Clindamycin for dogs

Clindamycin for dogs is a vet-recommended antibiotic for your pet. This medication is regularly prescribed for bacterial infections to stop them in their tracks. When using Clindamycin for dogs, it’s a good idea to follow specific directions to avoid possible side effects.

A healthy dog is a happy dog! And at, we want your pet to be in their best health possible. Our aim is to help you make informed decisions about what’s right for you and your pup. With that being said, none of the information we provide should be used in lieu of advice from your vet.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s find out a bit more about Clindamycin for dogs and whether it’s worth bringing up as an option for your dog’s specific needs!

If you’d like to know more about medications that can help your pet, check out our vet-approved list below:

Dyne for Dogs:
For Energy & Weight Gain
Omeprazole for Dogs:
For Ulcers & Inflammation
Enrofloxacin for Dogs:
For Bacterial Infections

Cefpodoxime for Dogs:
For Bacterial Infections
Sucralfate for Dogs:
Chronic Upset Stomach
Cosequin for Dogs:
For Joint Health
Ursodiol for Dogs:
For Liver & Gallbladder
Trazodone for Dogs:
For Anxiety & Aggression
Mometamax for Dogs:
For Ear Infections
Credelio for Dogs:
For Ticks & Fleas
Chlorpheniramine for Dogs:
For Allergy-Related Conditions
Butorphanol for Dogs:
For Painful Coughs
Dinovite for Dogs:
For Irritating, Itchy Coat
Dasuquin for Dogs:
For Joint Health
Meloxidyl for Dogs:
For Pain & Inflammation
Glandex for Dogs:
For Digestive Support
Rilexine for Dogs:
For Bacterial Infections
Enalapril for Dogs:
For Cardiac Conditions
Quercetin for Dogs:
For Allergy & Inflammation
Carprovet for Dogs:
For Pain & Inflammation
Pimobendan for Dogs:
For Congestive Heart Failure
Simplicef for Dogs:
For Bacterial Infections
Clindamycin for Dogs:
For Bacterial Infections

Until then, check out some vet-approved info on Clindamycin for dogs.

Top 10 FAQs for Clindamycin for Dogs

At, we have a lot of regular readers who ask us about certain medications. Clindamycin for dogs is one of those. It’s a prescription antibiotic that’s helped countless dogs get back on their feet after a stubborn infection.

But is it the best option? Are there alternatives? And, what should you know before asking your vet about Clindamycin for dogs? Hold tight because we’ll answer those questions and many more. Let’s go!

#1 What is Clindamycin used for in dogs?

Clindamycin is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections in dogs, including dental, bone, skin infections, and certain types of protozoal infections.

#2 How does Clindamycin work?

Clindamycins inhibits bacteria’s ability to synthesize proteins necessary for their growth and reproduction, effectively stopping the spread of infection.

#3 What dosage of Clindamycin should be given to dogs?

Dosage varies, typically 2.5-15 mg per pound of body weight, administered every 12-24 hours as prescribed by a vet.

#4 Can all dogs take Clindamycin?

While safe for most, it’s not suitable for dogs with allergies to it, liver or kidney issues, or certain health conditions. A vet’s assessment is necessary.

#5 Are there any side effects of Clindamycin in dogs?

Possible side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and allergic reactions. Serious side effects are rare but require immediate veterinary attention.

#6 What if I miss giving a dose of Clindamycin to my dog?

Administer the missed dose as soon as you remember, but skip it if it’s almost time for the next dose. Do not double the dose.

#7 Does Clindamycin interact with other medications?

Yes, it can interact with other antibiotics, muscle relaxants, and some other medications. Always inform your vet about all medications your dog is taking.

#8 How should Clindamycin be stored?

Store in its original container at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Do not freeze the medication.

#9 How long does it take for Clindamycin to work?

Some improvement is often seen within a few days, but the full course of medication should be completed as prescribed.

#10 Do I need a prescription for Clindamycin for my dog?

Yes, Clindamycin requires a veterinarian’s prescription, ensuring it’s used appropriately and safely for your dog’s specific condition.

Still thin Clindamycin for dogs is a good option for your pet? If you’re still with us, then keep reading to find out the answers to the above questions in more detail. After that, if you are convinced Clindamycin could be a good fit for your dog, the only thing left to do is talk to your vet!

Clindamycin for dogs

What is Clindamycin for Dogs?

Clindamycin is an antibiotic medication used to treat bacterial infections in dogs. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria by interfering with their ability to make proteins, which are necessary for the bacteria’s survival and multiplication. 

Clindamycin for dogs

This medication is specifically designed for conditions caused by bacteria that are sensitive to Clindamycin. This makes Clindamycin a targeted treatment option in a veterinarian’s arsenal against bacterial infections in dogs.

What Is Clindamycin Used For In Dogs

Clindamycin for dogs

Clindamycin is used in dogs primarily to treat bacterial infections susceptible to this antibiotic. It is effective against a variety of infections, including:

  • Dental infections, where it helps in treating periodontal disease caused by bacteria.
  • Osteomyelitis, an infection in the bone, often resulting from a wound or surgery.
  • Deep skin infections, such as pyoderma or abscesses, where it helps in managing infections beneath the skin surface.
  • Wound infections, by preventing or treating bacterial contamination in cuts, bites, or other injuries.
  • Respiratory tract infections, particularly those involving anaerobic bacteria, which do not require oxygen to grow.
  • Clindamycin is also used to treat certain types of protozoal infections, like toxoplasmosis, especially in cases where the dog’s immune system is compromised.

It’s chosen for its effectiveness against specific types of bacteria (anaerobic bacteria, and some protozoa). Clindamycin for dogs is a versatile option for treating infections in various parts of the body. 

Clindamycin for dogs

A veterinarian will prescribe Clindamycin based on the type of infection, its severity, and the dog’s health condition. This ensures it’s the most appropriate treatment.

What Does Clindamycin for Dogs Do?

Clindamycin for dogs

Clindamycin for dogs acts as an antibiotic, specifically targeting (and inhibiting the growth of) certain types of bacteria responsible for infections. When a dog is prescribed Clindamycin, the drug works by interfering with the bacteria’s ability to produce proteins essential for their survival. These proteins are necessary for the bacteria to build their cell walls, replicate, and spread. 

By halting protein synthesis, Clindamycin effectively stops the bacteria from growing and multiplying. This allows the dog’s immune system to fight off the remaining bacteria more effectively.

Clindamycin helps reduce the spread of infection and alleviates symptoms associated with bacterial diseases. Clindamycin is particularly effective against anaerobic bacteria, which affect the bones, teeth, skin, and internal organs.

How Does Clindamycin for Dogs Work on a Cellular Level?

Here we’ll get into a bit more of the science behind Clindamycin. If you’re not interested in how Clindamycin works on a cellular level, feel free to skip ahead to the next section. If you are interested, we’ll break it down now.

Clindamycin for dogs

Clindamycin works by targeting the bacterial process of protein synthesis, which is a critical mechanism that bacteria use to grow and multiply. Specifically, it binds to the 50S ribosomal subunit of the bacteria. 

The 50S ribosomal subunit is a part of the bacterial cell’s machinery that reads the RNA (ribonucleic acid) templates to create proteins. By binding to this subunit, Clindamycin effectively blocks the ribosome’s ability to create new proteins.

New proteins are essential for various cellular functions including building cell walls, repairing damage, and replicating. Without the ability to produce these proteins the bacteria cannot grow or reproduce. 

Clindamycin for dogs

Clindamycin works on a cellular level to halt the spread of the bacterial infection. In turn, the dog’s immune system naturally kills off the remaining bacteria and recovers from the infection.

Clindamycin for Dogs Dosages

The dosage of Clindamycin for dogs can vary widely. Dosage depends on the type of infection being treated, the severity of the infection, the dog’s weight, and other health considerations. It’s crucial that a veterinarian prescribes the correct dosage tailored to the individual dog’s needs to ensure safety and effectiveness. 

Clindamycin for dogs

Here are some general guidelines:

  • For oral administration – The typical dosage of Clindamycin ranges from 2.5 to 15 mg per pound (5 to 30 mg/kg) of the dog’s body weight, given every 12 to 24 hours. The exact dosage within this range depends on the severity and type of infection being treated.
  • For more serious infections – Higher doses may be recommended, and the duration of treatment can vary from a few days to several weeks, based on the veterinarian’s assessment of the dog’s response to treatment and the resolution of symptoms.
  • Injection form – Clindamycin is also available in an injectable form, which is usually administered by a veterinarian. The dosage for injectable Clindamycin typically aligns with the oral dosing guidelines but is administered directly by injection.

It’s essential for dog owners to follow the veterinarian’s instructions precisely and complete the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if the dog seems to improve before the medication is finished. 

Stopping the antibiotic early can lead to a resurgence of the infection and may contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Clindamycin for dogs

Clindamycin for Dogs Oral Dosage Chart

The below dosage chart is for reference only. Please consult your vet for the exact dosage for your dog’s condition.

Dog’s Weight (lbs)Dog’s Weight (kg)Low Dose (mg)High Dose (mg)

Again, a veterinarian is the best person to determine the amount of Clindamycin required to kill off bacteria infections in your pet.

Clindamycin for dogs

How is Clindamycin for Dogs Administered?

Clindamycin for dogs

Clindamycin for dogs is administered in several forms. A vet may adjust the Clindamycin type and dose to suit different conditions and preferences. While treatment plans are generally flexible, the most common forms include:

  • Oral Capsules and Tablets – These are perhaps the most frequently used forms of Clindamycin. They are given by mouth, ideally with a bit of food to reduce gastrointestinal upset, though they can be given without food as well. The exact dosage and frequency will depend on the vet’s prescription based on the type and severity of the infection.
  • Oral Liquid Suspension – This form is useful for dogs that may have difficulty swallowing pills or for more precise dosing in smaller dogs where a tablet might provide too high a dose. The liquid form should be measured carefully with a syringe or dropper for accuracy and can be mixed with food or given directly into the mouth.
  • Injectable Solution – Clindamycin is also available in an injectable form, which is typically administered by a veterinarian. This method is often used for more severe infections or when an animal cannot take oral medications due to vomiting or other reasons. Injection allows for the medicine to be absorbed quickly and start acting faster than the oral route.

Just like for humans, completing the full course of antibiotics, even if the dog seems to be better, is essential. To prevent the development of antibiotic resistance and ensure the infection is fully resolved keep giving your pet their vet-recommended dosage for the full duration.

What if I Miss a Dose of Clindamycin for Dogs?

If you miss a dose of Clindamycin for your dog, you should administer the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for the next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and return to the regular dosing schedule.

Do not double up or give extra doses to make up for the missed one. Doubling doses can increase the risk of side effects and may not necessarily improve the treatment’s effectiveness.

Does Clindamycin for Dogs Require A Prescription?

Clindamycin for dogs

Yes, Clindamycin for dogs requires a prescription from a licensed veterinarian. Antibiotics like Clindamycin are regulated medications, and their use is controlled to ensure they are used safely and appropriately. 

A veterinarian will determine if Clindamycin is the right antibiotic for your dog’s condition. Their decision will be based on a diagnosis, the type of infection present, and factors like the dog’s medical history, weight, and potential for drug interactions.

What Alternatives Are There for Clindamycin for Dogs?

When Clindamycin is not suitable for a dog due to allergies, resistance, or other reasons, veterinarians have several alternative antibiotics or treatments they can consider. The choice will depend on the specific bacteria or condition being treated, as well as the dog’s overall health and any potential drug interactions.

Clindamycin for dogs

Here are some common alternatives:

  • Amoxicillin (possibly combined with Clavulanic Acid) – Often used for a wide range of infections, this combination is effective against many bacteria that are not susceptible to Clindamycin. Clavulanic acid helps prevent bacterial resistance to amoxicillin.
  • Doxycycline – Effective against a variety of bacteria and some protozoa, Doxycycline is commonly used for respiratory infections, Lyme disease, and certain urinary tract infections.
  • Cephalexin – This antibiotic is used for treating skin, bone, and urinary tract infections. It’s effective against many gram-positive bacteria.
  • Enrofloxacin – Part of the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics, Enrofloxacin is used for a variety of infections, including skin and urinary tract infections. It’s effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
  • Metronidazole – Although not a direct alternative for the same range of bacterial infections, Metronidazole is effective against anaerobic bacteria and certain protozoa, making it a good option for some gastrointestinal and dental infections.
  • Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ) – This combination antibiotic is used for treating a variety of infections, including those resistant to some other antibiotics.

It’s important to note that the choice of an antibiotic should always be guided by a veterinarian.  In addition, they may recommend culture and sensitivity testing to identify the most effective antibiotic for a particular infection. 

This approach ensures that the selected antibiotic will effectively target the causative bacteria, reducing the risk of resistance development and side effects.

Clindamycin for dogs

When Will You See Results from Clindamycin for Dogs?

Clindamycin for dogs

Generally, some improvement might be observed within the first few days of starting treatment. However, it might take longer for the full effects to be apparent, especially in cases of severe or deep-seated infections.

In many cases, veterinarians suggest looking for signs of improvement within 48 to 72 hours after the first dose. This improvement can manifest as a reduction in symptoms such as less redness, swelling, pain, or fever, indicating that the antibiotic is effectively combating the infection.

Remember, the time it takes to see results from Clindamycin in treating a dog’s bacterial infection can vary. Positive outcomes depend on the type and severity of the infection, as well as the dog’s overall health.

Clindamycin for dogs

Clindamycin Side Effects in Dogs

Clindamycin is generally safe and effective for treating bacterial infections in dogs. However, like all medications, it can cause side effects in some animals. The severity and occurrence of these side effects can vary from dog to dog. 

Clindamycin for dogs

Here are some of the common side effects associated with Clindamycin in dogs:

  • Gastrointestinal Issues – The most frequently reported side effects are related to the digestive system, including vomiting, diarrhea, and a lack of appetite. These symptoms are typically mild and may resolve even with continued treatment.
  • Allergic Reactions – Although rare, allergic reactions to Clindamycin can occur. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives, facial swelling, sudden diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or difficulty breathing. This is an emergency requiring immediate veterinary attention.
  • Changes in Liver Enzymes – Long-term use of Clindamycin has been associated with changes in liver enzyme levels, which could indicate liver irritation or damage. Regular monitoring through blood tests may be recommended for dogs on prolonged Clindamycin therapy.
  • Blood Disorders – On very rare occasions, Clindamycin use can lead to blood disorders, including changes in white blood cell counts, which may affect the dog’s immune system.
  • Esophageal Damage – Particularly with oral forms of Clindamycin, there is a risk of esophageal damage if tablets or capsules are not swallowed properly. Ensuring the dog takes medication with food or water can help mitigate this risk.

It’s important to monitor your dog for any signs of side effects when starting a new medication like Clindamycin. Report any concerns to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Clindamycin for dogs

Are There Any Risk Factors for Clindamycin for Dogs?

Clindamycin for dogs

Yes, there are several risk factors associated with the use of Clindamycin in dogs. A veterinarian will consider these factors before prescribing this antibiotic. Being aware of these risks can help ensure that Clindamycin is used safely and effectively:

Clindamycin for dogs
  • Allergic Reactions – Dogs with a known allergy to Clindamycin or lincomycin (a related antibiotic) should not be given Clindamycin due to the risk of severe allergic reactions.
  • Pre-existing Conditions – Dogs with certain pre-existing conditions, especially those involving the liver or kidneys, may be at increased risk for complications when taking Clindamycin. The liver and kidneys are involved in metabolizing and excreting the drug, respectively, so impairment in these organs could affect how the drug is processed and cleared from the body.
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders – Dogs with a history of gastrointestinal diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease or those prone to chronic diarrhea, may experience exacerbation of these conditions when on Clindamycin.
  • Neuromuscular Disorders – Clindamycin should be used with caution in dogs with neuromuscular disorders like myasthenia gravis, as it has the potential to exacerbate muscle weakness.
  • Pregnant or Nursing Dogs – The effects of Clindamycin on pregnant or nursing dogs have not been thoroughly studied. It should only be used in these animals if the potential benefits outweigh the risks.
  • Young Puppies – The safety of Clindamycin in very young puppies has not been fully established, so its use in these animals should be carefully considered and monitored.

Because of these risk factors, it’s important for your veterinarian to be aware of your dog’s complete medical history before prescribing Clindamycin.

Clindamycin for dogs

Are There Any Drug Interactions with Clindamycin for Dogs?

Clindamycin for dogs

Yes, Clindamycin can interact with other medications. This may alter its effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects. It’s important to inform your veterinarian about all medications, supplements, and over-the-counter products your dog is currently taking before starting treatment with Clindamycin.

Here are some of the notable drug interactions:

  • Erythromycin and Other Macrolides – These antibiotics can compete with Clindamycin for binding sites, potentially reducing the effectiveness of both drugs when used together.
  • Chloramphenicol – This antibiotic can antagonize the action of Clindamycin by inhibiting its binding to the bacterial ribosome, which may reduce the effectiveness of Clindamycin.
  • Quinidine – Clindamycin has been reported to increase plasma levels of quinidine, a medication used for heart rhythm disorders, which could increase the risk of quinidine toxicity.
  • Non-depolarizing Muscle Relaxants – Clindamycin may potentiate the action of these drugs, used during anesthesia, by enhancing their neuromuscular blocking effects, which could complicate surgical procedures or recovery.
  • Cyclosporine – Some evidence suggests that Clindamycin can increase blood levels of cyclosporine, an immunosuppressant drug, potentially leading to increased risk of cyclosporine side effects.
  • Rifampin – Concurrent use with Clindamycin may either enhance or decrease the effectiveness of either drug, depending on the bacterial infection being treated.

Because drug interactions can affect how medications work or increase the risk for serious side effects, it’s crucial to manage them under the guidance of a veterinarian. They may need to adjust dosages, monitor for side effects, or choose alternative medications to avoid potential interactions.

Clindamycin for dogs

How to Store Clindamycin for Dogs

Storing Clindamycin properly is essential to maintain its effectiveness and safety for use in dogs. Here are general guidelines on how to store Clindamycin, whether it’s in capsule, tablet, liquid suspension, or injectable form:

Clindamycin for dogs
  • Keep in the Original Container – Store Clindamycin in the original prescription bottle or container it came in. These containers are designed to protect the medication from light and moisture.
  • Room Temperature – Generally, Clindamycin capsules and tablets should be stored at room temperature, away from direct light, moisture, and heat. Avoid storing it in places with high humidity, such as bathrooms, or areas exposed to high temperatures, like near windows or in cars during hot weather.
  • Liquid Formulations – If Clindamycin is in a liquid form (oral suspension), the storage instructions may vary. Some liquid formulations need to be refrigerated, while others should be kept at room temperature. Check the label or ask your veterinarian for specific storage instructions. Make sure the bottle is tightly closed after each use to prevent contamination or degradation of the medication.
  • Avoid Freezing – Do not freeze Clindamycin, as freezing can alter the medication’s effectiveness. If the medication has been accidentally frozen, consult with your veterinarian to determine if it should still be used.
  • Keep Out of Reach of Children and Pets – Store the medication in a secure location where children and pets cannot reach it to prevent accidental ingestion, which could be harmful.
  • Check Expiration Dates – Regularly check the expiration date on the Clindamycin container. Do not use the medication past its expiration date, as its effectiveness may be reduced or altered. Dispose of expired or unused medication properly, according to your veterinarian’s instructions or local disposal guidelines.

Proper storage ensures that the Clindamycin remains safe and effective throughout its intended use period. If you have any doubts about the storage conditions or if the medication appears to have changed in color, texture, or smell, consult your veterinarian before administering it to your dog.

Clindamycin for dogs

Is Clindamycin for Dogs Safe for All Dogs?

Clindamycin for dogs

Clindamycin is generally safe for most dogs when prescribed by a veterinarian. However, like any medication, it may not be suitable for all dogs. Certain conditions or factors may affect whether Clindamycin is safe for an individual dog:

  • Allergic Reactions – Some dogs may be allergic to Clindamycin. Signs of an allergic reaction can include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. If you observe any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • Pre-existing Conditions – Dogs with liver or kidney disease may need adjusted doses or may not be suitable candidates for Clindamycin due to the medication’s metabolism and excretion processes involving these organs. Your veterinarian may recommend regular monitoring or choose a different antibiotic.
  • Pregnant or Nursing Dogs – The safety of Clindamycin in pregnant or nursing dogs has not been fully established. Use in these animals should be discussed with a veterinarian to weigh the potential benefits against the risks.
  • Young Puppies – The use of Clindamycin in very young puppies should be approached with caution. Your veterinarian will assess the risks and benefits based on the specific health needs of the puppy.
  • Dogs with Certain Health Conditions – Dogs with a history of gastrointestinal diseases, such as colitis, or those with neuromuscular disorders like myasthenia gravis, may be at increased risk for side effects from Clindamycin.

It’s essential for dog owners to provide a complete medical history and list of current medications to their veterinarian. This information helps the veterinarian make informed decisions about prescribing Clindamycin, including adjusting dosages or considering alternative treatments to avoid potential complications.

Clindamycin for dogs

Clindamycin for Dogs Reviews

At, we appreciate what real-world users have to say. We regularly scour the web for feedback regarding any medication or product that’s featured on our site. Happily, the reviews surrounding Clindamycin all seem to be overwhelmingly positive. Here’s a sampling of what we found:

Clindamycin for dogs
  • Lifesaver! – ScottG shares that Clindamycin was crucial in addressing his Wheaten Terrier, Tessie’s, allergic reactions that led to an infection from constant licking and biting. The medication worked quickly, helping Tessie on her way to recovery.
  • Highly Effective! – Jennie G. praises Clindamycin for its remarkable effectiveness in treating her Sheltie’s infection, highlighting how the medication significantly improved her dog’s condition, alleviating her fears.
  • Works Wonders! – Nancy reports success with Clindamycin in treating her Pit Bull Black Lab Mix, Sigmund’s, stubborn wound, emphasizing the medication’s effectiveness in facilitating healing.
  • Dental Miracle! – Wally found Clindamycin very effective for controlling dental issues and infections in his older Spaniel, noting significant improvement in mouth ulcers and gum health.
  • Quick Fix! – Tangoncash recounts how Clindamycin swiftly cleared up a severe tooth and sinus infection in his Jack Russell, stopping the sneezing and mucus discharge, making his pooch huggable again.

All-in-all, it seems that people are pretty happy with Clindamycin for dogs. It’s a prescription medication that offers tangible results. Dogs and their owners can get back to their regular routine without worrying about a bacterial infection getting worse or coming back.

Clindamycin for dogs

Final Thoughts on Clindamycin for Dogs

Clindamycin for dogs

At, we appreciate a medication that can get your dog back on his feet as quickly as possible. Safety and efficacy are high on the list when it comes to Clindamycin for dogs. While there are a few possible downsides, a trusted veterinarian can help determine whether or not this antibiotic will work for your pet.

Do you have any positive (or negative) experiences with using Clindamycin for dogs? If so, we’d love to hear more! Drop us a comment below to let us know.

Clindamycin for dogs
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