Major Uses

Ceftiofur is an injectable cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat infections in dogs, horses, and other animals, like cattle, sheep, and swine. The drug works by attacking the cell wall of bacteria and inhibits growth, resulting in cell death. It is used to treat urinary tract infections associated with E. Coli and Proteus mirabilis in dogs. For horses, the drug treats respiratory infections associated with Streptococcus zooepidemicus.

Common Precautions

Adverse effects with the use of ceftiofur are typically rare and mild. Animals may experience immediate and brief pain at the injection site. If given at high doses, horses may experience diarrhea, and it has been reported that high doses may cause bone marrow suppression in dogs. Thrombocytopnia (abnormally low platelet count) and anemia may also be possible when high doses are administered to dogs. Ceftiofur should be used with caution in animals with renal failure, and those that are pregnant or nursing. There are no indications for use of the drug in cats. Before administration, the pet's veterinarian should be aware of all medications the pet is taking since drug interactions are a possibility.

Ceftiofur should not be administered to animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug, other cephalosporins, or penecillins. Hypersensitive reactions may appear as rashes, fever, or anaphylaxis. Emergency care should be sought if any of these or other unusual reactions occur.


After reconstitution, ceftiofur can be stored in room temperature for up to 12 hours, or in the refrigerator for up to seven days. The drug should be protected from light.


Ceftiofur is only available in the injectable form in 1g and 4g vials. The typical dose for dogs is 1 mg/lb (2.2 mg/kg) every 24 hours subcutaneously for 5-14 days. For horses, the typical dose is 1 - 2 mg/lb (2.2 - 4.4 mg/kg) every 24 hours intramuscularly. Treatment should continue 48 hours after symptoms disappear and should not exceed 10 days for horses. Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

United States law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. A pet's veterinarian should be contacted with any questions about the administration of or response to any medication.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.