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Adverse events associated with chloramphenicol use in dogs: a retrospective study (2007–2013)
  1. J. Short, DVM1,
  2. S. Zabel, DACVD2,
  3. C. Cook, DACVD1 and
  4. L. Schmeitzel, DVM, DACVD1
  1. 1Animal Allergy and Dermatology, Chesapeake, Virginia, USA
  2. 2University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence: Jmshort{at}


Chloramphenicol is a broad spectrum antibiotic that has been increasingly utilised since the emergence of methicillin-resistant staphylococcal infections. Due to toxicities in humans, use of the drug has been limited. In dogs, gastrointestinal signs are common adverse events described, and bone marrow suppression is possible. The aim of this study was to evaluate the adverse events associated with chloramphenicol in dogs seen by one specialty practice from January 2007 through June 2013. The database was searched for all dogs prescribed chloramphenicol during the time period. Dosage, length of treatment, age and body weight of the dogs were recorded as well as any adverse events that occurred during treatment. A total of 105 cases were evaluated. Thirty-nine dogs experienced at least one adverse event while on the medication. The most commonly noted were gastrointestinal signs and hindlimb weakness. The mean body weight for dogs with hindlimb weakness was 35.3 kg, which was significant. Resolution was documented in 54 per cent of cases when the drug was discontinued. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius on bacterial culture was listed as the reason for chloramphenicol use in 76 per cent of the cases. Based on this information, further prospective studies are recommended to evaluate the reproducibility of this report.

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