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Cephalexin

Cephalexin is a broad spectrum antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, urinary tract, respiratory tract, bones and joints. It is available as 250mg and 500mg capsules and as a liquid containing 250mg/5ml. When mixed with water the liquid should be kept in the refrigerator and any unused portion should be discarded after 14 days. The usual dose for dogs and cats is 5-15mg/pound by mouth every 8 to 12 hours. (Sold per capsule)

Generic Name
Cephalosporin’s (sef-a-low-spore’-in)

Manufacturer
Various

Brand Name(s)

First Generation
cefazolin cefazolin: Ancef (GlaxoSmithKline) and Kefzol (Lilly); cephalexin cefazolin cefazolin: Ancef (GlaxoSmithKline) and Kefzol (Lilly); cephalexin: Keflex (Dista); cefadroxil cefazolin cefazolin: Ancef (GlaxoSmithKline) and Kefzol (Lilly); cephalexin cefazolin cefazolin: Ancef (GlaxoSmithKline) and Kefzol (Lilly); cephalexin: Keflex (Dista); cefadroxil: Cefa-Drops and Cefa-Tabs (Fort Dodge)

Second Generation
cefaclor cefaclor: Ceclor (Lilly)

Third Generation
ceftiofur ceftiofur: Naxcel (Pharmacia and Upjohn)

What is this medication used for
Cephalosporin’s are broad spectrum bactericidal antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, urinary tract, respiratory tract, bones and joints. Cefadroxil is the most commonly prescribed, FDA approved medication used to treat dogs and cats. It is a commonly accepted practice by veterinarians, however, to use other forms of cephalosporin, such as cephalexin, which is not FDA approved for use in dogs and cats.

Availability
Cephalosporin’s are prescription medications available as tablets, capsules, oral suspension and injectable.

How this medicine should be used
The usual dose of cefadroxil in dogs is 10mg/pound twice a day. The usual dose in cats is 10mg/pound once a day. It is not uncommon to use this medication for serious infections while a culture to determine the specific antibiotic to use is being done. Consult your veterinarian for the dose of other drugs in this class for the specific condition being treated.

What are the side effects
The side effects when using cephalosporin’s, which may include loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea, are rare. Allergic reactions such as itching, rash and difficulty breathing may occur. Side effects in dogs may also include drooling, rapid breathing and excitability. Fever and vomiting are additional side effects that may occur in cats.

What special precautions are there
This medication should not be used in animals allergic to penicillin or cephalosporin’s. Use with caution in pregnant and nursing animals. Use with caution in animals when given with probenecid or aminoglycosides such as neomycin and gentamicin. Use with caution when given with other drugs that may affect the kidneys. Always tell your veterinarian and pharmacist what other medications your pet is taking.

In the event of an overdose
Contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency room. Symptoms of overdose may include vomiting and diarrhea

How should I store this medication
Keep tablets and capsules in the container they came in, tightly closed. Store at room temperature, away from excess heat, light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. After mixing with water, the oral suspension should be kept in the refrigerator and any unused portion should be discarded after 14 days. Shake well before use. Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

This information sheet is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.

The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian.

Note: Any trademarks are the property of their respective companies

 

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