Ciprofloxacin for dogs is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, most commonly the urinary tract infection. Just as in humans, ciprofloxacin relieves symptoms of urinary tract infection, including urgency, urinary burning, and urinary frequency. The medication is also used for canine kidney infections. Symptoms of kidney infection in dogs are similar to those of a urinary tract infection, but may include back or flank pain and blood in the urine.
Other uses of ciprofloxacin for dogs include both upper and lower respiratory infections and skin infections. Ciprofloxacin is commonly used in the veterinary setting with good results. Cats can also benefit from this antibiotic to treat the same infectious conditions that it treats in dogs.
Cipro is especially effective for treating canine wound infections. When a dog sustains a deep tissue wound, it is at risk for developing a blood infection called sepsis, which can be life threatening. Ciprofloxacin is extremely effective in reducing this risk and eradicating the bacterial organism responsible for the infection. It is important to note, however, that unless the dog completes the entire course of prescribed antibiotics, the infection may return, and even worsen if it does return.
Although effective in treating bacterial infections, ciprofloxacin can produce side effects in dogs. Certain side effects can be mild, such as gastrointestinal upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sleeping, and dizziness. In addition, the dog may experience muscle pain, blurred vision, or stiffness in the joints. If not quickly treated, dehydration can occur as a result of gastrointestinal side effects.
When ciprofloxacin for dogs is given, pet owners or veterinarians should closely watch the animal for signs of more serious side effects. These include seizure activity, bloody diarrhea, fever, and jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or eyes. In addition, jaundice can turn the urine a dark brown color, which is sometimes referred to as tea-colored urine. When jaundice occurs, it can signify problems with the liver, so the medication should be immediately discontinued and the veterinarian notified.
Like with any medication, allergic reaction can occur when ciprofloxacin for dogs is administered. Generally, these reactions are limited to mild itching. Serious reactions that include swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat can occur, however, as can difficulty breathing and severe hives. If these side effects occur, the dog should be transported to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital for prompt evaluation and life-saving treatment.