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Enrofloxacin is an antibiotic for pets used to treat difficult bacterial infections in pets. It is effective against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterias. Previously, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus bacterias were very difficult to treat, but Enrofloxacin proves effective against them. It is commonly used to treat a range of bacterial infections – skin, ear, urinary tract, wound, and of the respiratory system.

Enrofloxacin is an appropriate antibiotic choice for difficult-to-treat infections, especially for those animals who require long-term antibiotics. Some scenarios include pneumonia, difficult soft tissue infections, sinus infections, osteomyelitis, otitis, peritonitis, and pleuritis. 

Enrofloxacin may also be suitable for Aeromonas, Brucella, Campylobacter, Chlamydia, E.coli., Enterobacter, Haemophilus, Klebsiella, Mycobacterium, Mycoplasma, Proteus, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Salmonella, Serratia, Shigella, Staphylococci (including some methicillin-resistant strains), Vibrio, and Yersinia.

Enrofloxacin is not effective against anaerobic bacteria nor is it an appropriate treatment option against infections caused by viruses, fungi, or parasites. However, it is commonly used in combination with other antibiotics for a boost in function.

Enrofloxacin is rapidly absorbed from the digestive tract and works by preventing bacteria from being able to transcribe DNA. Enrofloxacin makes it impossible for the enzyme associated with this task to read or uncoil the DNA, therefore killing the bacteria. This antibiotic is part of the class of fluoroquinolones. 

Enrofloxacin Side Effects in Dogs and Cats

There are some side effects and pet health considerations to be aware of and look out for when giving enrofloxacin to an animal. 

Common Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Depression 
  • Local tissue reactions may occasionally occur at the injection site. 

Giving the medication with food may help with stomach upset issues. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions on whether to give medication with food.

Less Common or Rare Side Effects

  • Neurological issues such as stimulation, ataxia, seizures (use with caution for animals with central nervous system disorders).
  • Behavioral issues such as depression, lethargy, nervousness, or loss of appetite.
  • Ocular issues such as mydriasis, retinal degeneration, or loss of vision. 
  • Allergic reactions such as fever, rashes, or trouble breathing.
  • Excretory issues such as urinary crystals.
  • Uncoordinated walking
  • Swollen joints or cartilage damage (especially in young and growing animals).

Side Effects for Dogs

For puppies (8 months old or younger), there is a risk of damage to joint cartilage. Baytril injections may harm articular cartilage for a dog who is having a growth spurt. Dog health factors should be considered when prescribing enrofloxacin for dogs.

Side Effects for Cats

Cat health complications should be considered when prescribing enrofloxacin for cats.

High doses may cause blindness or retinal damage. Using this medication for more than 30 days increases the risk of vision loss or ocular damage with cats. 

With this medication, cats are sometimes susceptible to lethargy, vomiting, lack of appetite, diarrhea, elevated liver enzymes, uncoordinated walking, vocalization, or aggression.

In cases where there is a loss of appetite, cats are at risk for developing liver problems.

Side Effects for Horses

In some cases, horses have experienced oral mucous membrane irritation. A solution to this problem is to dilute the drug with oral injection.  Cartilage abnormality may develop in young horses. This is an issue for horses bred to be athletes.

Enrofloxacin Precautions

Enrofloxacin may have negative interactions with other veterinary drugs or supplements. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications or remedies the animal is currently taking. 

Let your veterinarian know all medical history of the animal including what antibiotics the animal has taken previously (how well it worked and if there were any allergic reactions). This pet medication should never be given without first consulting your veterinarian.

Animals should not take this drug when they are:

  • Allergic to similar drugs like ciprofloxacin or marbofloxacin.
  • Puppies and kittens (especially those who are in a growth phase).
  • Pregnant or nursing (unless the benefits to the mother are greater than the risks to the offspring).

Use with caution for animals who have:

  • A history of epilepsy or seizures.
  • Liver or kidney problems.
  • Dehydration

Enrofloxacin may have negative interactions or contraindications with other drugs so be sure to tell your veterinarian about any other animal medications or supplements your animal is currently taking.

However, enrofloxacin synergizes with numerous other antibiotics which boost the effectiveness against infections of many types.

For infections with Strep. canis, drug interaction with enrofloxacin may result in “necrotizing fasciitis” that causes large areas of tissue to die. 

Watch for side effects and contact your veterinarian immediately when there are adverse effects. Overdosing has serious consequences and cannot be reversed, so be careful with dosing.


Dosing and administration methods differ among dogs and cats. Doses are given once per day or can be divided for twice-daily administration at 12-hour intervals. 

Use as directed by your veterinarian. As with all antibiotics, finish the medication per veterinary instructions regardless of progress in improvement. Administer on an empty stomach unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian. Adjustments may be necessary for patients with kidney or liver disease.

Enrofloxacin for Dogs Dosage

Enrofloxacin is given to dogs by tablet, oral suspension, intravenously, or intramuscularly. Dosage is given based on weight (2.27 to 9.07 mg/lb). Tablets come in strengths of 22.7 or 136 mg. 

When a high dose is prescribed, watch for a lack of appetite, depression, or vomiting.

Enrofloxacin for Cats Dosage

Enrofloxacin is given to cats by capsule, chew, or oral suspension.

Dosage is based on weight (2.27 mg tablet/lb). For cats, the dose should not exceed 2.27 mg/lb. per day orally. 

Use as directed. Dosing should continue for at least 2-3 days after clinical signs subside (to a maximum of 30 days).


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