Difloxacin for dogs is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic used to treat several kinds of bacterial infections, including those in the skin, soft tissues, respiratory system, urinary system, and intestinal tract.
The cost of difloxacin depends on the dosage strength. A 100 count bottle of 11.4 mg tablets can cost $95, while the same count of the stronger 45.4 mg tablets are priced at $190.
Difloxacin for dogs is available as tablets in 11.4 mg, 45.4 mg and 136 mg dosages. This medication may also be given as an injection in the hospital. For bacterial infections, a general dose is:
Smaller doses are effective against infections in the soft tissues, skin and urinary tract. Treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus infections may require doses on the higher end.
Difloxacin is administered once daily by mouth, as directed by your veterinarian. Start by giving difloxacin on an empty stomach, but if vomiting occurs, give future doses with food or a treat. Always give difloxacin as prescribed.
Difloxacin for dogs is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial medication that has been used to treat bothGram-positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, andGram-negative bacteria, including E. coli, Enterobacter spp, Klebsiella spp, Proteus mirabilis, Serratia marcescens, Salmonella, Citrobacter freundii, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
.In a study determining the efficacy of difloxacin against several bacterial species, it was shown to inhibit Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus aureus, hemolytic streptococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacteroides spp, Clostridium, Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Citrobacter freundii, Serratia marcescens, S. aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis.
.Fluoroquinolones are also known to be active against intracellular pathogens such as Brucella spp.
Side effects of Difloxacin
Adverse reactions from difloxacin for dogs are rare, and are generally associated with high doses. Side effects can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Skin rash
- Facial swelling
- Stomach pain
- Back pain
- Increased heart rate
Side effects that involve the GI tract often resolve once difloxacin is discontinued. Like all fluoroquinolones, difloxacin can cause joint abnormalities in younger, growing dogs.
Difloxacin should not be used by pets that are sensitive or allergic to it or any other quinolones. This medication should be used cautiously in dogs that are at risk for seizures, and nervous system disorders, or kidney or liver disease.
The safe use of difloxacin in pregnant and lactating animals has not yet been determined but has been linked to toxicity in the mother and loss of the embryo. Young animals are susceptible to quinolone-induced arthropathy during their main growth stages which can result in joint disorders, cartilage deformities, and permanent lameness. Dogs are at risk anytime between birth to 18 months of age depending on the breed size but tend to be most sensitive from4 to 28 weeks of age. Since damage can occur after only 1 to 2 days of treatment, and fluoroquinolones are transferred through milk, extreme caution should be used when treating nursing dogs.
Difloxacin (Dicural) may interact with iron, aluminum, calcium, magnesium or zinc, and any formulations of these should be used with caution or avoided. Known interactions with difloxacin include:
- Bronchodilator (theophylline)
- Antibiotic (nitrofurantoin)
- Anti-coagulant medication (warfarin)
- Anticonvulsants (hydantoin, phenytoin)
- Antidiabetic agents (sulfonylurea, glyburide, insulin)
- Immunosuppressants (cyclosporine)
- NSAIDs (diclofenac, flunixin, tolfenamic acid)
- Uric acid reducers (probenecid)
- Vitamins or medications containing iron
- Vitamins or medications containing aluminum (sucralfate, laxatives)
- Vitamins, food or medications containing calcium (antacids, laxatives, dairy)
- Vitamins or medications containing magnesium (laxatives)
- Vitamins or medications containing zinc
When iron, aluminum, calcium, magnesium or zinc mix with difloxacin, they can decrease absorption of this medication. Discuss with your veterinarian any other drugs, supplements, vitamins or herbal therapies your dog may be taking.
Allergic reactions and sensitivity
Some dogs can be sensitive or allergic to difloxacin, or other quinolones or fluoroquinolones.Symptoms of an allergic reaction to difloxacin can include skin rashes, redness or lesions, scratching at skin, hives, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and collapse. Seek veterinary attention right away if these signs appear.
Frequently asked questions
What do I do if I skip a dose?
If you miss a dose of difloxacin, give it as soon as you remember. If it is near the next scheduled dose, then skip the missed dose and administer the next dose on time. Never give two doses to your dog at one time.
Will my veterinarian need to monitor my dog while on difloxacin?
Unless your dog has underlying health conditions, there is no specific monitoring needed while taking difloxacin. Your veterinarian may monitor your dog for medication effectiveness and for any possible side effects.
How is difloxacin for dogs stored?
Difloxacin can be stored away from moisture and light at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
What do I do in case of emergency?
If you suspect your dog is having an allergic reaction, or has overdosed on difloxacin, contact your veterinarian or emergency veterinary hospital immediately.Signs of an overdose can include vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, facial swelling, decreased appetite, weight loss, lethargy and incoordination.