Antibiotics for dogs: How they help in healing open wounds

Open Wound Antibiotic for Dogs

Just like human beings, dogs are also prone to getting infections. Therefore, when a dog hurts themself during a dog fight or any minor accident, veterinarians may prescribe open wound antibiotics for dogs. 

Pet parents want the best for their fur friend, and that’s why we are to guide you. In addition, you may wish to know more about the types of antibiotics available over-the-counter and how they help in healing open wounds. We have covered all that and more in this in-depth article. 

What Types of Infections Do Antibiotics Treat? How Do They Work?

Dog antibiotics come in two forms: bacteriostatic and bactericidal. The veterinarian suggests the best based on the condition.

Bacteriostatic antibiotics help in preventing the growth and reproduction of bacteria, meanwhile, the bactericidal antibiotic kills bacteria.

In addition, in bacteriostatic antibiotics, the host’s body receives enough time to battle the infection with immune system defenses.

These antibiotics come in different forms, such as tablets, liquids, topical creams, and capsules. These help in treating the following infections:

This article shall unravel the best open wound antibiotic for dogs and all other queries related to the subject. 

Do infected wounds always need antibiotics?

Most pet parents wish to know whether antibiotics for wounds in dogs are helpful or not. You must note that not all infections are the same/equal.

In certain scenarios, the bacteria are present, but they are just normal ‘commensal’ organisms. You will find them on both cat and dog skin. If such bacteria are detected, and it does not cause delayed healing, then veterinarians will not treat this using antibiotic.  Bacteria which is resistant to multi-drug strains, can be challenging to treat. Experts claim that if an open wound is older than six hours, it will be an infected wound.

But this does not mean that it needs open wound antibiotics for dogs. If there is slight contamination, good management of the wound will be helpful. It will speed up the healing process, and the dog will feel less pain and discomfort in a few days.

When would you use antibiotics?

The presence of ‘opportunistic’ bacteria is a concern. Usage of open wound antibiotics’ for dogs should be minimum.

Veterinarians can use a single dose of antibiotics’ during lavage and debridement. However, it is not necessary to carry forward the antibiotics’ treatment.

Pet parents must change the dressing daily (even twice a day). This will fix any subclinical infection.  If the infected wound is causing swelling and inflammation of the tissue around the wound or your dog is immunosuppressed, the veterinarian may suggest systemic antibiotics.

However, the usage of topical antibiotics for dogs will not extend as the infection leads to profuse exudate.

Can Dogs Get Allergic Reactions to Antibiotics?

Just like human beings, dogs may also be allergic to certain drugs. This allergic reaction will be mild to severe and may occur right after administering the antibacterial for dog wounds.

As a result, your dog may experience reactions such as rashes, hives, difficulty in breathing, swelling of the muzzle or face, seizures, vomiting, salivation, and diarrhea.

If you notice that your dog is having face swelling or discomfort in breathing, take them to the nearest veterinary. The doctor may administer steroids to bring down the side effects. 

Type of Antibiotic For Wounds in Dogs

Just like human beings, dogs can get infections too. The infection can put a dog through immense stress and discomfort. If the doctor does not treat the infected wounds, the condition can become life-threatening. 

When a dog is in pain, they will limp and whine. The pain may be unbearable for your fur friend, and they might lose their appetite.

Make sure you have all the supplies to take care of the wound. It would be best to have clean towels, clippers, warm water, a water-based lubricant, and some ointment.

Since the wound is fresh, your dog needs medical attention. When the wound is fresh, you are in a dilemma about giving antibiotics or using whatever is available at home. Here’s something you need to know: your doctor knows the best. 

Your dog’s veterinarian may prescribe open wound antibiotics for dogs to prevent further infection. Here below are various types of antibiotics that commonly used by veterinarians which summarized by the team.

1. Oral Antibiotic

Oral antibiotics are the most common type of antibiotic, including Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, and Erythromycin. Usually, veterinarians prescribe Amoxicillin for dog wounds, and the treatment lasts up to 7 to 14 days.

However, if the infection or dog bite is deep and lethal, the veterinarians suggest oral open wound antibiotics for dogs.

The best way to give oral antibiotics is to mix them with food.

Usually, dogs refrain from eating anything bitter or unpleasant. So you can mix it with the food or ask the doctor to give the medication to your dog.

2. Antibiotic powder for dog wounds

The antibiotic powder dries out the wound to prevent any infection and coagulates blood to halt bleeding.

In addition, the healing process may speed up after sprinkling antibiotic powder on the wound.

3. Antibiotic Ointment for Dog Wound

Sealing the wound with antibiotic ointment is favorable in case the wound is deep and severe. Restrain or muzzle the dog before applying any antibiotic ointment on the wound. 

Your dog will try to get rid of the muzzle, but this is the only way to restrain them. There is no way you can control the incessant licking all through the night. 

Your dog’s first aid must include an antibiotic ointment. You may need it for treating your dog’s open wound. Your veterinarian shall give you the best ointment for this. 

4. Antibiotic Topical Cream for Dog Wound

You can use antibiotic cream for dog wounds. But you need to ensure that your dog does not lick it. Dogs tend to lick the medicine/creams, and you may have no control over them at night.

Excessive licking of wounds may slow down the healing process. Consider getting an Elizabethan Collar for your dog. This will ensure that your dog does not lick the wound.

Make sure you keep an antibiotic topical cream in the dog’s first aid. This will be useful if your dog gets hurt again. Accidents can happen anytime, so you should ensure that the dog’s first-aid is handy.

Common Over-the-Counter Antibiotics for Dogs

  1. Amoxicillin And Cephalexin

Amoxicillin is a penicillin-based medication. It is one of the most preferred and efficient antibiotics for dog wound infectionDoctors recommend Amoxicillin for dog wounds, infection of tissues, skin, and other gastrointestinal and respiratory conditions. 

Cephalexin can fight most types of bacteria. Doctors may recommend this to treat urinary tract infections, but it is also used to treat other types of infections. 

Cephalexin is an oral medication that you can give with or without food. Side effects include digestive upset, kidney disease, and dizziness. Speak to your veterinarian in case you are giving any other drug. 

Both Amoxicillin and Cephalexin are effective open wound antibiotics for dogs. 

   2. Sulfamethox

Pet parents can use sulfamethox to treat many infections (including urinary tract infections). However, make sure your dog drinks lots of water before taking this medication. The side effects of this medication include nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. 

    3. Gentamicin

Gentamicin is an antibiotic for dogs used for treating bacterial infections (including ear infections and pneumonia).

Gentamicin is given just like that, but your dog’s doctor may prescribe this medication with anti-inflammatory medication. This is available in topical spray and tablet form. 

   4. Chloramphenicol

Chloramphenicol is another common antibiotic for your dog’s wound. It is not just effective in treating bacterial infections but also takes care of protozoa.

This medication is useful to treat skin, wounds, pneumonia, bone, central nervous system, and intestinal tract infections. Tick-transmitted diseases can be lethal for your dog’s health. Chloramphenicol can be used for treating tick-transmitted diseases too. 

   5. Sulfadimethoxine

Sulfadimethoxine is a useful medicine in the veterinarian world. If the dog has urinary tract infection, respiratory, or soft tissue infection, this medication is beneficial. Doctors may give this medication in tablet or liquid suspension form. Your dog must drink enough water to avoid dehydration. Usually, the effects of the medicine start showing within two hours, but in some cases, it can be few days. 

   6. Tetracycline

Tetracycline is useful in treating infections in both cats and dogs. If your dog has an infection and the cause is a susceptible bacteria, the doctor might recommend this medication. Usually, doctors would prescribe Minocycline or Doxycycline because of the resistance of bacteria. This antibiotic stops bacteria from forming proteins. This translates to reduced growth and death of the bacteria. Speak to the veterinarian to gain access to this medication. 

   7. Doxycycline

Doxycycline is an effective antibiotic for your dog. It can treat a wide range of infections such as psittacosis, tick diseases, leptospirosis, and toxoplasmosis. It is a bacteriostatic antibiotic that stops the reproduction of bacterial cells. 

Most of the antibiotics listed here require a prescription. So, you have to speak to the veterinarian before giving the above-mentioned medications to your dog. 

Dog Antibiotics Without Vet Prescription That You Could Use for Wound Treatment

Now that you are aware of all the antibiotics given to dogs, but usually, you could not buy them without a prescription from the vets. If your dogs get wounded and your situation does not allow you to visit the vets, here’s some alternative that you could use as first-aid to treat your dog’s open wound. These topical and ointment solutions for treat open wounds for dogs are effective and easily accessible on Amazon. 

The anti-itch blue butter gel is a must-have for pet parents. It is a non-toxic solution used for treating dog wounds. The product is clinically proven and is being used in many veterinary hospitals and clinics.

 It is an effective treatment for laceration, open wounds, skin rashes, infections, burns, and cleansing wounds. 

The Zoetis Animal Health Terramycin Antibiotic ointment is useful for sheep, cat, cattle, dogs, and horses. It is effective against gram-positive and/ gram-negative bacteria.

Pet parents vouch for this product as it helps in treating infections like open wounds and eye infections. 

Farnam wound care dressing powder acts as a drying agent on infected lesions and slow-healing wounds.

A wound may bleed profusely but with dressing powder, it will stop and the wound will dry at a speedy pace.

Another positive feature of this product is that it removes any unpleasant odor from the wound. 

The antiseptic powder is useful for drying bleeding wounds.

The powder crust will protect the wound from further infection.

If your dog has an open wound, this powder formula is an excellent addition in the dog first-aid box. 

Concluding Thoughts

When a dog gets hurt, they are unable to express it through words. But, they express their pain through whining and changing their position several times while sleeping. 

As a pet parent, you would know what is bothering your fur friend. With the right open wound antibiotic for dogs, you are dog’s wound will heal at a speedier pace. However, antibiotics are not a solution for every wound. Let your veterinarian look at the wound. The first thing they will do is clean the wound and then the immediate step is to dry it and then give medications. 

Don’t worry – if your dog gets good treatment, it will get better sooner. 



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