Baytril for dogs is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat a variety of infections, including those of the skin, urinary tract, and respiratory system.
How to use
Baytril for dogs is only available with a prescription from a veterinarian. It should be given exactly as directed by the prescribing veterinarian, but in general, Baytril is given once a day.
The product comes as a flavored chew and as a regular tablet. Ask your veterinarian to demonstrate how to pill a dog, or cover the tablet with peanut butter, cheese, liverwurst, canned dog food, or a commercial product such as Pill Pockets to encourage the dog to swallow the tablet.
It is essential to complete the entire course of treatment prescribed by the veterinarian, even if the dog's symptoms go away before the course has been completed.
The use of Baytril is contradicted during rapid phases of puppy growth (up to 8 months of age for small and medium-sized dogs, up to 12 months of age for large dogs, and up to 18 months of age for giant breed dogs) because it can cause cartilage lesions in the developing joints.
How it works
Baytril's active ingredient is the antibiotic enrofloxacin, a member of the class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. These antibiotics are active against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial species. They bind to two different enzymes, DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV, that are essential for bacterial DNA to replicate itself; thus, they block bacteria from proliferating. Because they simultaneously target two different enzymes, it is difficult for bacteria to develop resistance against them.
However, in 2005, the FDA banned the use of enrofloxacin in poultry because the wide-spread practice of supplementing poultry drinking water with enrofloxacin had lead to several outbreaks of fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter species.
Antibiotics of this type are readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and have a long half-life in the body, allowing them to be administered only once a day. Since they are cleared chemically unchanged from the body via the kidneys, they accumulate at high levels in the kidneys and bladder, making them particularly attractive for treating urinary tract infections.
Once ingested, enrofloxacin can be modified in the liver and turn into ciprofloxacin, which is another fluoroquinolone antibiotic with a similar mode of action and chemistry as enrofloxacin.
Baytril is generally quite safe. However, like all medications, it can have side effects. Common side effects of Baytril include gastrointestinal upset, allergic reactions, skin rashes, and headaches. Rare side effects of Baytril include seizures, hallucinations, altered heartbeat, tendon rupture, and liver damage.