Clindamycin for Dogs and Cats


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Frequently Asked Questions

Clindamycin is an oral antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. It also kills some protozoa.

Clindamycin is commonly used for dogs, cats, and ferrets.

  • Treats deep skin infections, wounds, abscesses, and dental and bone bacterial infections

  • Also treats certain protozoan infections

  • Available in multiple dosage forms for easy administration

Clindamycin is a prescription broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, mouth and bones caused by susceptible bacteria. It also treats certain protozoan infections such as toxoplasmosis and babesiosis.

It prevents bacteria from producing proteins that are essential to their growth and reproduction. It therefore stops the spread of infection, allowing the body's immune system to kill the bacteria. At higher doses it can actually kill the bacteria.

This medication is a generic clindamycin.

Clindamycin is given orally. If using a tablet or pill form, you must make sure your pet swallows some water after taking the medication, or the medication may cause damage to the esophagus. Do not use milk. Cats should have at least a teaspoon of water. Try offering your cat water flavored with tuna water or other liquid your cat likes.

Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian. Use all of the medication prescribed, even if your pet appears well. If the entire course of treatment is not given, the infection may recur or worsen.

Clindamycin is rapidly absorbed from the digestive system and is distributed to many body tissues, making it effective against infections in multiple organs. It is active against many different types of bacteria. It is usually given twice a day for a number of days. If doses are missed or the entire treatment regimen is not completed, the infection could recur or worsen. Consult your veterinarian if the animal's condition does not improve or worsens after beginning treatment with clindamycin.

This medication comes in liquid (dispensed as Zydaclin), tablet, and capsule form.


Talk to your veterinarian about what tests and exams may be necessary while your pet is taking clindamycin. Also discuss how long the treatment period will be and what type of outcome is expected.

Tell your veterinarian if your pet has liver or kidney diseases, may be pregnant or is nursing, or if you intend to breed your pet.

Notify your veterinarian of any other medications or supplements your pet is taking, and also if your pet has had any reactions to previous medications.

If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give two doses at once.

Follow your veterinarian's directions and give the full course of Clindamycin as prescribed. Consult your veterinarian if the animal's condition does not improve or worsens after beginning treatment with Clindamycin.

If using a tablet or pill form, you must make sure your pet swallows some water after taking the medication.

Do not use in animals that are hypersensitive (allergic) to Clindamycin or related antibiotics. Use with caution in animals with liver or kidney disease, and atopic animals (pets with allergies that cause skin problems).

Clindamycin crosses the placenta, and its safety in pregnant or breeding animals has not been determined. Use with caution in lactating animals (female animals nursing their young). Clindamycin passes in the mother's milk, so nursing puppies, kittens, or kits may develop diarrhea.

Do not use in horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters or ruminating animals.

This medication should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed.

You may see vomiting, diarrhea, or lack of appetite. Diarrhea may be bloody. Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of these side effects or if your pet does not show signs of improvement or worsens after several days of treatment.

If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Store capsules and oral solution at room temperature in a tight, light-resistant childproof container. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

May see vomiting, lack of appetite, weight loss, or diarrhea. If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, or if you observe any of these signs in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Consult your veterinarian before using clindamycin with vitamins and supplements, erythromycin or cyclosporine, since interactions may occur.