6 Injuries and Illnesses That Dogs Require Antibiotics For

by Jenn

In the same way that you might need antibiotics sometimes for different reasons, dogs might also need them from time to time. Antibiotics are life savers as they help combat disease-causing bacteria and thus ensure good life quality. 

But not all canine conditions require the use of antibiotics. Continue reading to find out the ones that do and what to do if the medication has side effects. 

What antibiotics should you give your dog?

Commonly prescribed antibiotics for dogs include Metronidazole, Amoxicillin, Clavamos, Clindamycin, Doxycycline, and Cephalexin.

It’s possible that a couple of the names seem familiar because you have used similar drugs, but this doesn’t mean you can give your pets human medication. Dosage usually varies between people and pets; some meds are simply better attuned to their bodies. 

Furthermore, abuse of antibiotics has consequences like yeast infections, allergic reactions, vomiting, diarrhea, and antibiotics can cause a loss in appetite in dogs too.

As such, don’t endanger your dog by trying to medicate them yourself. Consult your animal doctor before you give antibiotics to your furry buddy. 

Injuries and Illnesses That Dogs Require Antibiotics For

1. Gastrointestinal (GI) Infection

Gastroenteritis is the infection of the stomach and intestine. It is caused by consuming raw and spoiled food, consumption of foreign bodies, intestinal obstruction, viruses, GI cancer, and food allergy. 

Its symptoms include vomiting, bloody feces, lethargy, frequent stooling, and nausea. You should take your pup to the vet if you see any or all of these symptoms. 

2. Skin Infection

They are quite common in dogs as the skin is the largest organ in the body. There are naturally-occurring commensal bacteria on the skin; though harmless, they can cause Pyoderma, a multiplying skin infection. 

Other skin infections could warrant your dogs taking antibiotics. It’s necessary to note that some conditions can be transferred between humans and dogs, which makes treating them promptly so important for your whole household. 

3. Eye Infection

This can be caused by allergies. You should immediately separate the affected dog from the pack if you have several dogs, as some infections are contagious.

Some eye infections can devolve into conjunctivitis and other eye diseases that can ultimately result in total blindness. This is why you must nip eye infections in the bud before they spread or get complicated.

4. Tissue Infection

This is usually caused by injuries, and they are a usual occurrence. Your furry friend was likely up to some mischief and picked up an injury in the process. 

When your dog is injured, you will notice it in their movement and trauma. Treat any injuries before it metastasizes into a tissue infection, which is when it then might require antibiotics. 

5. Respiratory Infection 

These types of infections are likely to spread from dog to dog, sometimes with humans carrying them. They are usually caused by bacteria or viruses, and often the dog can recover from respiratory diseases on their own. 

However, you should notify the doctor if your dog’s condition fails to improve in a timely manner. 

6. Ear Infection

This is also a common type of infection in dogs, affecting about one out of every five dogs. It is caused chiefly by unhealthy skin around your dog’s ear. Ear infections, when not taken seriously or treated correctly, can devolve into a situation where the dog loses its hearing. 

The common causes include but are not limited to ear mites, allergies, and bacteria.

7. Urinary Tract Infections 

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in humans and dogs. Bacteria cause most UTIs and only worsen as the bacteria moves up from the genitalia to the kidney, prostate, and bladder. 

Often, this problem can devolve into kidney stones and cause swellings and inflammations in other parts of the dog’s body. 

When you consider that one in three dogs develops urinary tract infections, it becomes vital to know how to manage this disease.

Potential Side Effects of Antibiotics in Dogs

Antibiotics are the solution to many illnesses and diseases that plague your furry friend, but they are not without their own problems. Even when used properly, some of these medications can adversely affect your dog in any of the following ways:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Yeast infections.

If your dog shows any of these symptoms, you should contact your vet to revise the dosage or change the medication. 


Your dog coming down with a disease doesn’t mean you are negligent as a parent. Sometimes these events are unavoidable, and the best we can do is treat them with medication. The above advice gives you a good idea of managing common dog illnesses and diseases, and when antibiotics are an appropriate treatment plan. 

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