Drugs Used to Combat Infections in Dogs

The history of antibiotic use in medicine goes back several centuries. People have been using plants and other substances with antibiotic properties to combat infection as far back as Ancient Egypt. However, prior to the discovery of penicillin and other widely used antibiotics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many of the infections that we think of as non-life threatening were actually the leading cause of death worldwide.

Not long after the mass production and widespread medical adoption of antibiotics in the treatment of human patients began, their benefits in the world of veterinary medicine were also firmly established. Now, for dogs as well as humans, a world without antibiotics would be one riddled with infection and death.

Unfortunately, antibiotic misuse and abuse have become issues over the last few decades. Understanding antibiotics and knowing when and how to use them (only under the supervision of a veterinarian) is key to reaping their benefits. Here is a quick breakdown of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for treating infections in dogs.


Chloramphenicol is a broad-spectrum antibiotic widely prescribed to treat a tremendous variety of bacterial infections, and even some single-cell pathogens. It is often preferred over other antibiotics for its ability to pass through cell membranes and get to infections deep in tissues where other antibiotics can’t reach.

Chloramphenicol is not typically used to combat infections caused by fungi, viruses, parasites, or mites, but is often used to treat pneumonia, infections of the intestinal tract, bone infections, skin infections, and infected wounds. It can also be prescribed to treat nervous system infections, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and diseases commonly associated with ticks.


Doxycycline is a type of tetracycline antibiotic that is used in veterinary medicine to treat dogs suffering from urinary tract or bladder infections, infections of the blood, infected wounds, respiratory infections, and the water-borne infection known as leptospirosis. It is also often prescribed for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, ehrlichiosis, and Lyme disease– all of which are delivered by tick bite. This antibiotic is not typically used for infections, caused by fungi or viruses.


Gentamicin is often prescribed alongside anti-inflammatory drugs to combat ear infections, eye infections, and pneumonia in dogs. It can be delivered topically, orally, via the eye or ear, or through an injection.


Amoxicillin and clavulanate are an antibiotic combo related to the drug Penicillin. They are used in conjunction to treat a wide variety of infections caused by bacteria, including skin infections, respiratory infections, genital or urinary infections, and gastrointestinal infections. Typically administered orally or as a powder, these two drugs are widely used by vets contemporarily.


Often prescribed for the treatment of a urinary tract infection in dogs, this drug has some significant gastrointestinal side effects. If your dog is prescribed this drug, make sure that you keep them hydrated. They may still suffer loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea, but they should make a full recovery once the infection is dealt with.

Antibiotics: Fighting Infections in Dogs for a Century or More

Antibiotics are an important part of contemporary veterinary medical practice. Without them, countless dogs would suffer diminished quality of life and even death due to infections of various kinds.

Antibiotic abuse is a real concern among public health officials, medical doctors, and veterinarians, but there are times when one of the antibiotics on this list, or one of the countless others, is just the right medicine for what ails your dog. Make sure to only administer antibiotics to your pet under veterinary supervision.

Save on Your Dog’s Antibiotic Medications at Diamondback Drugs

If your dog is prescribed antibiotic medications to help treat infections or their underlying cause, then you can get these medications filled for less and in easy-to-administer treat-like formulations from Diamondback Drugs.

Get a free quote for your dog’s medications today and see how much you can save with Diamondback Drugs. We can custom-formulate your dog’s medicine into tasty, dose-specific treats that she’ll love taking. Try Diamondback Drugs today!

Author: Giano Panzarella