Major Uses

Gentamicin is commonly used for fighting bacterial uterine infections in horses, and also to aid conception in mares with uterine infections. It is sometimes used for fighting bacterial infections in dogs and cats.

Because of its potential toxicity, it is only used to treat very serious bacterial infections. It also tends to be more toxic to cats than other species.

Common Precautions

Gentamicin rarely has side effects when used in topical form. When used to treat eye infections, it can irritate the eyes. When not used in topical form, it can damage the kidneys, hearing, and sense of balance. Gentamicin is also known to be toxic to the ear and should be used cautiously in dogs that work with visually and hearing impaired people, as well as dogs that are used for herding. It should be used cautiously in patients suffering from neuromuscular disorders, as it is known for its neuromuscular blocking activity. It should not be used in patients suffering from botulism.

Gentamicin should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately if an overdose is suspected.


Gentamicin should be kept at a temperature between 36-86 degrees Fahrenheit in a tight, light resistant, childproof container. It should also be protected from freezing. Gentamicin should not be administered in water, as this could destroy the medication.


Gentamicin is administered differently depending on the type of bacterial infection present. A typical dose in dogs and cats is 4-14 mg/kg once daily depending on the condition being treated. For horses, a typical dose can range from 6.6-15 mg/kg once daily. If a dose is forgotten, it should be administered as soon as remembered, unless the next scheduled dose is close. In this case, the missed dose should be skipped and the regularly scheduled dose should be administered. Two doses should never be given at the same time.

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.