Dogs & Zithromax

by Betty Lewis
    Middle-ear infection? Zithromax may help.

    Middle-ear infection? Zithromax may help.

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    If the vet prescribed Zithromax for your dog, Gus is taking the branded version of the antibiotic azithromycin. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug's use for humans but not for animals. However, the vet can legally prescribe it for Gus as an extra-label drug.

    Zithromax is in the class of macrolide antibiotics and is rapidly absorbed and distributed through your dog's body when he takes a dose. It's effective on a variety of bacterial infections, including skin and respiratory infections, as well as inflammation of the middle ear. If Gus has a sensitivity or allergy to macrolide antibiotics or if he has liver disease, he'll have to take a pass on Zithromax. This drug has potential side effects, including abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Additionally, the possibility of cardiac arrhythmias and renal dysfunction exists. Zithromax can have serious consequences if it's used with other drugs, so give your vet a complete list of any medication Gus takes. And if Gus is a Gussie and she's pregnant or nursing, she shouldn't take Zithromax because it's not confirmed as safe for pregnant or lactating dogs.

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    About the Author

    Betty Lewis is a writer and editor specializing in pet care, animals, careers and emergency management. She previously ran an animal shelter, where she also served as a kennel attendant and dog trainer. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, an M.B.A. and a master's degree in professional studies.

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