Canine Index & Information

Drug list & Possible side effects

Acepromazine (Promace)

A tranquilizer used to sedate for minor procedures, to alleviate itching, and for relief of motion sickness. Not to be used for pain relief, Acepromazine has been known to increase aggression tendencies in some dogs.

Acetylcysteine (Mucomyst, Mucosil)

An effective medication used to break down mucus, usually given by inhalation therapy to treat lung conditions and to ease breathing difficulties. Can also be administered orally to counteract acetaminophen toxicity and overdose.

Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin, Ascriptin)

Non steroidal anti-inflammatory used for the relief of pain and fever. Aspirin should always be given with food to prevent stomach upset and/or ulcers. Recommended dose- 5-15mg./ lb. every 8-12 hours.

Do not use aspirin containing any other products, such as caffeine, codeine, or acetaminophen, as these can be fatal to animals if used without veterinary supervision.

Aspirin products can be fatal to cats.


Adequan is an injectable drug used to control the progression and symptoms of arthritis in dogs. It is beneficial in the treatment of joint pain, including spine and hips. The main ingredient in Adequan is chondroitin sulfate which is extracted from the trachea tissue of cows. Side effects can include diarrhea and abnormal bleeding. Caution should be used in the use of Adequan in dogs with kidney or liver impairment

Alprazolam (Xanax)

A controlled substance rarely used, but effective in some cases of anxiety, aggression, and fear related disorders when used short term. Antidepressants should never be used without veterinary supervision and are rarely effective unless used in conjunction with behavioral modification techniques. Side effects can include lethargy, sleepiness, and depression. Caution should be exercised in dogs taking Cimetidine (Tagamet), erythromycin, Letoconozole, or propanolol as drug interaction is possible. Alprazolam may increase the effect of other drugs including Digoxcin (heart medication). It should not be used in dogs with liver or kidney impairment.

Aminopenicillin (Amoxicillin, Ampicillin)

A very safe broad spectrum antibiotic used for bacterial infections, typically while awaiting laboratory culture test results. Can be effective in the treatment of upper respiratory infections, bite wounds, and oral infections but has little use against the staphylococcal variety of bacterium. Possible side effects include lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling.

Ampicillin use in diabetic dogs can result in false positive urine glucose tests. 

Amitriptyline (Elavil)

An antidepressant used in conjunction with behavioral modification techniques for behavioral problems and anxiety. Laboratory tests before treatment and during treatment are generally recommended so as to use the lowest possible dose necessary for a positive outcome.

Side effects can be mild or severe and include excitability or sedation, loss of appetite, constipation or diarrhea, increased appetite/weight gain, dry mouth, increased thirst, bone marrow suppression/anemia, br

Drug interactions with some vitamins and supplements, ephedrine, MAO inhibitors, some tick and flea collars, atropine, some thyroid medicines (Methimazole, Cimedtidine).

May alter blood glucose levels in diabetic dogs.

Azithromycin (Zithromax)

A broad spectrum antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. Side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, liver disease and jaundice. Should be used with caution in dogs with liver disease, or dogs taking vitamin supplements, cyclosporine, or antacids. Possible side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, and liver damage.

Buspirone (Buspar)

A human drug occasionally used in conjunction with behavioral modification techniques for certain behavior problems related to fear and phobias. Side effects are not well documented in animals with the exception of restlessness and /or sedation. Should be used with care in dogs taking vitamin supplements, ephedrine, MAOI's, and those using flea and tick collars.

Carprofen (Rimadyl)

A non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID) used for the relief of pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, orthopedic post op pain , and soft tissue post op pain. Side effects can include stomach upset, ulcers, loss of appetite, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and dark stools. 


Cefadroxil (Cefa-drops, Cefa-tabs, Cefador, Ceclor) Cephalexin (Keflex) Cefazolin (Ancef, Kefzol) 

Broad spectrum antibiotic safely used for bacterial infections of the skin or bone, urinary tract, and respiratory tract. Side effects can include drooling, rapid breathing, rash, and excitability. Cephalosporins should not be given to animals hypersensitive to penicillin. Caution should also be used in animals with seizures, epilepsy, or kidney disease.

May cause a false positive on urine glucose test results in diabetic dogs.


Is used to reduce the amount of gastric acid in the stomach. Commonly used to treat gastritis, ulcer disease and other hypersecretory diseases. Rare side effects can include confusion, headache, slow heart rate, and dizziness.

Ciproflaxcin (Cipro)

An antibiotic of the quinolone class used to treat bacterial infections and frequently used in the case of urinary tract infection. Pets taking Ciproflaxcin are at risk of developing urine crystals due to dehydration. Water should always be available and your dog should be encouraged to drink plenty of water during treatment. Ciproflaxcin should not be taken within 2 hours of supplements, antacids, calcium, and vitamins. Side effects include lack of appetite, vomiting, dizziness, and seizures.


An antibiotic used for oral infections, dental disease, abscesses, deep wounds, and bone infections. Caution should be used when giving to atopic dogs (dogs with allergies) as skin itchiness, irritation, and hot spots can result. Clindamycin can interact negatively with some vitamins, supplements, and erythromycin. Side effects can include loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Cyclosporine- Oral (Atopica) )

A drug that is used to suppress the immune system . It is used in certain immune related disorders and also sometimes used to treat anal fistulas in dogs, asthma in cats, and some inhaled substance allergies. Side effects can include loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea, overgrowth of gum tissue, muscle cramps, excessive thrist, lethargy, and jaundice.

Deracoxib (Deramaxx)

Deracoxib is an Non steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID) belonging to the class of drugs known as "sulfonamides". Dogs allergic to sulfa drugs should not take Deracoxib. It is used to relieve pain following surgery, injury, and deep wounds. Side effects may include ulcers, abnormal bleeding, kidney failure in compromised dogs, liver toxicity-nausea, appetite loss, diarrhea. Negative interactions with Phenobarbitol, Enalapril.

Diazepam (Valium)

A controlled substance used to sedate. Diazepam is sometimes used to prevent seizures and anxiety, as a muscle relaxer, and for behavioral disorders. Side effects can include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, depression, bruising/bleeding, and liver damage. Diazepam should not be given within 2 hours of antacids as this could interfere with absorption.


A broad spectrum tetracycline related antibiotic used to treat bacterial infection, Leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, tick borne diseases including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Salmon poisoning. Side effects can include photosensitivity (skin blisters when exposed to sun), vomiting, and diarrhea. Doxycycline should be given with food to reduce side effects. Long term therapy could result in unwanted growth of bacteria or fungi, and staining of the teeth of young dogs.

Doxycycline can have a negative interaction with some vitamins/supplements, antacids, Pepto Bismol, Kaopectate, theophylline (bronchodilator), warafin, and INSULIN.

Doxycycline can produce false and inaccurate urine glucose test results.


An ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and some kidney diseases. It is commonly used with diuretics. Side effects may include nausea, loss of appetite diarrhea, drop in blood pressure listlessness, and elevation of blood potassium levels. Enalapril should not be used in patients with liver compromise as effective liver function is necessary to process the drug. Pre therapy laboratory tests to determine kidney function is necessary, as is continued kidney function tests throughout treatment with Enalapril.

Enrofloxacin (Baytril)

An antibiotic of the Quinolone class used for susceptible bacterial infections. Baytril is a non-crushable and bitter tablet that must be swallowed whole. Use caution with dogs with liver disease. Side effects include lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, dizziness, nervousness, and behavioral changes.

Caution: Enrofloxacin may cause blindness in cats at doses exceeding 22mg./lb/day.

Bone and joint malformation in young and growing animals and large breeds under 2 years old have been reported.

Should not be used with oral Cyclosporin, Probenecid, and some vitamins and supplements.

Could prompt increased seizure activity in epileptic dogs.


An emergency administration which is given in the pet hospital by a veterinarian to treat severe allergic reactions to insect bites, drugs, and for cardiac resuscitation.


An antibiotic to treat diarrhea, skin infections, prostate infection. Should not be used in conjunction with Clindomycin or Penicillin, or in dogs with liver disease. Side effects could include vomiting and diarrhea, and suppressed appetite.

Etodolac (Lodine, Etogesic)

A non steroidal anti inflammatory drug used for arthritic pain. Approved for use in dogs by the FDA. Recommended dose is .5mg./lb. every 24 hours for 5-7 days. Continued use must be determined by a veterinarian depending on effectiveness of the loading dose.

Fluconazole (Diflucan)

Medication used to treat serious fungal infections, yeast infections of the skin, and ringworm. Preliminary and ongoing laboratory tests to look for liver disease and kidney failure are indicated while using Fluconazole. Side effects can include loss of appetite, vomiting, depression, tiredness, anemia, skin rash, and liver toxicity.

Fluoxetine (Reconcile, Prozac)

An antidepressant used to treat behavioral and obsessive compulsive behaviors and aggression. Side effects include stomach upset, anxiety, panting, irritability, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice.

Furosamide (Lasix, Solix)

A diuretic used to remove excess fluid from the body due to congestive heart failure, kidney disease, pulmonary edema (fluid in lungs), and high blood pressure.

Gentocin Topical Spray

A topical spray used for the treatment of superficial lesions of the skin caused by bacteria. Gentocin topical spray is a combination medication containing both corticosteroid and antibiotic and is very effective in the case of "Hotspots". Side effects can include pancreatic enzyme elevation, weight loss, loss of appetite, and with long term or repeated use, there is the risk of developing Cushing's Disease.

Gentocin topical spray should not be used on dogs with diabetes or with liver and/or kidney disease.

Ketoconazole (Nizoral

Anti fungal medication used for deep fungal infection, some yeast and ringworm infections, and Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings Disease).

Ketoconazole/Chlorhexidine Shampoo (Keto Chlor)

A combination anti bacterial/anti fungal shampoo used in the treatment of fungal skin diseases and bacterial skin infections such as pyoderma and dermatitis.


An opiate class drug used to control diarrhea by increasing muscle tone of the small intestine. It is also sometimes used for dogs with fecal incontinence. Side effects can include uncommon bloating, constipation, lethargy, and sedation. Loperamide should never be used along with other tranquilizing or sedation drugs as the risk of over sedation exists. It should not be used to treat intestinal toxins or Parvo virus.

Loperamide may falsely elevate laboratory tests for pancreatitis (amylase andlipase).

Loperamide should not be used in dogs with Addison's Disease, hypothryroidism, brain tumor, or hydrocephalus

Meloxicam (Metacam, Mobic)

Non Steriodal Anti Inflammatory- used to reduce inflammation and pain of joint disease and muscle injuries; fever reducer. Side effects can include depression, loss of appetite, diarrhea, increased thirst/urination, vomiting, skin irritation/excessive shedding, ulcers, rapid respiration, and behavioral changes.

Metronidazole (Flagyl, Metizole, Protostat, Metrogel)

Antibiotic and anti Protozoal medication used to treat diarrhea and certain bacterial infection, Giardia, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is recommended that tablets be swallowed whole as prolonged contact with the mouth or crushed and chewed tablets can cause irritation and excessive drooling. Side effects can include nausea and vomiting, lethargy, anemia, weakness, hematuria (blood in urine), seizures, headtilt, nerve damage, and liver disease. Metronidazole should be used with caution in dogs with compromised livers and/or kidneys. It should also not be taken with anticoagulants, phenobarbitol, sedatives, or tranquilizers.


An anticonvulsant also used to relieve chronic pain. Side effects can include drowsiness, lethargy, and depression.

Nusratin/Neomycin, Thiostrepton/Triamcinolone (Animax, Panolog)

A combination drug including antifungal, antibiotic, and corticosteroid used to treat skin and ear infection caused by allergy, bacterial and/or yeast infections. Also used for anal gland infection and interdigit (between the toe) cysts and infection.

Oxydex Gel

A potent topical antimicrobial gel applied directly to the skin to treat hotspots, acne, folliculitis, and other skin disorders.


Palladia is the very first and only FDA approved drug developed specifically for dogs and used to treat canine cutaneous mast cell tumors which account for one out of five canine skin cancers. Palladia works by killing tumor cells and cutting off the blood supply to the tumors. Side effects can include diarrhea, loss of appetite, blood in stool, and lameness.

Palladia will not be available until early in 2010.

Pentobarbitol (Nembutal)

An FDA approved drug for use in dogs. A barbiturate and anti seizure medication most often used in a hospital for short term control of epilepsy and cluster seizures in dogs.

Phytonadione Vitamin K 1

Vitamin antidote for anticoagulation poisoning (rat/mouse poison). Promotes blood clotting fators in the liver to prevent severe internal bleeding. It is commonly given in conjunction with blood transfusion.

Prednisolone (Prednisone)

A Glucocorticoid class of hormone produced naturally by the body, and a steroid drug that works by breaking down stored protein, glucose, and fat to be used by the body in times of stress. It is used as an anti inflammatory for joint pain, some chronic respiratory conditions (asthma), as an immune system suppressor in the case of autoimmune disease, to reduce blood calcium, and as an agent in Chemotherapy. It is also used to treat chronic conditions and can be administered for weeks or months at a time, but the dog must always be weaned down before going of Predisone to allow the body to adjust and produce it's own hormones. Side effects can include excessive thirst/urination, sodium retention, kidney and liver disease and failure.

Diabetics should never be given Prednisone except for a life threatening condition.

Prednisone can cause changes in liver enzyme tests and interfere with the results of testing for thyroid disease.


An H2 blocker, Ramitidine is used to treat helicobacterial infections of the stomach lining, irritable bowel disease (IBD), Parvo virus, toxic ingestion, vomiting, or suspected ulcer disease. Side effects with Ramitidine are rare and uncommon.


A nutritional supplement used to treat liver disease by increasing healthier liver cell membranes and better bile flow. SAMe is currently being recommended by veterinarians for diabetic dogs with compromised liver function. It is thought that SAMe is effective in reversing liver damage caused by disease. Nutritional supplements are not regulated in the U.S. and their effectiveness in dogs is undetermined.

Selegiline Hydrochloride (Anipryl)

Anipryl is used to help stabilize the chemicals in the brain to improve the function of senior dogs with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (equivalent to human senility). It is also sometimes FDA approved and used in the treatment of Cushing's Disease but the effectiveness of Anipryl in a controversial issue. Side effects may include vomiting/diarrhea, hyperactivity or lethargy, loss of appetite, staggering gait, and seizures.

Silymarin (Milk Thistle)

A very safe derivative of a flower belonging to the Aster family, Silymarin, considered a nutritional supplement, has only recently been advocated for use in pets. It is thought to increase protein production by liver cells, increase bile flow, and stabilize mast cells. For this reason, it is commonly used to treat Diabetic dogs. It is also used to treat mushroom toxicity and other toxic liver diseases. Side effects are not well established, however diarrhea is possible due to increased bile flow. Nutritional supplements are not regulated by the FDA and there is no actual proof of their effectiveness in dogs.

Spinosad (Comfortis)

Spinosad/Comfortis is a flea control medication available only by veterinarian prescription. Used to kill fleas and their eggs very quickly and last for a longer period of time than other flea products, usually a full month. Spinosad must be taken on a full stomach monthly. Side effects are common with the first dose and diminish with subsequent doses. They include vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Caution: Spinosad contains pork proteins and is not suitable for dogs sensitive or allergic to pork.

Should not be used on puppies under 14 weeks old or by dogs suffering from seizure disorders.

Vetoryl (Modrenal, Trilostane)

Vetoryl is the newest FDA approved addition to the arsenal of drugs used to treat Cushing's Disease. Vetoryl works by reducing the excess amount of cortisol produced by the adrenal glands without stopping altogether the production of cortisol. It's action is effective in halting Cushing's Syndrome without damage to the dog's body. Vetoryl is well tolerated by most dogs and side effects are few. Some dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Daily single dose treatment plans as opposed to multi dose treatment appears to increase the likelihood of side effects.

Zymox-Otic Solution

Medicated otic solution (ear drops) used for the treatment of acute and chronic inner ear infection caused by bacteria, virus, or yeast. Zymox Otic is effective against antibiotic resistant organisms and serves to soothe and cleanse the ear as well.