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Cats + Medications

  • Cephalexin (brand names Rilexine®, Keflex®, Vetolexin®) is an oral antibiotic that is used to treat pyoderma and other bacterial skin infections in dogs and is used off label or extra-label in cats to treat pyoderma and some other types of skin infections. It is sometimes used off label or extra-label to treat urinary tract infections in cats and dogs. Side effects to cephalexin are usually mild and rarely occur. It may cause gastrointestinal upset including lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Do not use cephalexin in pets that have a known hypersensitivity or allergy to cephalosporins.

  • Cetirizine (brand name Zyrtec®, Reactine®) is an antihistamine used to treat pruritus (itching) associated with atopic dermatitis, urticaria (hives), and insect-bite reactions in cats and dogs. Its use is in cats and dogs is ‘off label’ or ‘extra label’. Cetirizine does not typically cause any side effects. Vomiting and increased salivation has been observed in some dogs. Certain drugs are known to interact with cetirizine including central nervous system depressants (e.g., diazepam, alprazolam) and digoxin.

  • Cetyl myristoleate is a supplement given by mouth and is used over the counter to treat osteoarthritis, most commonly in dogs. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Side effects are uncommon but may include gastrointestinal upset. Use cautiously in debilitated, pregnant, or lactating pets. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Chamomile is given by mouth or applied topically and is used off-label and over the counter to treat inflammatory skin conditions, gastrointestinal upset, and anxiety. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Side effects are uncommon if used at the proper dose, but may include vomiting, diarrhea, or skin irritation. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other plants in the daisy family. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Chlorambucil is given by mouth and is used off label to treat certain types of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Common side effects include fur loss and changes in hair coat, as well as gastrointestinal upset. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other alkylating medications, that have bone marrow disease, have an active infection, or that are pregnant or lactating. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Chloramphenicol (brand names Chloromycetin® and Viceton®) is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat many different bacterial infections, including those caused by anaerobic bacteria and Rickettsia. Chloramphenicol comes in tablet form, capsules, as a liquid suspension, and also in an injectable form (chloramphenicol sodium succinate). Exposure in humans can have severe consequences that are irreversible, so care must be taken to avoid accidental exposure.

  • Chlorothiazide/hydrochlorothiazide is given by mouth or injection and is used off label to treat nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, high blood pressure, fluid retention, and certain electrolyte imbalances. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Common side effects include electrolyte imbalances, increased need to urinate, vomiting, or diarrhea. Do not use in pets that are allergic to them or sulfa drugs, in lactating pets, or in pets that are not able to make urine. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Chlorpheniramine maleate is given by mouth and is used off label to treat allergic conditions or as a mild sedative. Common side effects include sleepiness, although other side effects are possible. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other similar antihistamines, or pets that are undergoing allergy testing within 2 weeks. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Chlorpromazine is given by mouth or injection and is used off label as a sedative and to treat vomiting. Common side effects include tiredness, low blood pressure, low heart rate, or a tendency to react or startle to noises. Chlorpromazine should not be used in pets that are allergic to it or in pets with low blood pressure. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Choline is a vitamin supplement given by mouth and is used over the counter to treat neurological conditions such as seizures or cognitive dysfunction. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Side effects are uncommon but may include hyperactivity. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.