Cephalexin is an antibiotic used in dogs. It is most commonly prescribed after a surgery or to treat a bacterial infection, dermatological problems and urinary tract infections. Cephalexin for use in dogs is similar to the use of penicillin in humans.
Cephalexin is one of the most widely used antibiotics in dogs, according to VetInfo.com. It can be administered via capsule, tablet or in liquid form. To lessen side effects, have your dog take the medicine with food.
In dogs, common side effects of taking cephalexin are diarrhea and vomiting. A dog may experience rapid breathing, hyperactivity or drooling. Allergic reaction may include itching, scratching, swelling or a rash. Serious side effects include shock or seizures. Side effects are rare, however, according to PetEducation.com.
A veterinarian will usually prescribe 10mg of cephalexin for each lb. of your dog's weight, with the dosage administered twice a day. Never give your dog more than one dose at a time or overdose may occur. Signs of overdose include pale gums, muscle spasms and weakness.
Side effects of cephalexin such as rash, vomiting and diarrhea are significant enough to stop administering medication. Treatment for side effects ranges from rest and hydration to steroids such as prednisone.
Do not give cephalexin to dogs that are pregnant or nursing. A veterinarian should know what other medications a dog is on to avoid interactions. Vets should not prescribe cephalexin to dogs that are allergic to penicillin.