Levofloxacin is a type of fluoroquinolone antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections in both people and pets. While it is only approved for use in humans by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, you vet may prescribe it for your pooch "off label" if he has a serious infection.
Levofloxacin Usage in Dogs
Only your vet can prescribe levofloxacin for your pup, although fluoroquinolones such as enrofloxacin or ciprofloxacin are more commonly prescribed for canines. These drugs treat bacterial infections of the bladder, skin, kidneys, prostate, ears and lungs, according to Dr. Eric Barchas, DVM. An article published in the 2011 edition of "Life Science Journal" showed that levofloxacin was able to treat dogs infected with some types of salmonella bacteria. Levofloxacin is typically given orally to a dog, either as a pill or as a liquid, for no more than two weeks, although some infections may require a longer dosing period.
Side Effects and Concerns
Levofloxacin can cause joint problems and low blood pressure in dogs, especially growing puppies, warns the FDA. Slight musculoskeletal effects were seen in doses as low as 2.5 mg/kg per day. Other possible side effects may include vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. Discuss any side effects you notice with your vet, who will recommend whether or not to stop treatment. Stick to your vet's dosage -- overdosing your pup on levofloxacin can result in symptoms like tremors and convulsions.
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