What are Keflex Allergies?
The cephalosporin antibiotic known as Keflex is a medication which is widely used to treat many types of bacterial infections. It is also called cephalexin, and is used in people as well as dogs. This medication is given for a variety of medical needs, such as for patients that have heart ailments that require dental procedures; it is used as a preventative for any infection within the heart.
Cephalexin, or Keflex, kills bacteria and is not effective in treating viral infections. This medication is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. Bacterial infections that Keflex is used to treat include ear, urinary tract, skin, upper respiratory tract, infections within the joints, and kidney infections. Keflex is widely recommended by many physicians and the World Health Organization. This medication kills the bacteria by halting growth of the cell wall of the bacteria, resulting in the rupturing of the microorganisms.
Cephalexin is only given by prescription. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions when giving this medication to your dog. It is also very important to never give your dog Keflex that has not been prescribed, or given to you by another person that previously used it with their dog.
Keflex allergies in dogs is a result of an allergic reaction to the bacterial-fighting antibiotic. Keflex allergies may vary in severity and types of symptoms.
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Symptoms of Keflex Allergies in Dogs
Symptoms of Keflex allergies in dogs may vary depending on the dosage of Keflex your dog is prescribed. They may also depend on if your dog is taking this medication with or without food. Symptoms include:
- Hives, skin irritations, or other skin allergies
Keflex comes in a variety of names, and all of the following are first-generation cephalosporin drugs. When your veterinarian prescribes Keflex, it may have an alternate name. Other names for Keflex include:
Causes of Keflex Allergies in Dogs
There are a variety of reasons why your dog may have an allergic reaction to Keflex. There are drugs that interact with cephalexin, such as certain aminoglycosides, oral anticoagulants, amphotericin B, penicillin, chloramphenicol, and probenecid. Other causes of adverse reactions to Keflex include:
- If your dog has kidney failure
- If your dog has had seizures in the past
- If your dog is pregnant
- Previous allergic episodes to other antibiotics or other cephalosporins
- Taking on an empty stomach
Diagnosis of Keflex Allergies in Dogs
If your dog has been taking Keflex and develops the above symptoms, please call your veterinarian. Once you take your dog to the medical professional, he will evaluate your dog by taking blood tests, urinalysis, and any other tests which he feels are necessary. In the blood testing, the samples will be tested for the presence of memory T cells along with antibodies. This will show the veterinarian precisely the drug that is responsible for your dog’s allergic reaction, and is especially helpful if he is taking more than one drug for an illness or infection.
Once the blood test comes back, as well as the urinalysis for the presence of the medication, the veterinarian will have a definite diagnosis of a Keflex allergy in your dog.
Treatment of Keflex Allergies in Dogs
Treatment of Keflex allergy in dogs depends on your dog’s symptoms and the severity of the reaction. If your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, the veterinarian may go ahead and begin fluid therapy to rehydrate your companion. Treatment methods include:
If your dog is suffering from his allergic reaction, the veterinarian may administer medication to offset the allergy, such as an oral antihistamine or a corticosteroid which is applied topically. In many cases, dogs are usually able to become well again once the administration of the Keflex is halted. It may take a few days for the allergic reaction to cease, and the time frame depends on the situation.
If your dog is having a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis, the veterinarian will begin treatment immediately. For this condition, the medical professional will administer aqueous epinephrine or parenteral antihistamines. He may also administer soluble hydrocortisone or a corticosteroid in oral form.
Discontinuation of the Medication
The one definite means of treatment is the discontinuation of the offending drug. Many reactions to drugs are resolved when the medication is stopped. If your dog requires a medication due to an infection (the same reason why he may have been taking the Keflex), then your veterinarian will choose an alternate drug that your dog may not react to so harshly.
Recovery of Keflex Allergies in Dogs
Once your veterinarian allows your dog to go home, it will be important to monitor him during his recovery. The veterinarian will give you detailed directions on how to take care of your dog as he is healing.
He may give you directions on how to care for his skin at home, namely with the type of mild detergent to bathe him with and any prescription ointment he has been given. Once your dog recovers from this allergy, it is important to never give him this medication again. In terms of new medication, once a few doses are given it will be crucial to monitor him to be sure he does not have any other reactions to other types of anti-bacterial medications.