Generic Drug Name: Enrofloxacin
Other Common Names: Baytril
Enrofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic for use in dogs and cats. It is used to treat difficult infections, including those caused by Pseudomonas and Staphylococci. Enrofloxacin is most often used to combat skin and ear infections in dogs and cats, and respiratory and urinary infections in dogs.
Enrofloxacin works by deactivating the bacterial enzymes needed for DNA transcription and is effective against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.
Side effects are not typically associated with enrofloxacin, unless the dose used is high. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur at roughly ten times the recommended dose, which is sometimes needed to treat ear infections. Other side effects are less common and may include loss of appetite, lethargy, convulsions, cataracts (with long-term use), and seizures (in pets with existing CNS disorders).
Joint damage can occur in immature dogs undergoing treatment with enrofloxacin. For this reason, the medication should not be used in puppies less than 8 months of age unless absolutely necessary. Additionally, enrofloxacin use can cause crystals to develop in urine. These crystals may show on laboratory testing.
Enrofloxacin is toxic when used by humans. This medication is for veterinary use only. Enrofloxacin is not for use during pregnancy or lactation, and the medication may lower the seizure threshold in animals with a known seizure disorder.
Cats taking higher doses of enrofloxacin may experience retinal damage. This reaction is not common but can lead to temporary or permanent blindness. Caution should be used when administering this drug to pets with liver disease, kidney disease, or central nervous system disorders.
Enrofloxacin is known to interact with numerous drugs, including aminoglycoside and cephalosporin antibiotics, penicillin, cyclosporine, rimadyl and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, nitrofurantoin, theophylline, and sucralfate. Also, antacids and other medications and supplements containing magnesium, iron, zinc, or aluminum will prevent absorption of enrofloxacin. Such supplements and medications should be separated from enrofloxacin by a minimum of 2 hours.
Enrofloxacin should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Any known or suspected overdose requires prompt veterinarian attention.
Store enrofloxacin in a tightly sealed container, away from children and pets, and at room temperature.
Enrofloxacin is available in tablet and injectable form. The tablets are encoated to hide the medication's naturally bitter taste, and crushing them decreases acceptance. A flavor-tab is available with improved taste.
Typical oral dosing of enrofloxacin in dogs is 5-20 mg/kg (2.27 to 9.07 mg/lb) of body weight. In cats, the typical dose is 5 mg/kg (2.27 mg/lb) of body weight. Doses may be administered as a single daily dose or divided into two equal daily doses and given 12 hours apart. 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.
If a dose is missed, it should be given as soon as possible. If it is nearly time for the next dose, the missed dose should be skipped and the regular schedule resumed. It is important not to give two doses of this medication at the same time.