Clindamycin for Dogs
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Clindamycin for dogs and cats is commonly prescribed when animals are fighting bacterial infections. It is available in 25mg and 150mg capsules and as 25mg/1mL drops (which must be stored at room temperature).

What is Clindamycin?

Clindamycin is an antibiotic that can treat bacterial infections. It is also known by the trade names Cleocin HCl, Clindacin, Dalacin, and Evovlin, among others.

Is Clindamycin Harmful to Dogs and Cats?

While medical providers most often prescribe it to humans, animals may also take this medication in certain cases. It’s important for pet owners to follow their veterinarian’s directions in order to reduce the risk of negative reactions.

What is Clindamycin for Cats and Dogs Used to Treat?

The FDA has approved veterinary use of clindamycin for cats with the following infections:

  • Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus intermedius, or Streptococcus spp. (aka “staph” infections)
  • Bacteroides fragilis
  • Fusobacterium necrophorum
  • Clostridium perfringens

The FDA has approved veterinary use of clindamycin for dogs with the following infections:

  • Staphylococcus aureus or Staphylococcus intermedius (aka “staph” infections)
  • Bacteroides fragilis
  • Prevotella melaninogenicus
  • Fusobacterium necrophorum
  • Clostridium perfringens


The typical dose of clindamycin for dogs is 2.5 to 5 mg per pound every twelve hours. For cats, the typical dose is 5 to 10 mg per pound every 24 hours. Always defer to a veterinarian about how to give clindamycin to a dog or cat.

Side Effects

Side effects of clindamycin in dogs include:

  • diarrhea (sometimes bloody),
  • vomiting,
  • drooling, and
  • lip smacking.

Side effects may be more pronounced in animals with underlying health problems like kidney and liver disease.

How Long Does Clindamycin Take to Work in Dogs and Cats?

According to VCA Hospitals, pets should feel the effects of this medication within an hour or two of their last dose. That said, pet owners may not be able to notice the effects right away, and may have to wait a few days to notice visible signs that the medication is working.

Tips for Giving Clindamycin to Cats and Dogs

It’s important never to give clindamycin to pets as a dry pill. This administration may increase the risk of the pill getting stuck in the pet’s throat, which can cause ulcers. Considering this drug tastes bitter anyway, hiding this medication inside a treat may be the easiest and potentially safest way to medicate a pet.

Final Thoughts

If a licensed veterinarian deems it appropriate, they may prescribe clindamycin for dogs and cats fighting certain infections. However, it’s important to give pets this pill exactly as the vet prescribes.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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