Cephalexin For Dogs – How It Works, Side Effects and Dosage
How Does Cephalexin Work?
The main active ingredient in cephalosporins (or cephalopods) is called ceftriaxone. Ceftriaxone works by inhibiting the bacteria responsible for causing anthrax.
It inhibits the production of toxins in the bacterium which causes it to die. It also kills other types of bacteria present in your body. These include Staphylococcus aureus (strep throat), Streptococcus pyogenes (pyogenic staph infection), Enterobacteriaceae (the cause of food poisoning) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (kleb pharyngitis).
What Are The Side Effects Of Cephalexin For Dogs?
There are no known negative side effects associated with using cephalosporins for dogs. However, there have been reports of allergic reactions such as hives or swelling at the injection site. If you experience any symptoms, stop taking the medication immediately and consult your veterinarian. Also, if you develop a rash after treatment, wash your hands thoroughly before touching anything else.
There have also been reports of anaphylactic shock which is a serious allergic reaction. If you experience swelling of the throat, tongue or face, difficulty in breathing, rapid heartbeat or anxiety after taking cephalosporin medication you should seek emergency medical attention immediately.
What Are The Precautions For Using Cephalexin For Dogs?
It is important to keep an eye on your dog during treatment and especially after the course is completed. Some owners have reported an increase in vomiting or diarrhea a few days after the completion of treatment. If this happens, or if your pet starts showing any signs of discomfort, contact your veterinarian immediately.
It is also important to note that cephalosporins should not be used in animals that are allergic to penicillin as there is a risk of anaphylactic shock.
Does Cephalexin For Dogs Cause Diarrhea?
There are a few reports of dogs that have experienced diarrhea (sometimes severe) after taking cephalosporin medication. This is thought to be due to the effects on gut bacteria and therefore care should be taken in animals with a history of diarrhea.
How Long Does It Take Cephalexin For Dogs To Work?
The onset of action for cephalosporins, including cephalexin, is about 1 hour. However, this is thought to last for 4 hours so it is necessary to give the medication twice daily.
How Long Does It Take Cephalosporin Treatment To Work?
It takes anywhere from 1 to 5 days for cephalosporins to start working. Cephalosporins can be given as a single dose or in divided doses (2-4 times daily).
Cephalexin For Dogs Dosage
Size is important when it comes to cephalexin dosages for dogs. This is mainly due to the low toxicity of the drug but it also has to do with the fact that cephalosporins are not highly absorbed in the intestines. This means that there is very little wastage and as a result, very little builds up in the body.
For a typical 10 lb (4.5 kg) dog the dosage would be:
Under 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of weight – 4.4 mg per pound of weight (1.0 mg per 1 kg of weight)
10-25 pounds (4.5-11 kg) of weight – 10 mg per pound of weight (2.0 mg per 1 kg of weight)
25-50 pounds (11-22.5 kg) – 20 mg per pound of weight (4.0 mg per 1 kg of weight)
Over 50 pounds (22.5 kg) – 40 mg per pound of weight (8.0 mg per 1 kg of weight)
What Is The Dosage For A Dog Of Unknown Weight?
For a dog that is not known to weigh over 50 pounds (22.5 kg), you should give 2 tablets of the cephalosporin of your choice.
Sources & references used in this article:
- The environmental side effects of medication: How are human and veterinary medicines in soils and water bodies affecting human and environmental health? (ABA Boxall – EMBO reports, 2004 – embopress.org)
- Long-term evaluation of canine perianal fistula disease treated with exclusive fish and potato diet and surgical excision (RL Lombardi, DJ Marino – Journal of the American Animal …, 2008 – meridian.allenpress.com)
- Antiviral Therapy in Cats–What Works and What Doesn’t World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2006 (A Radford – vin.com)
- Treatment of severe adverse cutaneous drug reactions with human intravenous immunoglobulin in two dogs (TK Trotman, H Phillips, H Fordyce… – Journal of the …, 2006 – meridian.allenpress.com)