Guide to Cefazolin for Dogs and Cats - High Power Antibiotic A Cephalosporin Bactericidal with the Greatest Serum Concentration

Hot Spots Pruritus (Scratching/Itching) Pyoderma (Skin Infection)
Indications for Cefazolin

Cefazolin is a cephalosporin bactericidal used to kill susceptible bacteria. Operating in much the same way as penicillin, cefazolin kills bacteria by damaging the way they form cell walls, making them unstable and more susceptible to antibodies. Only administered intravenously, and not a drug designed for pets, cefazolin is primarily given to pets with serious infections during a hospital stay, so the treatment can be overseen by the vet that prescribed it. Cefazolin is used to treat a wide variety of bacteria growth, such as skin infections, bone infections, infected wounds, pneumonia, and bladder infections.


Cefazolin should not be given to pets that are currently being treated with other antibiotics unless prescribed by a vet. Dogs or cats that are sensitive to penicillin or other cephalosporin type antibiotics should not be given cefazolin, as they are likely sensitive to this drug as well.


Dogs and Cats are recommended a dosage of anywhere between 10-30 mg/kg via IV every 6-8 hours. For protection against bacterial infection prior to a surgery, it is recommended to give 20 mg/kg IV before, and every 2 hours during the procedure.

Side Effects

Common side effects of cefazolin are vomiting or diarrhea after a treatment. These symptoms are not normally serious, but are a sign that your pet is sensitive to the drug. Cefazolin can cause sensitivity or pain at the injection site, or a sterile abscess. Animals that are hypersensitive to drugs of this type might experience anaphylaxis, rashes, fevers, and blood changes. Kidney damage is an uncommon side effect, and usually only occurs in pets with kidney problems to begin with. High doses, or prolonged treatment, can result in neurotoxicity, neutropenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, hepatitis, interstitial nephritis, positive Coomb's test, or tubular necrosis.

Brand/Generic Equivalents

Ancef, Kefzol, Zolicef, Cefazolin sodium

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