Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who
partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.
Non-prescription antibiotics online for dogs? Safe way to save money or no
alexadry all rights reserved
Are Online Antibiotics Safe for a Sick Dog?
People these days are trying to cut cost corners as much as they can, and at
times, pets are the first to suffer from these hard financial times. For some
reason, Rover always appears to get sick at the wrong time, right when
finances are really tight. But what can be done to avoid those expensive vet
visits? A vet visit nowadays costs an average of $75 just for the physical
exam. If we add expensive medications, dog owners can easily spend close to
$200! This is not to mention the cultures, blood work, and x-rays that are
The truth is that many dog owners are struggling to treat their pets, and more
and more are trying to treat their pets at home. Good old home remedies for
pets can be used, but unfortunately, there are times when these may not work
and antibiotics are the only way to fight infection. So what should you do in
this case? Some owners may feel tempted to use some leftover human antibiotics
forgotten in the medicine cabinet, while others prefer to purchase them online
without a prescription. But is this something safe to do? We will evaluate
Can Dogs Safely Use Leftover Human Antibiotics?
Many owners feel tempted to use those human leftover antibiotics, but are they
safe to use? There are many considerations to keep in mind. The following are
some reasons why dog owners should avoid self-medicating their dogs using left
- Problems with dosages: Dogs do not weigh as much as humans, and therefore appropriate dosages may be hard to predict. Overdosing and underdosing are both serious problems that could lead to devastating effects. Dogs and humans weight differently and there are differences in medication strength and dosages. Ever wondered why veterinarians weigh dogs every time they come to the clinic? This most likely has more to do with medication dosages than assessing if a dog is obese or malnourished. Indeed, after the vet tech weighs a dog, he or she notes it in the chart, and once the vet diagnoses the dog with a condition, dosages are conveniently based on the weight recorded.
- Problems with relapses: Another potential problem in medicating a dog with leftover antibiotics is the amount given. Several infections in dogs require antibiotics to be given for at least 7-10 days, if not more, depending on the type of infection. If owners are using leftover pills, it is likely there is not enough to give for a proper amount of time. This may lead to relapses, with the infection making a comeback for the worst if not treated properly. This is why antibiotics have a label noting ”Take as prescribed.” Owners should not have leftover antibiotics to start with, since in order to be taken correctly, the whole bottle should most likely have been completely finished!
- Problem with types: Different types of infections may require different types of antibiotics. While it is true that humans and dogs at times are prescribed the same types of antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, cephalexin, and clavamox, it is also true that these antibiotics may be prescribed accordingly to treat specific types of infections. A type of antibiotic may not be able to effectively fight a certain type of strain of bacteria and this creates substantial problems. For this reason, vets at times perform diagnostic tests so to identify the type of bacteria they are dealing with and prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic.
Note: Having worked along with vets, I have gotten phone calls from dog
owners asking if they could treat their dog at home with a certain type of
antibiotic. Unfortunately, no vet would ever recommend a specific antibiotic
without seeing the pet. This was not because the vet wanted to make money as
many dog owners assumed, but simply because doing so was malpractice. A vet
cannot legally prescribe medication or diagnose a pet without performing a
medical exam. Having your pet seen by a vet is in your pet’s best interest.
Are Online Non-Prescription Antibiotics Safe for Dogs?
It is not uncommon for me to encounter dog owners who claim they purchase
their dog’s antibiotics over the internet without a prescription. How? This is
a legit question since most dog owners know that a prescription is required in
most cases in order for online pharmacies to ship out their antibiotics. Some
dog owners have found some short-cuts by purchasing antibiotics for poultry in
farm supply stores or online from online pet retail stores selling antibiotics
for fish. By reading the reviews, I even discovered some people admitting that
they use the antibiotics for themselves!
Popular products sold are Aqua-Mox (Amoxicillin 500 mg), Fish Mox: Amoxicillin
250mg, Fish-Cillin (Ampicillin 250 mg) Fish Zole ( Metronidazole 250mg)
and Fish Fungus: (Ketoconazole 200mg). Of course, with such products, the same
issues as using human leftover antibiotics apply. How much to give? For how
long? What type of antibiotic is needed?
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While the source of such antibiotics may be questionable, I have noticed that
more and more dog owners have started to order these products for their dogs.
While their dogs may be healing when given correctly, one must consider the
degree of risk these online antibiotics may pose. Note the manufacturing
company notes ”For use in fish only.” My take on this is to avoid self-
medicating pets with antibiotics as much as possible, for the reasons already
If your pet is sick, please have your veterinarian diagnose and treat your pet
accordingly. There may be considerable risks associated with self-medicating
dogs without a veterinarian’s advice.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It
is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription,
or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.
Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a
© 2012 Adrienne Farricelli
Paulart from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001 on January 11,
Very informative Hub.I appreciate your work and i agree with your point.Keep
Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on January 11, 2012:
I would never give my pets left over medicine..I can’t believe people would do
danieltiley26 from Amesbury, Wiltshire, U.K on January 11, 2012:
A very very good hub. This is a real problem, especially with the current
economic climate. Thank you for writing this, have voted up and marked it