Gentamicin for Dogs

Gentamicin is a drug from the group of antibiotics and it is effective in reducing bacteria. Gentamicin acts as a protein synthesis inhibitor, resulting in no development for the bacteria and ultimately the death of bacteria.

Gentamicin for Dogs

Gentamicin is an antibiotic from the class of aminoglycosides, which suppress bacterial synthesis and development. Antibiotics from the same groups as gentamicin include amikacin, kanamycin and neomycin. Gentamicin fights bacteria that may infect the blood, the respiratory system, skin or ears. Gentamicin is marketed as Garamycin, Gentocin and Jenamicin and has been approved for use in dogs.

Uses of Gentamicin

Gentamicin is effective in the following health problems in dogs:

  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Surgery infections
  • Wounds
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood infections
  • Skin infections
  • Ear infections
  • Internal organ infections

The vet may decide to prescribe gentamicin for other medical conditions if needed. Gentamicin can also be used in conjunction with other treatments, if the infection is a secondary condition.

Dosage Information

Gentamicin is only available through prescription. You should never use gentamicin on your dog unless recommended by your vet. Don't use gentamicin formulated for humans, as your pet may not react well and the dose can be toxic. The dosage of gentamicin will be determined by the vet, considering a few factors such as:

  • The dog's condition
  • The size and weight
  • The age
  • The dog's response to the drug

Gentamicin is available in tablets or injectible form. Topical ointments containing gentamicin may also be recommended for skin infections. Always administer the full treatment as prescribed by the vet. If discontinued abruptly, the dog may develop resistance to gentamicin and this drug will no longer be effective in your pet, should it be prescribed at a later date.

Side Effects

Gentamicin is safer than other antibiotics used in pets. Fewer dogs develop an allergic reaction to gentamicin than to other antibiotics. Side effects are rare, but the dog may experience the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Skin rashes
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver disease
  • Dehydration
  • Hearing loss, typically temporary
  • Temporary lack of balance
  • Muscle spasms or temporary paralysis

As with all antibiotics, a lengthy administration of gentamicin is more likely to cause side effects. Gentamicin is only recommended for a two- to three-week use.


Gentamicin shouldn't be administered to dogs that have kidney or liver problems. The vet will perform a few quick tests to determine if gentamicin can be applied in your pet.

Dogs with allergies should also be tested prior to a cure of gentamicin. If the dog is allergic to gentamicin, the treatment should not be administered.

If the dog is dehydrated, gentamicin is not recommended.

If gentamicin is used as ointment, make sure to protect the eyes, as the cream can cause serious eye irritation.

Gentamicin may also interact with some drugs, so do let the vet know if the dog is under any medication.