Veterinarians prescribe the antibiotic clindamycin for dogs with various types of bacterial infections. Commonly given to dogs with deep tissue wounds or infection of the gums, clindamycin has been approved for canine use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Clindamycin may be administered to dogs in liquid form using a dropper, or in tablet or capsule form.
Some elderly dogs may be prone to dental problems and gum infections, which can be treated with the oral antibiotic clindamycin. The antibiotic prohibits the growth of harmful bacteria in dogs, and helps control infections. Periodontal disease in older dogs may be serious, as an elderly dog's immune system may be weakened. In addition to antibiotic therapy, other procedures such as tooth extraction or scaling may be necessary.
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Clindamycin is commonly prescribed for infections caused by an anaerobic organism. This type of organism can multiply and survive without oxygen, causing infection in a dog. The presence of oxygen, however, may actually destroy certain strains of bacteria.
Dogs that develop a soft tissue infection are often treated with clindamycin. When a dog exhibits signs of a soft tissue infection, including discoloration around the gums, vomiting, or difficulty in chewing, a proper diagnosis is needed to determine the course of treatment. Dogs diagnosed with soft tissue infection must receive the full course of clindamycin to ensure full recovery.
When a dog develops an abscess, which generally causes pus and inflammation near a wound site, it can often be treated with clindamycin. Clindamycin for dogs with an abscessed puncture wound may be prescribed for up to three weeks. An oral abscess will generally require a 10-day treatment.
Canine bone infections can cause serious complications that can be fatal if not treated promptly. A biopsy of the affected bone may be performed in some cases. Veterinarians may prescribe clindamycin for dogs with bone infections that have not metastasized to other areas of the body. Inflammation may be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, as well as oral antibiotics.
As with any oral antibiotic, there is a risk of side effects when administering clindamycin for dogs. In most cases, side effects will be mild and may include diarrhea or vomiting, which may resolve after a day or two. Some dogs may experience serious allergic reactions to clindamycin, such as breathing difficulties or seizures. Any unusual side effects should be reported to a veterinarian at once.