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Cephalexin by Ascend Labortories LLC

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General Description:

An oral cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat many common bacterial infections in dogs and cats (ex. urinary tract, skin and soft tissue, bone and respiratory tract infections). Cephalexin may be given with meals. Cephalexin is available in capsules, tablets or as an oral suspension.

 What is this drug?
  • 1st generation cephalosporin; an antibiotic
  • Given by mouth
 Reasons for prescribing:
  • Useful broad spectrum antibiotic most often prescribed for common and uncomplicated infections
  • Especially useful against Staphylococcal infections (ex. deep skin infections)
 What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
  • Use with caution in pets with kidney failure or a history of seizures
  • Use with caution in pregnant animals
  • Pets whom have had previous allergic reactions to penicillin, other cephalosporins or antibiotics

Give medication as directed by your veterinarian. It is usually given two to three times a day.

Missed doses reduce the effectiveness of therapy.

Read and follow the label carefully.

Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed.

Give this medication for as long as your veterinarian directs. Call ahead for refills.

For liquids, shake well before accurately measuring the dose.

May be given with food.

Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.

 What if a dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.

 What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?

Talk to your veterinarian about:

  • When will your pet need to be rechecked
  • What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
  • Risks and benefits of using this drug

Tell your veterinarian about:

  • If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
  • If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
  • If your pet has experienced kidney disease now or ever
  • If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
  • All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medicines can be given together.
  • If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:

Store capsules and powder in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.

Once reconstituted, the oral suspension is stable for two weeks (refrigeration is recommended). Shake well before using.

Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.

Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.

Pet owners who are allergic to penicillin and/or other antibiotics should avoid handling this drug.

 Potential side effects:
  • This medication is usually well tolerated by dogs and cats and is commonly used for several months
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may be experienced but is alleviated by giving medication with food
  • Possible fever in cats. Fever in a cat is a temperature higher than 103°F/39.5°C. Inform your veterinarian and another antibiotic will need to be selected.
  • Hyperexcitability, panting and drooling has been reported in the occasional dog
  • Potential for skin rashes in some pets
  • May increase blood levels if used with probenicid
  • If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian
 Can this drug be given with other drugs?
  • Cephalosporins are often used together with other antibiotics in order to cover a broad group of bacteria when the infectious agent is unknown.
  • These drugs may interact with cephalexin: aminoglycosides (gentamicin, neomycin), amphotericin B, chloramphenicol, oral anticoagulants (blood thinners), penicillin and probenecid.

Unlikely to cause significant problems, but stomach upset is likely.

Contact your veterinarian if pet eats more than the prescribed amount.

 What else should I know?

Cephalexin normally has a strong sulfurous odor which may smell like cat urine.

As with all prescribed medicines, cephalexin should only be given to the dog/cat for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.

Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.

 This is just a summary of information about cephalexin. If you have any questions or concerns about cephalexin or the condition it was prescribed for, contact your veterinarian.


(Cefadroxil, Cephalexin, Cefazolin, Cefpodoxime proxetil)

Common Drug Name

Common Brand Names
Cefadroxil: Cefa-Drops, Cefa-Tabs Cephalexin: Keflex Cefazolin: Ancef and Kefzol Cefaclor: Ceclor  Ceftiofur: Naxcel Cefpodoxime proxetil: Simplicef
Generic products are available.

Refrigerate gummie chews.
Once the oral suspension is reconstituted (the powder is mixed with water), store in the refrigerator and use within 14 days. Shake well before use.
 Store other forms at room temperature in a tight, light resistant, childproof container. Some cephalosporins have a strong sulfur odor. 

Cephalosporins are a group of related antibiotics used in a wide variety of species for a wide range of infections, most commonly of the skin, urinary tract, bones, and respiratory tract. Often used to treat an infection while waiting for culture results.

Dose and Administration
Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian.
Use all of the medication prescribed. If your pet does not receive the entire course of treatment, the infection may recur or worsen.
May decrease some side effects if given with a small amount of food.
If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give 2 doses at once. 
This medication should only be given to the pet for whom it was prescribed.

Possible Side Effects
Side effects are rare. May see lack of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Dogs: May also see drooling, rapid breathing, rashes, and excitability.
Cats: May see vomiting, rashes, or fever (temperature greater than 103°F).
If you observe any of the above signs in your pet, contact your veterinarian.
If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Do not use in animals hypersensitive (allergic) to them. Do not use in animals hypersensitive to penicillins, as they may react to both. 
Although no fetal abnormalities from cephalosporin use have been docu­mented, do not use in pregnant or lactating animals (female animals nursing their young) if possible, as cephalosporins cross to the fetuses and pass in the milk.
Use with caution in animals with seizures, epilepsy, or kidney disease.
Consult with your veterinarian regarding the physical examinations and laboratory testing necessary prior to and during treatment with cephalosporins. 

Human Precautions
People with hypersensitivities (allergies) to cephalosporins or penicillins should not handle any of the cephalosporins, since allergic reactions could occur just from contact. 

Drug, Food, and Test Interactions
Consult your veterinarian before using cephalosporins with vitamins, supplements, aminoglycosides (gentamicin, neomycin) or amphotericin B, anticoagulants (blood thinners, such as heparin or warfarin), and probenicid, since interactions may occur. 
May increase blood levels if used with probenicid.
Some cephalosporins may affect some tests for urine glucose.
May cause a false-positive test result with some brands of urine test strips dipsticks used to check urine glucose.

Signs of Toxicity/Overdose
May see vomiting or diarrhea. With high doses or long-term use, may see liver disease, which may cause jaundice (yellowing of the gums, skin, or eyes); kidney damage, usually with increased drinking and urination; blood disorders, which may cause decreased white blood cells and platelets, causing an increased tendency to bruise or bleed; and damage to the nervous system.
If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, or if you observe any of these signs in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.

This information may not cover all possible uses, directions, side effects, precautions, allergic reactions, drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.


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