Cephalexin for dogs is the generic version of an antibiotic commonly sold under the brand name Keflex. It is given orally to dogs to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections.
How to use it
Cephalexin is only available with a prescription from a veterinarian. The dosing instructions given by the veterinarian should be followed precisely. In general, however, the medication is usually given twice a day orally for ten days. Cephalexin comes in capsules, tablets, and a liquid suspension.
Ask your veterinarian to demonstrate how to give a pill to a dog, or try hiding the pills in food to get the dog to consume them. Alternatively, a commercial product like a Pill Pocket can be used to tempt the dog to consume the medication. The liquid suspension can be added to the dog's food or squirted with a syringe into the back of the dog's throat.
It is vital to complete the entire course of antibiotics, even if your dog's symptoms resolve before finishing the treatment course.
How it works
This antibiotic is a member of the class of antibiotics called cephalosporins. It causes the cell wall of bacteria to rupture, instantly killing the pathogen. It is effective against both Gram-positive and -negative bacteria.
Conditions it is used to treat
Cephalexin for dogs is used to treat many different bacterial infections, including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Respiratory tract infections
- Infections of the skin
- Infections of the ears
- Hot spots
- Bone infections
- Staphylococcal infections
- Streptococcus infections
Cephalexin may also be administered to help prevent infections of wounds and abscesses, such as might occur after a dog fight or a dog tangling with a raccoon.
Although considered to be very safe, this antibiotic can cause vomiting, nausea, and anorexia. Rare side effects include panting, rapid breathing, excessive drooling, skin rashes, and excitability.
Some dogs are allergic to this medication and may have a severe reaction to it; if your dog's face swells up or your dog appears to be having difficulty breathing, administer an Epipen if you have one and then contact your veterinarian immediately. A severe allergic reaction is a medical emergency and can cause death. Dogs that have had allergic reactions to penicillin or cephalosporins previously should not take cephalexin.
Dogs that have pre-existing kidney disease may have their disease worsen while taking this medication.