Ciprofloxacin (Cipro®, Ciloxan®) for Dogs and Cats
Overview of Ciprofloxacin for Canines and Felines
- Ciprofloxacin, commonly referred to as Cipro®, is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat infections in dogs and cats caused by susceptible bacteria.
- Ciprofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat infections in animals caused by susceptible bacteria.
- This drug is classified as a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. Other drugs in this class include Enrofloxacin (Baytril®) and Pradofloxacin (Veraflox®). Ciprofloxacin is sometimes used in large dogs in place of the more expensive Enrofloxacin (Baytril). Some debate exists on the how well Ciprofloxacin is absorbed in cats and dogs and is therefore not recommended by some veterinarians.
- Ciprofloxacin is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
- This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.
Brand Names and Other Names for Ciprofloxacin
- This drug is registered for use in humans only.
- Human formulations: Cipro® (Bayer), Ciloxan® (Alcon)
- Veterinary formulations: None
Uses of Ciprofloxacin for Dogs and Cats
- Ciprofloxacin is used to treat a variety of infections, including skin infections, urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, and wound infections caused by susceptible bacteria. There is an ear formulation used to treat ear infections and an eye formulation for ocular infections. While ciprofloxacin is highly effective, some bacteria are resistant to its effects.
- Ciprofloxacin is not effective for treating infections caused by viruses, parasites, or molds.
Precautions and Side Effects
- While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, ciprofloxacin can cause side effects in some animals.
- Ciprofloxacin should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
- Young animals treated with ciprofloxacin may develop damage to the cartilage of their joints. Swollen joints and lameness are clinical signs that may be observed. This has not been shown to happen when the ear and eye formulations are used.
- Ciprofloxacin should not be administered to puppies. Those between the ages of four and 28 weeks are the most susceptible.
- Ciprofloxacin has a good safety record and adverse reactions are uncommon. Occasionally, some animals develop diarrhea or loose stools from ciprofloxacin.
- Ciprofloxacin may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with ciprofloxacin. Such drugs include theophylline, antacids, iron supplements, sucralfate, cyclosporine and various other antibiotics.
How Ciprofloxacin Is Supplied
- Ciprofloxacin is available in tablets of 100, 250, 500 and 750 mg. There is also a 5 percent and 10 percent suspension and an injection of 2 mg/ml and 10 mg/ml.
- The ear formulation is available as a suspension containing 2 mg ciprofloxacin and 10 mg hydrocortisone in a 10 ml bottle. Ciprofloxacin ophthalmic is available as a 0.3% solution in 2.5 ml, 5 ml or 10 ml bottles, and as a 0.3% ointment in a 3.5 gm tube.
Dosing Information of Ciprofloxacin for Dogs and Cats
- Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
- The typical dose administered to dogs is 10 to 12 mg per pound per day (20 to 25 mg/kg per day) orally. The total daily dose can be divided and given every 12 hours.
- In cats, the dose used is 10 to 12.5 mg per pound (20 to 25 mg/kg) orally or intravenously once daily. The total daily dosage can also be divided (split) and given every 12 hours. Cats appear to metabolize other drugs in this class better than ciprofloxacin when given orally, therefore it is not commonly used.
- The ophthalmic form of ciprofloxacin is administered up to every 2 hours.
- The form of ciprofloxacin used to treat ear infections is administered twice daily.
- The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or prevent the development of resistance.