Side Effects of Penicillin for Dogs

It is possible for vets to prescribe penicillin for dogs. The medicine is one of the few that works on both animals and humans. Unlike other medicines that fall into this category, it can only be prescribed by a vet and cannot be bought over the counter. It is safe for your dog to take penicillin in the doses prescribed but there are side effects you need to watch out for, especially if your dog has never taken this kind of medication before.

What Penicillin Does

Penicillin is a type of antibiotic. These are used to treat infections of different kinds. If your dog has been prescribed penicillin, it will be to fight off an internal or external infection. The dose of penicillin your pet has been given will have been decided by your vet. They will have taken into account the nature of the problem, your dog's weight and its age.

Your vet will administer penicillin in two ways. For serious infections they might give your dog an injection. Otherwise, you will be given a course of medication to give your dog at home. Antibiotic courses can last for weeks or months and it is important that you stick to regular doses for the duration of the treatment.

Side Effects of Penicillin

There are side effects that can be caused by penicillin. Side effects are rare but they can occur so it is important to be aware of them in case your dog develops symptoms.

It is possible for dogs to be allergic to penicillin. In this case, an allergic reaction can be life-threatening so it is crucial to get your dog to a vet immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include problems with breathing and, in severe cases, your dog could go into shock. There is nothing you will be able to do to help your dog yourself, he will need urgent attention from a vet.

Other dogs that aren't allergic to penicillin may also develop side effects. These include:

  • Wind or flatulence
  • Digestion problems, including diarrhoea
  • The development of fungi

Taking the Full Prescription

Penicillin only works properly if your dog takes the full course that was prescribed. It is common for pets to look much better a few days before the course of medication has ended. However, if you stop giving your dog the penicillin before the course is over then there is a chance the infection might return. At this point, the bacteria causing the infection might be immune to the effects of the penicillin so it will be even harder to cure your dog.

Although it can cause side effects, penicillin is an effective way of treating infections in dogs. Side effects are rare compared to the number of dogs that are prescribed penicillin but they are worth watching out for. Unless your dog has had an allergic reaction or your vet has told you to stop giving your pet the medicine, continue with the prescribed course. Soon, the infection will be gone and your dog can continue living a normal life.