Clavacillin Dosage Chart for Dogs: Risks, Side Effects, Dosage, and More

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: March 11, 2024
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Has your dog just been prescribed Clavacillin by your vet? This is an antibiotic medication used to treat infections in both dogs and cats. As is the case with all veterinary medication, Clavacillin must be taken in the correct dosage and there can be risks and side effects associated with it. If you have any questions or concerns, you should consult your vet right away. Here, we take a closer look at the Clavacillin dosage chart for dogs and some other common questions that owners ask.

What Is Clavacillin?

Clavacillin is a trademarked brand name for an antibiotic medication used in veterinary medicine for the treatment of dogs and cats. Antibiotics are drugs that are used to tackle bacterial infections. The drug is supplied as tablets in blister packs for oral administration which means your dog will have to swallow them.

In the United States, Federal law only allows Clavacillin to be used by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. You cannot buy it over-the-counter and should only ever give it to your dog under the direction of your vet.

What Does Clavacillin Contain?

It has two active ingredients: amoxicillin trihydrate and clavulanate potassium. Amoxicillin is a semisynthetic antibiotic that kills several different types of bacteria that cause infections in dogs. It works by stopping bacteria from being able to build their cell walls. To help prevent antimicrobial resistance, clavulanate potassium is added to the drug.

Is Clavacillin Safe for Dogs?

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Clavacillin in dogs and cats. However, only a qualified vet can decide if it is safe for your particular dog and they can only do this with complete and accurate information.

Most importantly, they need to know if your dog has ever had an allergic reaction to penicillins or cephalosporins. They also need to know if your dog is pregnant or nursing pups. You must also tell your vet if your dog has any other health conditions or is taking any other medication (including over-the-counter health supplements). Answer all of your vet’s questions as fully and as accurately as you can.

How to Safely Give Clavacillin to Your Dog

The safe way to administer Clavacillin to your dog is to make sure that you only use it under the supervision of a qualified vet. Make sure that you understand your vet’s instructions and follow them very carefully. Adverse reactions and allergies are possible and you must let your vet know immediately if you have any concerns.  To keep your dog safe, you must follow the dosage instructions provided. Store the packet out of reach of your dog so that they cannot accidentally eat more tablets than they should!

Can I Give It to My Puppy?

Your vet will decide if Clavacillin is appropriate for your pup depending on their age, size, breed, the severity of the infection, etc. Be prepared to provide your puppy’s exact age and other breed and health information during the consultation.

What Are the Potential Adverse Effects?

The main potential adverse effect is an allergic reaction. Ask your vet about the signs of an allergic reaction in your dog so you know what to look out for. Often these include skin redness, hives, stomach upsets, and/or trouble breathing. It is essential that you alert your vet straight away if this happens so that they can administer treatment such as epinephrine and/or steroids.

Some other side effects are possible (although not confirmed) including anorexia, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. That said, most dogs can take this medication with no problems.

When Do Dogs Need Clavacillin?

veterinarian examines a dog teeth. Consultation with a veterinarian. Close up of a dog and fangs. Animal clinic. Pet check up. Health care.

Clavacillin can be used to treat periodontal disease in dogs.

©Yavdat/Shutterstock.com

Your vet may prescribe Clavacillin for your dog if they have an infection. It is used to treat skin and soft tissue bacterial infections. This could be a wound (such as a cut), an abscess, or cellulitis (a potentially serious infection of the deeper layers of skin).

It may also be used to treat pyoderma which is a type of skin infection in dogs. It looks like pimples on their skin. This often occurs when the skin has been broken or exposed to moisture over a long period. It can develop in the skin folds of some dogs such as the Shar-pei. However, it is also often a secondary complication of allergic dermatitis.

For Clavacillin to be successful in treating these conditions, they must have been caused by bacteria that are susceptible to this antibiotic. For example, we know that infections caused by some strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus and E. coli can be successfully treated with this medication.

Treating Periodontal Disease

Importantly, it is also a useful drug for the treatment of periodontal infections in dogs. This is the most common cause of inflammation in a dog’s mouth. It begins when plaque (a combination of residue and bacteria) forms on the dog’s teeth and is followed by inflammation and sometimes infection. Periodontal disease is a very common canine condition but you are most likely to see it in older dogs and in smaller breeds. In severe cases, it can lead to bone infections, liver problems, heart problems, and kidney problems. Therefore, it is vital that we treat it correctly. This may include the use of antibiotics.

When it comes to periodontal disease in dogs, prevention is much better than cure. You can play an important role in preventing your dog from developing the condition in the first place with regular (preferably daily) tooth brushing. This disrupts the formation of plaque which leads to later, more serious, conditions.

Clavacillin Dosage Chart

Clavacillin should only be given to your dog with veterinary approval.  The recommended dosage for Clavacillin in dogs is 6.25 mg per pound of body weight given twice a day. To calculate the exact dose that your dog needs, your vet will weigh them during the consultation but may also take other factors into account when prescribing. Here is a rough guide to Clavacillin dosage using approximate weights for some common breeds.

Dog’s WeightBreed ExamplesDose
(the exact dose can only be determined by a licensed veterinarian)
5 poundsChihuahua(5 x 6.25mg) twice a day
20 poundsBeagle(20 x 6.25mg) twice a day
50 poundsLabrador(50 x 6.25mg) twice a day
100 poundsGreat Dane(100 x 6.25mg) twice a day

To obtain the correct dose for your dog, your vet will select the right number and type of tablet that should be given at each dose. There are 6.25-mg, 125-mg, 250-mg, and 375-mg tablets available.

How Long Is the Treatment?

Your vet will decide the most appropriate length of treatment depending on the exact infection that your dog has. Your dog must complete the entire course. Bacteria can re-establish infections if the treatment is not long enough. A rough guide to treatment durations that your vet may recommend is given in the table below.

ConditionApproximate treatment period
(the exact period can only be determined by a licensed veterinarian)
Abscesses, cellulitis, wounds5-7 days or for 48 hours after all symptoms have subsided
Superficial/juvenile pyoderma5-7 days or for 48 hours after all symptoms have subsided
Periodontal infections5-7 days or for 48 hours after all symptoms have subsided
Deep pyoderma21 days

What If the Treatment Doesn’t Work?

cropped view of veterinarian examining back of weimaraner dog

If Clavacillin does not seem to be working take your dog back to your vet.

©LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com

No treatment given by a vet is guaranteed to work. You should closely monitor your pooch for signs of improvement once the treatment has started. Keep in touch with your vet to let them know how things are going. If the bacteria causing your dog’s infection do not respond to Clavacillin, you may not see any signs of improvement in your dog. Your vet may decide to take swabs from the infection site to establish exactly which bacteria are causing the problem. They may also decide to discontinue the treatment and reevaluate and this may include switching to another antibiotic.

How to Give Clavacillin to Your Dog

This antibiotic is usually given to dogs twice a day and your vet will recommend how to do this. They may recommend giving your dog a dose every 12 hours. For example, at 8 am and then at 8 pm.

Some dogs are better at taking tablets than others! Most owners find that tablets can be hidden inside treats or cheese. You need to supervise your dog closely to make sure that they do not swallow the cheese and leave the tablet! You should try to give the antibiotics to your dog regularly and not miss a dose.

Some dogs fall for the first or second hidden tablets. However, as the treatment continues, they ‘get wise’ and start spitting the tablet out. Dogs who wolf treats down whole without chewing are a lot easier to deal with!

If you are struggling, have a chat with your vet. They may recommend a pill pocket or a pill device to help you administer the tablets. You mustn’t just give up as the infection could get worse and lead to serious health consequences.

Final Thoughts on the Clavacillin Dosage Chart for Dogs

Clavacillin is an antibiotic that can be used by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian to treat a range of infections in dogs. It is commonly used for skin and periodontal infections. As the dog’s owner, it is your role to provide accurate information about your dog so that your vet can decide on the correct dose. You should give your dog the prescribed dose for the recommended duration to give the treatment the best chance of being successful. If you have any concerns, contact your vet immediately.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © megaflopp/iStock via Getty Images

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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