If you have ever had a bacterial infection, you may have been prescribed cephalexin (generic Keflex) to treat it. If your cat or dog has developed a bacterial infection, you may now be wondering what medications can be used to treat them. While you should never give your pet your own leftover medications, it is possible to treat your dog or cat with cephalexin as long as your vet writes you a prescription.
What is Cephalexin?
Cephalexin is a cephalosporin antibiotic and works much like penicillin. It is also very similar to the pet medication cefradoxil, and some vets prescribe these two drugs interchangeably. Cephalexin treats bacterial infections by preventing the bacteria from forming protective cell walls, which eventually causes the bacteria cells to die. In animals, it is most commonly used to treat bladder infections, wound infections, skin infection, bone infections, and pneumonia. It only works against bacterial infections and should not be used to treat infections caused by parasites.
What to Know Before Treating Your Pet with Cephalexin
Just as you should always discuss your medical history with your doctor before starting a new medication, you should talk to your vet about your pet’s medical history before getting a prescription for cephalexin. If your cat or dog has an allergy to cephalosporin antibiotics or penicillin, they should not take this drug. If your pet is currently taking any other medications, let your vet know, as certain drugs may interact with cephalexin. If your pet has kidney failure, cephalosporin should be administered carefully, and your doctor may need to prescribe a reduced dosage.
Cephalexin comes in 250mg and 500mg capsules, and for most cats and dogs, the prescribed dose will be 10-15mg per pound every 8-12 hours. However, if your vet gives you different dosage instructions, you should always defer to her or him. Cephalexin’s cost is relatively cheap compared to other prescription medications and can often be bought for under $15 for 40 capsules. Cephalexin usually does not cause serious side effects in pets, although it may cause vomiting if your cat or dog is particularly sensitive to the drug. To reduce the likelihood that your pet will throw up, give them the medication with one of their meals.
You may already know that when you take antibiotics, you need to follow the entire prescribed course of treatment, even if you start feeling better. This is because stopping a course of antibiotics early may allow the infection to return and can make the bacteria more resistant to the antibiotic. The same is true when antibiotics are prescribed to animals, so make sure your pet takes cephalexin for as long as your vet has prescribed the drug. When taken as prescribed, this medication should completely eliminate the bacterial infection in your pet. For more information about cephalexin, visit our Cephalexin Drug Page. On this page, you’ll also find free discount coupons to save on cephalexin for both you and your pet today. Plus, check our Pet Medicine Page for additional discounts on pet meds.