A Guide to Ciprofloxacin for Dogs

The Multipurpose, Widely Used Antibiotic for Dogs and Cats

By Sam Bourne.

  • URI (Upper Respiratory Infection)
  • Urinary Tract Infection

indications for Ciprofloxacin

Ciprofloxacin is a strong, broad spectrum antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections. Broad spectrum means this antibiotic fights against a number of different strains of bacteria. Ciprofloxacin should only be used if other, more direct types of antibiotic are ineffective, since overuse of a broad spectrum antibiotic promotes the adaptation of existing bacteria into a stronger, more resilient strain.


Ciprofloxacin should not be given if your pet has a known sensitivity or allergy to antibiotics. Dogs with damage to their central nervous system should take ciprofloxacin with caution, since it may increase the risk of seizures. Patients with kidney or liver disease should have their dosages adjusted based on their condition. Ciprofloxacin has been banned for use during pregnancy or in pets up to 8 months old, and in large dogs up to a year old.


If given orally, it is most effective if taken on an empty stomach.

Dogs and cats should be given anywhere between 5-15 mg/kg every 12 hours.

Brand/Generic equivalents


Side Effects

Ciprofloxacin can (in rare cases) cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, cartilage damage has occurred, as well as crystalluria, which is the appearance of crystals in the urine. Long term use of Ciprofloxacin can result in a clouding of the lens inside the eye, or a cataract, as well as inflammation around the eye. Ocular side effects are especially frequent when used in cats, who are at risk of retinal damage and, in some cases, blindness. Cats should only take this drug with serious caution. In cases of and IV, rapid injection can lead to hypotension. Cats may also be at risk for symptomatic vomiting and muscle spasms of the colon, and a redness of their ears.

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Ciprofloxacin at a glance

  • 1For dogs and cats
  • 2An antibiotic
  • 3Taken orally or intravenously
  • 4Kills susceptible bacteria

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