Chloramphenicol treatment for campylobacter in dogs

Updated April 17, 2017

Chloramphenicol is a prescription-only antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections in dogs and cats. Campylobacteriosis is an intestinal inflammation caused by "campylobacter jejuni" bacteria. This type of bacteria infects both animals and humans.


The most common sign of campylobacter infection is a watery, sometimes bloodstained diarrhoea lasting for five to 15 days. Dogs younger than six months are more prone to the disease, as are pregnant dogs. Chloramphenicol is recommended for intestinal tract infections resulting in diarrhoea.


Traditionally, erythromycin is recommended for campylobacter in dogs. However, research at Ohio State University shows that chloramphenicol is more effective than erythromycin in removing all the campylobacter bacteria from infected dogs.


Chloramphenicol is administered orally every eight hours for dogs at a dosage of 25mg per pound of weight. The duration of the treatment depends on the dog's response to the medication. Once started, a treatment plan must be completed.

Side Effects

Chloramphenicol is not suitable for animals that are only a few weeks old or for pregnant animals. In some animals it may affect the production of normal blood cells, and it can interact negatively with other medications. It is important to tell your vet if your dog is on any other drugs.


Chloramphenicol reportedly has an unpleasant taste and owners may have problems administering it via food. You should inform your vet if your dog refuses it. It is also important to note that dogs should not be given routine vaccinations while taking chloramphenicol.

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About the Author

Based in London, Eleanor McKenzie has been writing lifestyle-related books and articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in the "Palm Beach Times" and she is the author of numerous books published by Hamlyn U.K., including "Healing Reiki" and "Pilates System." She holds a Master of Arts in informational studies from London University.