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Enrofloxacin for Dogs

Dog laying down on the ground in the house feeling sick as has an infection
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Medication details

  • Medication type: Antibiotic
  • Form: Tablet, Injection, Oral solution, Otic drops
  • Prescription required? Yes
  • FDA approved? Yes
  • Life stage: All
  • Brand names: Baytril, Enroquin, Zobuxa, Enroflox, Enrotab
  • Common names: Enrofloxacin
  • Available dosages: Tablets: 22.7mg, 68mg, 136mg; can be compounded into additional strengths, such as: 15mg, 50mg, 150mg, and 200mg; Injectable solution: 22.7mg/ml, 100mg/ml; Oral liquid: Can be compounded into oral liquid in different strengths
  • Expiration range: Approximately 5 years for tablets; other formulations expire much faster
  • Warning: Use with caution in puppies and pregnant animals

If your dog has an infection, your veterinarian may prescribe enrofloxacin to treat it. Enrofloxacin is an antibiotic that is commonly used to treat infections in dogs and cats, including some infections that are more difficult to treat. It is a safe and effective drug in most animals, but it does have some potential side effects to be aware of. Before giving your dog their first dose of enrofloxacin, here’s what you need to know about this medication.

What is Enrofloxacin?

Dog looking to camera with head tilt

Enrofloxacin is an antibiotic that is FDA approved for use in dogs, cats, and other animal species and is commonly used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections. It is available both as a brand-name drug (e.g., Baytril) and in several generic forms. With a prescription, pet owners can purchase this medication through their veterinarian or through any pharmacy that dispenses veterinary medications.

What Does Enrofloxacin for Dogs Look Like?

Enrofloxacin for dogs comes in many different forms, so it’s important to always check the bottle and be sure that you are giving the correct medication. Brand name Baytril is typically dispensed as Taste Tabs, which are round, light brown, scored tablets with a B in one corner and a number corresponding to the dosage in the opposite corner. Generic forms of enrofloxacin may look very different. If in doubt, take an extra moment to confirm the name and dosage on the bottle, and contact your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.

What is Enrofloxacin Used For In Dogs?

Dog smiling happy outside

Enrofloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections in dogs because it is highly effective against strains that resist other antibiotics. 

In dogs, enrofloxacin is most commonly prescribed to treat urinary tract infections and skin infections, such as staph infections. It may be also used to treat conditions including, but not limited to:

  • Wounds
  • Abscesses
  • Gastrointestinal tract infections
  • Respiratory infections, such as kennel cough

Enrofloxacin is also effective against difficult-to-treat infections, such as:

How Does Enrofloxacin Work?

Enrofloxacin is used to treat bacterial infections in dogs. It works by interfering with the bacteria’s ability to make DNA, causing the bacteria to die. 

Enrofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, meaning it works against the two major bacterial groups. It is active against many aerobic bacteria (i.e., those that require oxygen to survive), though it is not effective against anaerobic bacteria (which do not require oxygen), viruses, or fungal infections. 

How to Give Enrofloxacin to Dogs

Prescription pill bottle in front of dog

Enrofloxacin is typically administered by mouth in the form of tablets or oral solutions. It is a component of many topical ear medications, as well. Enrofloxacin is also available in an injectable form which may be administered intravenously (injected directly into a vein), intramuscularly (injected deep into a muscle and absorbed by blood vessels), and subcutaneously (injected into the innermost layer of the skin and absorbed slowly).

When giving your dog enrofloxacin by mouth, be sure to give it with a full meal. Like most antibiotics, enrofloxacin can cause gastrointestinal upset, especially when given on an empty stomach. If you have trouble getting your dog to take enrofloxacin, hiding the tablets in food or a favorite treat may tempt your dog to take them!

Enrofloxacin Side Effects in Dogs

Dog feeling lethargic at home laying on the ground

When giving enrofloxacin to your dog, it’s important to watch out for possible side effects. Most dogs tolerate enrofloxacin well, but some do develop side effects commonly associated with antibiotics, like stomach upset. Enrofloxacin does not make dogs sleepy, but it can cause other side effects such as: 

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms while taking enrofloxacin, stop giving the medication and call your veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian may recommend changing the dose, switching to another medication, or altering the way you give the medication to help reduce the side effects for your dog.

Reactions with Other Drugs and Medications

Enrofloxacin should not be given with medications such as sucralfate, antacids, or mineral supplements, as these medications may decrease the absorption and bioavailability of enrofloxacin.

Enrofloxacin may also have a decreased effect when mixed with tetracycline and macrolide antibiotics.

Dogs on the medication theophylline should be monitored closely when taking enrofloxacin in combination with this medication, as enrofloxacin can increase blood theophylline levels in dogs. It may be necessary to monitor theophylline plasma levels and adjust your dog’s dosage of theophylline while taking enrofloxacin.

Enrofloxacin Dosage for Dogs

Dog at the vet getting medication

The dosage of enrofloxacin varies widely depending on the size of your dog and the infection being treated. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions for dosing to ensure your dog receives the proper treatment. Do not stop giving enrofloxacin even if your dog appears to be feeling better. It is essential to complete the full course of medication to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance and recurrent infections.

What If My Dog Misses a Dose of Enrofloxacin?

If your dog misses a dose of Enrofloxacin, give the dose as soon as you remember. Though if you give that dose close to the time of your dog’s next scheduled dose, skip the scheduled dose and continue on with the next dose as prescribed. Do not double up on doses, as this can increase the risk of side effects.

Cost of Enrofloxacin for Dogs

The cost of enrofloxacin for dogs varies widely depending on the dose your dog receives, the length of time your dog needs to be on medication, whether your veterinarian prescribes a brand name or generic medication, and the region of the country you live in. 

In general, pet owners can expect to spend anywhere between $50-$200 for a month’s supply of enrofloxacin, depending on these factors.

Enrofloxacin Storage Instructions

Tablets should be stored in a cool, dry place and protected from direct sunlight. Do not freeze Enrofloxacin tablets. Liquid formulations may require refrigeration depending on the manufacturer. Please check the manufacturer’s instructions on the box or package insert before storing this product.