Written by Beth Hrusch
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Treatment of Infection

Cephalexin is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections of the respiratory and urinary tract. It is also effective for bone, ear and skin infections. This medication is only approved for use in humans, however, veterinarians may legally prescribe it for animals. Cephalexin works by preventing bacteria from forming cell walls. The bacteria then becomes unstable and dies.

Use in Animals

Cephalexin is similar to another drug called cefadroxil, used by vets to treat skin and bladder infections in cats and dogs. It can also be used in fish tanks using pull-apart capsules. As in humans, this drug can have side effects in animals, and should not be prescribed to dogs and cats with a history of allergy to penicillin.

It is not uncommon for animals to vomit shortly after administration. This indicates a sensitivity to the drug which could be dangerous for the animal. As with any antibiotic, the full course should be taken by the animal under treatment to prevent the development of resistance to the infection.

Cephalexin is not effective against viral infections such as cold and flu, nor does it work against parasitic or fungal infections. It is a prescription drug and may only be obtained for pets through a veterinarian. It is available in three forms - capsule, oral suspension and tablets. The best choice may depend upon the age and size of the animal being treated, and ease of administration for the pet owner. As with most pet medical supplies, this drug should be used under a veterinarian's supervision.

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