Clindamycin (also known as Antirobe(®)) is a lincosamide antibiotic often used for the treatment of bacterial infections in dogs. It is a broad-spectrum antibiotic which can be used to treat many different types of infection including osteomyelitis, protozoal infections and illness caused by anaerobic pathogens. It is able to kill bacteria by preventing them from creating the proteins they need to survive.

This drug might not be the best option for those with severe kidney or liver disease. If use is necessary, your vet may suggest a lower dose or monitor serum concentrations of the drug.

Recommended Dosage

Note: Clindamycin should only be given when it has been prescribed by a vet.

The recommended dose can be either low or very high depending on the infection being treated. This will usually fall somewhere in the range of 5 – 30 mg per day, often divided in half and given every 12 hours. See the table below for guideline dosages (each dose should be given by mouth unless stated otherwise):

To treat…Recommended dosage
Infected wounds, abscesses & dental infections2.5 – 15 mg/lb twice daily for up to 28 days.
Staphylococcal dermatitis5 mg/lb once daily for 7 – 28 days.
Osteomyelitis5 mg/lb twice per day for 28 days.
Toxoplasmosis5.6 mg/lb every 12 hours for 28 days.

For treating babesia, pentamidine, imidocarb and diminazene are preferred.

Note: Do not administer these pills “dry”. Give them with food to avoid the possibility of pills becoming stuck in the throat. Even though this seems to mainly be a problem for cats it’s still better to be safe and give the tablets with food or water.

Liquid solution

A liquid version of Antirobe (Antirobe Aquadrops) is also available at a concentration of 25 mg/mL. The calculator below will help you find the correct amount of liquid medicine to give to your dog.

Required Dose (mg): Dosage In mL:

Example: A dog weighing 20 pounds may be given 100 milligrams every 12 hours for treating osteomyelitis.

Is It Safe?

This medicine is not associated with many contraindications when it comes to treating dogs. However, it may not be suitable for animals with poor liver or kidney function. In these cases it’s recommended that serum levels of clindamycin are monitored (especially when higher doses are used), and a reduced dose may also be used in severe cases.

In terms of safety during pregnancy or nursing, speak to a vet. The medicine does cross the placenta and passes in milk, but so far no serious consequences have been found. It’s probably best to avoid use in pregnant/nursing animals if possible.

Guidelines For Use

We recommend these guidelines when treating dogs with clindamycin:

  • Don’t begin administering the medicine without a veterinary prescription
  • Practice caution when treating pets with kidney and/or liver dysfunction
  • Notify the vet if there is no response to the drug within 4 days
  • Give tablets with food or water (avoid dry pilling)
  • Monitor for adverse reactions

Contact the vet immediately if your dog begins producing diarrhea with traces of blood (this side effect is rare).

What Is It Used For?

The medicine is used in the treatment of various bacterial and protozoal infections. It can also treat Neospora and Hepatozoonosis if additional drugs are given in conjunction.

Side Effects

Possible adverse effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in stools
  • Pain at injection site (when injecting IM)
  • C. difficile colitis

If you notice bloody stools contact your vet immediately for advice on how to proceed.


Dr. Hardie
Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook (sixth edition)