A sick Dog is every dog owner’s nightmare. Antibiotics are increasingly recommended for therapy during a visit to the veterinarian. After a bacterial infection, your dog will quickly recover and enjoy his walks again. However, side effects can also occur.

Treatment with antibiotics must always be done after consultation with the veterinarian.

Antibiotics, Reserve Antibiotics, Resistance, Bacteria, Side Effects, Dosage

Types of Antibiotics

  • Bakteriostatic antibiotics: inhibit the division and multiplication of bacteria. The bacteria already present in the dog’s body are then fought by the immune system
  • Baktericidal antibiotics: the cell structure of the bacteria is destroyed. The germs are killed

There are several different types of antibiotics – which are classified based on their mechanism of action and chemical structure. Some common types include:

Antibiotic TypeCharacteristics
PenicillinsThey are among the oldest and most widely used antibiotics; they work by inhibiting the growth of bacteria by disrupting the formation of their cell walls.
CephalosporinsThese antibiotics are structurally similar to penicillins and also work by inhibiting the formation of the bacterial cell-walls.
MacrolidesThese antibiotics, such as erythromycin and azithromycin, work by inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis.
AminoglycosidesThese antibiotics, such as gentamicin and streptomycin, work by inhibiting the bacterial protein-synthesis and interfering with the bacterial cell membranes
FluoroquinolonesThese antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin, work by inhibiting the bacterial DNA Synthesis
SulfonamidesThese antibiotics, such as sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, work by inhibiting the bacterial folic-acid synthesis
MetronidazoleThis antibiotic is active against anaerobic bacteria and protozoan parasites.

It’s worth noting that these are just a few examples – and there are many other types of antibiotics available. It’s important to note that the choice of antibiotic will depend on the type of infection and the microorganism causing it!

Types of Antibiotics

What are Reserve Antibiotics?

A reserve antibiotic is only used when the bacteria are already resistant to all other antibiotics. As few new antibiotics are developed by pharmaceutical companies for financial reasons, reserve antibiotics should only be used in life-threatening conditions and not in mass animal husbandry.

Antibiotcs Pros & Cons

Why Different Antibiotics are used?

  • Different bacteria cannot be fought by only one antibiotic
  • Some bacteria have developed resistance to an antibiotic
  • The most effective antibiotic must be found for each type of bacteria
  • An antibiogram helps to clarify which antibiotics are effective

How Antibiotics can be Administered?

  • Injections
  • Infusions
  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Juice
  • Eye drops
  • Ointments

What Must be Observed during Treating with Antibiotics?

  • The dosage must be strictly adhered to
  • Even if your dog is already healthy, antibiotics must not be discontinued immediately. They must be given as prescribed.
  • An underdose or a too short administration period leads to the creation of resistant bacteria. The infection can flare up again. The triggering bacteria have acquired resistance. They can no longer be fought with the antibiotic. (See also point Reserve antibiotics)

When and how antibiotics work in dogs? How fast Antibiotics take effect depends on the form of administration

  • Tablets and capsules must first reach the small intestine before the antibiotic can be absorbed into the blood. The effect often only sets in after two hours.
  • A faster effect is achieved with injections or infusions. Here, the effect can already set in after 30 minutes.
  • Combination: an injection with antibiotics is often administered and the further treatment can be continued by the owner with tablets at home.

How Quickly will the Symptoms of your Dog improve?

How quickly an antibiotic takes effect depends on the severity of the dog’s illness. Most of the time, symptoms improve after one to two days.

Possible Side Effects of Antibiotics in Dogs

  • Diarrhea due to impairment of intestinal bacteria
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rashes in allergic reactions
  • Interactions with other medications

Important: The effectiveness of antibiotics can be impaired by concurrent treatment with herbs.
A treatment with antibiotics must always be carried out only after consultation with the vet.

Antibiotics are prescription drugs only! If it is antibiotics for humans, the dosage must be adjusted for the dog so that there is no overdose!


Pay Attention to Following Points During Treatment with Antibiotics:

  • The dosage and duration of treatment must always be followed exactly as prescribed.
  • The antibiotic must still be given until the course is finished, even if the dog no longer shows any symptoms.
  • Even if the dog is tired, you should not discontinue the treatment
  • If there is no improvement, you must consult the veterinarian again.
  • Antibiotic treatments can last up to four weeks.
  • An opened package must be disposed of at the pharmacy or via hazardous waste. You must not use it for the subsequent treatment!
  • Antibiotics for humans may only be used on your dog after consultation with the veterinarian and an adjustment of the dosage.


It is very important to note that the use of antibiotics should always be done under the guidance of a veterinarian.

The Resistance to antibiotics is a growing concern and it is crucial that antibiotics are used only when necessary and in the appropriate dosage. Additionally, it is important to consider the potential side effects – especially on the Gut Microbiome – and to take measures to support gut health during and after antibiotic treatment.

Doctor Xeeshan

Doctor Xeeshan

I am Doctor Xeeshan, located in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. In this blog, I am providing authentic information about dog breeds, diseases, medications, etc.


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