Clindamycin for Dogs

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As much as we try to protect our furry friends from accidents, injuries and illness, we have to realize that sometimes these things just happen. We can’t be there to protect them from everything after all.

When the unfortunate happens we are lucky enough to have many great veterinarians prepared to care for and patch up our pets. In many cases, dogs (and cats) will be prescribed a medication to help ease or heal the animal’s condition while recovering.

One such medication is Clindamycin, which is most often prescribed to dogs.

What is Clindamycin and what is it for?

Clindamycin is an antibiotic prescription drug given to dogs to treat bacterial infections. It can be used to treat a wide array of different infections including dental, bone and soft tissue infections.

It comes in three different forms, tablets, capsules and liquid. The most common however is tablets and capsules. Clindamycin can be purchased online which is often less expensive than your vet’s office.

How Much Should I Give My Dog?

Your vet should give you proper administration instructions before sending you home with a prescription medication such as Clindamycin. The general instructions for this medication suggest 2.5-15mg per pound every twelve hours.

The exact dosage will depend on your pets condition, what the medication is treating and should be determined by your vet. The same goes for the length of time you should give your dog this medication.

Usually a pet will be on antibiotics for about a week, twice a day – however for some conditions you may want to have your dog on the medication for more like 2-3 weeks. However you should not have your pet on this medication for more than 28 days.

How Can I get My Dog to Take a Pill?

The liquid version of Clindamycin was primarily made for dogs who are hard to feed pills to. If your vet does not have the liquid form available or you have already been provided with tablets or capsules and you are having a hard time, here are a few things to try:

Pill-Pockets are a pretty slick way to get your dog to eat a pill without having to sacrifice food from your refrigerator. Most dogs will happily gobble up the treat disguised pill without question.

However there are some very clever dogs out there who are not fooled by this method, some even talented enough to eat the treat and leave the pill.

You may have better luck with a piece of American cheese or lunch meat – that was always the winner for my dogs – though you may still run into the too clever issue, and you may have to force it down, or if it’s a chewable tablet break it up into their food.

Most of the time, it is pretty easy to trick your dog into eating the pill – just distract them with something they deem delicious!

Should You Ask Your Vet About Clindamycin?

If your dog is undergoing a surgical procedure and your vet has not yet mentioned any medications they will need after you may want to bring this one up. Since it is able to fight off bacteria it is often given to prevent infection after some invasive procedures.

You may also want to talk to your vet about this medication if your dog was diagnosed with periodontal disease. This medication can help clear up this infection, along with getting your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned by your vet.

In the event that your dog was bitten by another dog or animal, scratched or has a wound at all that has become infected it can be very dangerous. If your vet hasn’t mentioned Clindamycin then ask them about it – they may have a reason to have prescribed something different.

Also, if you think there is any risk of your dog being allergic to this medication then you should absolutely talk to your vet. Allergic reactions can be dangerous and even deadly depending on the severity – when this situation is preventable, do your best to do so.

Are There Any Side Effects?

In most cases dogs are perfectly fine while on Clindamycin, though there is a risk of allergic reaction which can cause labored breathing, hives and more. If your dog is showing signs like these then you should call your vet (or an emergency vet) immediately.

Other possible side effects, though rare, include vomiting, diarrhea (which may contain blood) and loss of appetite. If your dog is having diarrhea and there is noticeable blood you should call your vet right away.

Other symptoms should decrease over time, though if your dog will not eat or drink or has been vomiting for more than 24 hours you should have them looked at right away.

Common FAQs about Clindamycin

Can it be given to Cats?

Clindamycin is FDA approved for veterinary use in dogs only. However it is often prescribed to cats and is a trusted feline medication according to most vets.

Can it be used out of date?

While it does not often have any worse side effects after the use-by date, the medication is no longer the same potency. Therefore it will no longer be able to fight bacterial infections properly, so using out of date medications is not suggested.

Can it be given with other medications?

You should discuss with your vet before using Clindamycin if your dog is on other prescription medications, taking vitamins or supplements for other conditions. It may cause harmful side effects when mixed with some medications and treatments.

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