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Clavamox, also known by its generic name, amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium, is an FDA-approved, broad-spectrum antibiotic medication for dogs, used to treat a wide range of infections, particularly those that may be resistant to other types of antibiotics.
Clavamox usually comes in the form of meat-flavored, chewable tablets to make it easier and more palatable for dogs to consume. It contains a special ingredient that neutralizes the particular enzyme that protects bacteria from antibiotics. Once this enzyme is neutralized, the medication is able to destroy the bacteria. From Staphylococcus to Streptococcus and E. coli, Clavamox is effective against many stubborn bacterial infections.1
This medication contains a combination of penicillin (specifically amoxicillin) and clavulanic acid, which makes it highly effective against many different types of common bacteria.2 It has been used effectively in dogs and cats for 30 years. It is important to note that Clavamox is not suitable for the treatment of viral or fungal infections. Speak to a vet to find out if Clavamox is the right medication for your pet.
Clavamox was developed specifically for cats and dogs and can be used to treat any of the following conditions:1
- Skin infections
- Soft tissue infections (wounds, abscesses, cellulitis, etc.)
- Urinary tract infections
- Bacterial pneumonia
- Respiratory infections
- Infectious hepatitis
- Dental infections/disease
This wide range of applications is why Clavamox is one of the most commonly prescribed pet medications in the U.S. It is safe for all breeds of dogs — from Chihuahuas to Great Danes and is available as tablets or drops.3
It’s regularly prescribed to treat soft tissue or skin infections, including wounds, abscesses, cellulitis, and dermatitis. In tablet form, it can also be very effective in treating bone infections, particularly in a dog’s mouth or teeth. If your dog develops a urinary tract infection, Clavamox is often a good choice of medication, as it has been proven to help with both mild and severe UTIs in dogs. In case of pneumonia or other respiratory illnesses, this medication is usually a vet’s first recommendation, although other treatment methods may be needed, depending on the severity of your dog’s respiratory distress.⁴
Clavamox Side Effects
As with any medication, there are certain side effects that can happen as a result of taking Clavamox. Common side effects include:4
- Loss of appetite
These symptoms are usually normal and should not be a cause of great concern. However, keep an eye on your dog while they are taking the medication. Contact your vet if any of these common symptoms are severe, worsen, or don’t seem to go away.4
Serious side effects include a complete loss of appetite, fever, rash, and pale gums. These symptoms usually require immediate medical attention.
If your dog is experiencing severe side effects, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction to the medication. Additional symptoms of an allergic reaction to Clavamox are swelling, rash, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, high fever, vomiting, and seizures.1 Every dog is different, so it’s important to always contact your vet or emergency veterinary services if your dog exhibits signs of illness when taking medication.
Clavamox Dosage & Administration
Clavamox should only be used with a prescription from a vet, who will be able to determine the right dosage for your dog, based on their weight, tolerance, medical history, breed, and any other relevant factors. Always check the prescription from your vet before administering medication to your dog. Clavamox doesn’t necessarily need to be given with food like some other medications, but if you notice that your dog is experiencing an upset stomach (such as vomiting or diarrhea), try mixing it in with their food.4
If your vet has prescribed Clavamox in liquid form, make sure to measure it precisely, based on a pharmacist’s instructions. Store it in the refrigerator and shake well before giving it to your dog. Your vet or pharmacist may provide measuring spoons or syringes to help with dosing.
Contact your veterinarian if you have a hard time getting your dog to swallow the medication or if you notice that they are experiencing stress when you try to give it to them. Make sure to be aware of how long your dog should be on Clavamox; a prescription refill may be necessary for longer treatment periods.
Clavamox Safety Information
It’s important to consider safety information when giving your dog Clavamox. Always inform your vet about any other medication your dog is taking — including vitamin supplements — as Clavamox can interfere with certain other drugs. This medication should not be given to dogs who are allergic to penicillins or similar drugs, nor to animals other than dogs and cats (especially not rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and other rodents).4
Seek emergency veterinary care or animal poison control if your dog gets too high of a dose. Vomiting is a common symptom of a Clavamox overdose and if left untreated it can lead to nervous system or liver damage.4
What bacteria does Clavamox treat?
Clavamox is most effective against Staph. infections, such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and E. coli.
How quickly does Clavamox work in dogs?
It should start taking effect within 1-2 hours, but external effects are unlikely. Your dog should start feeling noticeably better after 1 or 2 days. The effects wear off after 24 hours. Speak to your vet about how often to re-administer Clavamox to your dog.⁵
How long should a dog be on Clavamox?
Clavamox is intended to be used for various amounts of time. Your vet will tell you how long a course of treatment is necessary for your dog.
Clavamox is a broad-spectrum antibiotic for use in dogs and cats. It tends to be more effective than some other antibiotics, because it contains a combination of penicillin (specifically amoxicillin) and clavulanic acid, making it a good option in the treatment of bacterial infections. Clavamox is safe for all dog breeds and has been a common antibiotic prescription drug in veterinary medicine for decades. It is effective against pneumonia, urinary tract infections, infected skin wounds, dental disease, and respiratory infections.
Clavamox is available in chewable tablet and liquid form, with the latter usually being pork-flavored to make it more appealing for dogs to consume. This medication should only be administered with a vet’s prescription, because the dosage needs to be customized according to your dog’s breed, size, and overall health. Your vet will determine the length of treatment depending on the specific illness. Monitor your dog and be aware of the symptoms of allergic reaction and side effects.If you would like advice on whether Clavamox is right for your dog, our licensed vets at Dutch.com will be happy to help. Speak to one of our vets right from your home and get your dog’s prescription delivered straight to your door with the Dutch prescription service. You will always be connected to a top-rated vet who will answer your questions.
Burke, Anna. “Clavamox for Dogs: What Is It, Dose, Side Effects.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 27 Apr. 2020, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/clavamox-for-dogs/.
“Ask a Vet Online 24/7.” PetCoach, https://www.petcoach.co/pet-medication/clavamox.
Crnec, Ivana. “Clavamox for Dogs: All You Need to Know about This Antibiotic.” Edited by Jamie Freyer, Veterinarians.org, 28 Feb. 2023, https://www.veterinarians.org/clavamox-for-dogs/.
“Clavamox Info Sheet.” Seattle Animal Shelter, City of Seattle Gov., https://www.seattle.gov/documents/Departments/AnimalShelter/Clavamox%20Info%20Sheet.pdf.