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Baytril is the brand name for a canine and feline prescription antibiotic called enrofloxacin, which is also available as generic options.1 It is part of the larger antibiotic classification of fluoroquinolones, which target various types of bacteria.
Baytril is an FDA-approved medication to treat bacterial diseases or infections in dogs and cats. Vets will often prescribe it to treat some respiratory, skin, or urinary tract infections. It is not recommended for dogs that are younger than 1 year of age, due to potential negative impacts on cartilage development.2 This medication should only be given with a prescription from a licensed veterinarian.
Baytril is available as flavored oral tablets or as an injectable liquid. It is usually prescribed to treat common or mild infections, but can sometimes be effective against more serious infections or illnesses. In tablet form, Baytril is round and light brown with a small B in one corner and the corresponding dosage number in the other.
Unlike some other antibiotic medications, Baytril doesn’t necessarily need to be given with food, but mealtime is usually a good opportunity to mix medicine into your dog’s food so they eat it without noticing.3 Consult your vet if your dog is having difficulty taking Baytril.’
What is Baytril Used for in Dogs?
Due to its broad-spectrum function, Baytril can be a good option to treat many types of infections. It’s categorized as a bactericidal that targets gram negative and gram positive bacteria, which effectively prevents bacterial infections from getting worse. Eventually, this medication stops the DNA reproduction of the susceptible bacteria.¹
Your vet might prescribe it if your dog is suffering from a urinary tract infection or a Staph-related skin infection. However, it can also be helpful in treating skin wounds, abscesses, and infections in the gastrointestinal or respiratory tracts. In some cases, Baytril may be used to for certain infections that are more difficult to treat, such as pneumonia and tonsillitis, as well as bone, skin, sinus, or ear infections.²
Baytril Side Effects
Baytril, like most medications, comes with the risk of side effects. It’s important to be aware of possible side effects when giving your dog this medication, as well as symptoms of a potential allergic reaction, which tend to be more serious and often require emergency veterinary help. Common side effects of Baytril include:
- Upset stomach (vomiting or diarrhea)
- Loss of appetite
- Physical weakness
Although these are common side effects, if you notice that your dog seems to be having extreme gastrointestinal issues, contact your veterinarian right away.
Rare, but severe side effects that could occur are seizures, incoordination when walking, depression, extreme lethargy, urinary crystals, and anxiety.³ Seek immediate medical attention if your dog is exhibiting symptoms of side effects when taking Baytril, particularly less common side effects. You should always monitor your dog when they are on medication, especially in cases of short-term treatment for an infection.
Baytril Dosage in Dogs
The right dosage of Baytril will be determined by your veterinarian. Every dog is different and factors like breed, size, medical history, and even personality can affect their reaction to certain drugs. A vet will consider all these elements and prescribe a personalized dosage amount for your dog. It’s important to always inform your veterinarian about any other medications your dog is taking, as antibiotics like Baytril can cause undesired interactions with some other drugs — especially those containing zinc, calcium, aluminum or magnesium.³
Oral tablets are chewable and usually beef-flavored to make them more palatable for dogs to consume. They can be given with food or separately. The prescription given by your veterinarian will indicate frequency and dosage of Baytril tablets. Always follow these instructions carefully. Baytril can also be given to your dog in a single dose through intramuscular injection. About 12 hours after the first injection, you should also give your dog a Baytril tablet.¹
An overdose of Baytril can have serious effects. Some symptoms of an overdose include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, excessive drooling, seizures/tremors, or behavioral changes. Contact your vet if you suspect that your dog has ingested too much Baytril.
This medication should be used with caution in pregnant or lactating dogs and they should be monitored closely throughout the duration of treatment. Usually, a vet will only prescribe Baytril to a pregnant or lactating dog if the benefits outweigh the risks. It is not recommended to give Baytril to dogs younger than 1 year of age, as it can cause cartilage damage in growing dogs.⁴ Baytril is likely not suitable for dogs that have seizure disorders, kidney, or liver problems.
How long should a dog be on Baytril?
How long your dog should take Baytril will greatly depend on your dog’s specific condition and overall health. Your vet will prescribe the recommended dose and duration of treatment for your dog. Generally, Baytril tablets should be given continuously for 2-3 days even if symptoms have disappeared. If the infection is severe, treatment may need to be as long as 30 days.
Should Baytril for dogs be given with food?
Follow the directions on the drug label or from your vet. Contact your vet if your dog vomits while taking Baytril.
How quickly should Baytril work?
Every dog is different. Size and general health may affect how rapidly Baytril starts working for your dog, but generally, it will start working about 1-2 hours after consumption. However, it may take up to 2 days for improvement to become noticeable externally.
Baytril, or enrofloxacin, is a broad-spectrum antibiotic medication used to treat certain bacterial infections in dogs and cats. It is most commonly prescribed for urinary tract infections, as well as skin infections, and respiratory illnesses, but can also be effective against more stubborn infections. Baytril is only prescribed for adult dogs, because it can have adverse effects on cartilage development in growing puppies. This medication is available as a flavored, chewable tablet or an injectable liquid. Dosage is highly individualized, so it’s best to always follow your vet’s instructions.
If you’re wondering whether Baytril is the right option for your dog, Dutch.com is a great place to start. Our licensed vets will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment to make sure your dog feels better again. Speak to a vet via a tele-appointment on our website. We will happily put your mind at ease and help you help your pooch.
“DailyMed - BAYTRIL- Enrofloxacin Injection, Solution.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 22 Mar. 2023, https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=a1ada9f6-24e2-4287-8b83-00e2b68666e5&version=5.
PetCoach Editorial. “Enrofloxacin.” PetCoach, Petco Animal Supplies Stores, Inc., https://www.petcoach.co/pet-medication/enrofloxacin.
Brooks, Wendy. “Enrofloxacin (Baytril).” Veterinary Partner, Veterinary Information Network (VIN), 26 Sept. 2021, https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4951433.
United Kingdom, Veterinary Medicines Directorate. Product Information Database, https://www.vmd.defra.gov.uk/productinformationdatabase/files/SPC_Documents/SPC_120178.PDF. Accessed 25 Apr. 2023.