Educational Articles

Medications

  • Afoxolaner is used to treat and control flea and tick infestations in dogs. Sometimes afoxolaner is used for the treatment of sarcoptic mange or demodectic mange. The tablet should always be given as directed by your veterinarian. The majority of dogs have very few side effects from afoxolaner, provided it is given according to label recommendations and at the prescribed interval. If you suspect an overdose or negative reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately.

  • Allopurinol (brand names Lopurin®, Zyloprim®) is a drug used to prevent the recurrence of uric acid and calcium oxalate uroliths (stones) in dogs. This medication works by decreasing the production of uric acid in the body. It is also used in the treatment of leishmaniasis in dogs and cats and is usually combined with other drugs. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

  • Our dogs are part of the family. So, it's understandable that we reach for human medications when they feel poorly. Before you share the contents of your medicine cabinet with your dog, here are some tips regarding common over-the-counter medications.

  • Atovaquone (brand name Mepron®) is a drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and protozoa. It is often combined with other drugs to treat specific infections. Side effects from atovaquone have not been reported; however, any side effects that you observe should be reported to your veterinarian. Any side effects that you observe should be reported to your veterinarian.

  • Azithromycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used for a variety of bacterial, rickettsial, and parasitic infections in animals. It is often used in combination with atovaquone to treat babesiosis in dogs.

  • Cefpodoxime (brand names Simplicef ® and Vantin ®) is an oral antibiotic used to treat certain skin infections in dogs. It may be used off label to treat skin infections in cats and urinary tract infections in dogs. There are very few side effects of cefpodoxime, however it may cause complete loss of appetite in cats which can lead to serious complications. Some medications may interact with cefpodoxime, so it is important to tell your veterinarian about any medications that your pet is taking.

  • Cephalexin (brand names Rilexine®, Keflex®, Vetolexin®) is an oral antibiotic that is used to treat pyoderma and other bacterial skin infections in dogs and is used off label or extra-label in cats to treat pyoderma and some other types of skin infections. It is sometimes used off label or extra-label to treat urinary tract infections in cats and dogs. Side effects to cephalexin are usually mild and rarely occur. It may cause gastrointestinal upset including lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Do not use cephalexin in pets that have a known hypersensitivity or allergy to cephalosporins.

  • Cetirizine (brand name Zyrtec®, Reactine®) is an antihistamine used to treat pruritus (itching) associated with atopic dermatitis, urticaria (hives), and insect-bite reactions in cats and dogs. Its use is in cats and dogs is ‘off label’ or ‘extra-label’. Cetirizine does not typically cause any side effects. Vomiting and increased salivation has been observed in some dogs. Certain drugs are known to interact with cetirizine including central nervous system depressants (e.g., diazepam, alprazolam) and digoxin.

  • Chloramphenicol (brand names Chloromycetin® and Viceton®) is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat many different bacterial infections, including those caused by anaerobic bacteria and Rickettsia. Chloramphenicol comes in tablet form, capsules, as a liquid suspension, and also in an injectable form (chloramphenicol sodium succinate). Exposure in humans can have severe consequences that are irreversible, so care must be taken to avoid accidental exposure.

  • Cyclosporine is a medication that targets the immune system and is used to treat atopic (allergic) dermatitis in dogs and cats. Cyclosporine is given by mouth, in the form of a capsule for dogs and a liquid suspension for cats.