Written By Mel Lee-Smith
Published: 07/21/2020Updated: 09/10/2021
Veterinary reviewed by Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS
Baytril for Dogs | Wag!
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Baytril is an antibiotic for dogs and other animals that treats a range of bacterial infections in dogs and other animals. Typically prescribed in tablet form, it’s commonly used to treat skin infections, respiratory infections, and urinary tract infections.

Baytril for dogs works by inhibiting DNA synthesis in bacteria cells, thereby killing the bacteria. If your veterinarian has prescribed Baytril for your dog, keep reading for more information about this medication’s dosage, efficacy, and side effects.


The recommended dosage of Baytril is 5 to 20 mg/kg (2.27 to 9.07 mg/lb) of body weight once or twice a day.

However, Baytril is also available as an injectable solution that can be administered by a veterinarian, and as Baytril Otic ear drops to treat outer ear infections.

Dosage instructions

All Baytril tablet sizes are double scored to ensure accurate dosing. The medication is best given on an empty stomach. Your veterinarian will determine the appropriate dosage size and the duration of treatment based on clinical evidence. The medication can then be given as a single daily dose or divided into two equal daily doses given 12 hours apart.

Treatment should continue for a minimum of 2 to 3 days after clinical signs cease. Severe infections may require treatment for up to 30 days.

Finally, if your dog is receiving a dose in the high end of the recommended dosage range, your vet will monitor them for the following symptoms:


Baytril for dogs is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Enrofloxacin, the active ingredient in Baytril, kills both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, making it effective against wide range of infections. These include skin, urinary tract, and respiratory tract infections.

When combined with its active metabolite, ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin has been shown to killE. coli, Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and P. aeruginosa in dogs and cats. Enrofloxacin has also been used to treat Rickettsia infections and ulcerative colitis caused by Escherichia coli in dogs.

However, Baytril is not effective at treating anaerobic infections or infections caused by viruses, parasites, or fungi. It can also cause damage to the joint cartilage of growing dogs so should be used with extreme caution in this age bracket.

Active ingredients in Baytril

The active ingredient in Baytril is enrofloxacin. Enrofloxacin belongs to the fluoroquinolones class of antibiotics and kills bacterial cells by preventing them from transcribing DNA.


The cost of Baytril varies depending on the dosage and form prescribed. Individual tablets range in price from 85¢ to $4 for a 22.7 and 136 mg dosage respectively. Generic forms of Baytril are a little cheaper at 65¢ to $3 per tablet. A 15 ml bottle of Baytril ear drops costs $20 on average.

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Side effects

Baytril for dogs can potentially produce a range of side effects. The most common ones are:

In rare cases, other side effects may include:

  • Lethargy

  • Depression

  • Seizures

  • Allergic reactions

  • Dizziness

  • Drowsiness

  • Urine crystals (particularly in dehydrated dogs)

  • Elevated liver enzymes

  • Joint cartilage damage in puppies

If you notice your dog displaying any worrying side effects of Baytril, contact your veterinarian for advice.


There are risks associated with giving Baytril to dogs with other underlying health issues or who are taking other medications. Your veterinarian will need to know your pet’s full medical history, as well as details of any drugs they are currently taking, before prescribing Baytril.

Drug interactions

Baytril for dogs may interact with the following medications:

  • Antacids

  • Antibiotics

  • Corticosteroids

  • Cyclosporine

  • Doxorubicin

  • Flunixin

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

  • Probenecid

  • Phenytoin

  • Sucralfate and zinc salts

  • Theophylline

  • Warfarin

It may also interact with medications other than those listed, so inform your vet about all medications your dog is currently taking.

It’s also worth pointing out that dairy, iron, aluminium, and calcium products can inactivate enrofloxacin, the active ingredient in Baytril.

Allergic reactions and sensitivity

Dogs who are dehydrated, allergic, or hypersensitive to Baytril should not take this medication. Due to Baytril’s effects on joint cartilage in growing dogs, it should not be administered to puppies aged 28 weeks or under. Exercise extreme caution when giving the medication to dogs who are prone to seizures, or who suffer from kidney disease or liver disease. Dose adjustments may be required when giving the medication to pets with kidney or liver disease.

Finally, caution should also be used when giving Baytril to pregnant dogs.

Frequently asked questions

What should I do if my pet has a Baytril overdose?

If you suspect your dog has had an overdose, seek immediate veterinary attention. Drop a question in our vetcare chat. 

Will my dog like the taste of Baytril?

Baytril has a very bitter taste that may cause your dog to refuse the medication. Flavored tablets are available to help make the drug more palatable.

How should I store Baytril tablets?

Tablets should be stored in a sealed container at room temperature and protected from light. It should also be kept out of the reach of children.

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