Simplicef(®) (cefpodoxime) is a cephalosporin antibiotic often used to treat skin infections, it works by stopping bacteria from building cell walls. Without a properly formed cell wall the bacteria is left unprotected and eventually dies. As an antibiotic it cannot cure viral infections, so avoid giving it to dogs with a case of the sniffles and only use it when a bacterial infection has been diagnosed and you have been given a prescription.

Other names: This medicine is also known as Vantin(®).

What’s The Dosage?

Note: Do not give Simplicef or any other medicines containing cefpodoxime to your dog unless you have permission from your vet.

When using Simplicef or generic cefpodoxime to treat a dog we recommended a dosage of 2.3 – 4.5 mg/lb given by mouth once daily (every 24 hours) for 5 – 7 days or a maximum of 28 days. Treatment should not be stopped until at least 2 – 3 days after your dog’s symptoms have gone away. Stopping treatment early could cause the infection to return.

A common dosage of 4 mg/lb is shown on the chart below:

Cefpodoxime canine dosage chart

If symptoms don’t improve within 3 – 4 days your pet may not be responding to therapy. In this case it’s best call your vet for advice on what to do next.

Do I need to give the medicine with food?

If you’re using tablets giving the medicine with food can help to increase the absorption of the drug. If you’re using a liquid formulation you can give it both with or without food.

Example: A 20 lb dog could be given 80 mg once a day (every 24 hours) for up to 28 days.

Is It Safe?

Simplicef should be tolerated well by most dogs, but rarely it can cause an allergic reaction. You should tell a vet if your pet has ever had allergies to this antibiotic or to any other cephalosporins such as cephalexin in the past, or if they have ever reacted badly to penicillin. The dosage may need to be adjusted in those with kidney problems and extra care should be taken when treating those who have a history of seizures.

Pregnancy/nursing: It should be safe for use during pregnancy but it’s better to avoid it when possible just in case. The drug passes through milk and in theory could cause diarrhea in nursing pups.

Guidelines For Use

For safe treatment with this antibiotic we recommend the following guidelines:

  • Never use the drug without a prescription
  • Do not continue treatment for more than 28 days
  • Avoid use in pregnant and nursing dogs if possible

Apart from following the guidelines above, you should also book a veterinary consult to discuss treatment options and to get a prescription. Always tell the vet if your dog:

  • Does not begin feeling better after the fourth day
  • Has reacted badly to cephalosporins or penicillin in the past
  • Is being given any other medicines or supplements
  • Suffers from kidney disease or seizure disorders

A lower dose may be used when treating animals with severe kidney disease.

What Is It Used For?

This medicine is an antibiotic which is used to treat bacterial infections only. Most commonly it is given to clear up skin infections caused by the bacteria staphylococcus.

Side Effects

Dogs treated with this antibiotic could experience the following adverse effects:
Most Common

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite


  • Allergic reactions
  • Blood dyscrasia (when high doses are used)

If an allergic reaction begins to develop you should seek veterinary attention right away. Allergies to Simplicef can be dangerous and even life-threatening when left untreated.


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