)

Dogs diagnosed with Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Fever usually receive Tetracycline gel caps. The medication blocks the protein bacteria need to multiply. The most common side effects involve tooth discoloration and impaired bone growth, but nausea and diarrhea can also occur.

Dairy products hamper the effectiveness of Tetracycline, so dogs should not have any dairy items or foods with calcium for at least two hours before and after their dosage. The proper dosage is nine milligrams per pound of body weight.

Terramycin (Oxytetracycline HCI)

Terramycin is an antibiotic ointment used to treat infections such as conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers. The dog medication stops bacteria from creating the proteins they need to multiply. California is the only state where you must have a prescription for Terramycin.

Apply Terramycin on the inner eyelid where it mixes with tears to spread it across the surface of the eye. The only side effects are blurred vision and stinging of the eye.