Major Uses

Clindamycin is an antibacterial drug that is used to treat a variety of bacterial ailments in dogs, cats, and large animals such as horses. It is typically used to treat infections involving the skin, respiratory tract, and mouth.

Staphylococcus (staph infection) and Streptococcus (strep throat) are two common bacterial infections that Clindamycin is used to treat. Its efficacy for use in treating Toxoplasma is controversial and undecided.

Common Precautions

Adverse side effects include vomiting and diarrhea due to the altering of the animal's bacterial population in the digestive tract. Clindamycin kills all bacteria, even good bacteria, not just the type causing infection. In cats, this medication has been associated with esophageal lesions. It has high alcohol content (8.6%) and is unpalatable to cats in liquid form.

Clindamycin should not be administered to rodents or rabbits because it may cause diarrhea. Horses should not be given Clindamycin orally due to the chance of diarrhea or even death. The drug should never be administered orally to large animals. When administered intramuscularly, it should never be mixed with other medications in the same IV line, syringe, or vial.

Clindamycin should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Overdoses can produce life-threatening cardio-toxicity, and if overdose occurs, a poison control center should be called immediately.


Clindamycin should be stored at room temperature and protected from moisture in a tightly sealed container. The container should be protected from freezing. Reconstituted solutions are stable for 2 weeks, and stability of compounded solutions is at least 6 weeks.


Clindamycin is available in 25, 75, and 110mg tablets, 300mg capsules, and 25mg/mL oral liquid drops in 25, 75, and 150 mL solutions for veterinary use. It is also available in 150mg/mL injection, which goes by the trade name Cleocin.

In the treatment of Staphylococcal infection in canines, 11mg/kg every 12 hours by mouth or 22 mg/kg every 24 hours by mouth is effective. The label dose for cats is 11-33mg/kg every 24 hours by mouth.

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.

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.