Clindamycin is a popular antibiotic that’s used by veterinarians to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections caused by gram-positive bacteria. It is suitable for use in both dogs and cats, and it is most commonly prescribed to treat infections in the mouth (abscesses, gingivitis, periodontitis, and osteomyelitis), respiratory tract, skin (bite wounds, surgical wounds), and bones. Clindamycin is also prescribed for the treatment of certain protozoal diseases, such as feline toxoplasmosis, and pneumonia, as well.
In veterinary medicine, Clindamycin is usually the drug-of-choice for treating infections featuring anaerobic bacteria, the type of bacteria that is capable of growing in an environment with zero oxygen.
How Clindamycin Works
Clindamycin is an effective antibiotic because it inhibits protein synthesis within the cells of the bacteria. In doing so, it stops the bacteria from growing, and prevents the infection from spreading. In some cases, the drug will even kill the bacteria, but this is not usually the norm.
Possible Side Effects of Clindamycin
Clindamycin is generally safe for most dogs and cats, but it may cause certain side effects in some patients. Most commonly, the side effects associated with Clindamycin include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
Pets that are being treated with this medication will often experience minor weight loss as a result of the above side effects. In most cases, these side effects will subside, but if they persist, then the patient should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Drug Interactions and Clindamycin
If a patient is prescribed Clindamycin, then she should not be taking it along with other antibiotics, especially Erythromycin. Other drugs that can cause interactions with Clindamycin include opiates, Chloramphenicol, and Loperamide. The treating veterinarian should always be informed of any other medications the patient is currently taking so they can help avoid potential drug interactions.
Precautions for Using Clindamycin
Clindamycin should not be prescribed to smaller animals like rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, or rodents. It should also be used with extreme caution in pregnant or lactating patients, or patients diagnosed with kidney problems, liver disease, asthma, eczema, or colitis. Patients with a known allergy to Clindamycin or Lincomycin should not be prescribed this drug.
If the patient is going to be taking Clindamycin for longer than a month, then periodic liver and kidney tests will usually be performed as part of the treatment.
Dosage and Administration of Clindamycin
Clindamycin is available in capsule or liquid suspension formulations. Because this drug is extremely bitter, flavorings are usually added to the compounding mixture to make it more palatable for the patient. But even with added flavorings, the drug can still be bitter. This medication should be stored at room temperature away from where pets or children can reach it.
When administering Clindamycin, it is very important to follow the veterinarian’s prescribed directions. Missing doses can result in the bacterial infection developing a resistance to the antibiotic, so the prescription needs to be followed as thoroughly as possible.
The duration of the treatment depends on the condition being treated and its severity, the size and breed of the patient, and the patient’s response to the treatment.
Author: Giano Panzarella