The Antibiotic that Dogs (and Humans) Should Avoid

If you have a furbaby who is sick and your doctor is telling you that he needs antibiotics, you should rightly be concerned about Levaquin for Dogs. But all of the Fluoroquinolone antibiotics should concern you, as they can all hurt your loved ones, whether they are human or animal. You can see a List of the Fluoroquinolones here, including Levaquin for Dogs, and the many other names that these drugs might show up as on your drug bottle. Additionally,  if you are new to the dangers of the Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, please read the Introduction to Fluoroquinolones, so that you can learn more about these potentially dangerous chemotherapeutic agents. Yes, I said chemotherapeutic agents, because that is what they are, and it is one of the sources of the problems with this class of antibiotics.

Levaquin for Dogs Can Make Them Lame

In humans as well as in dogs, connective tissue damage, termed Quinolone Arthropathy as it’s technical name, is a serious problem.  It was discovered very early on that dogs, particularly juvenile dogs, and particularly a few specific breeds of dogs, like Beagles, are susceptible to connective tissue damage from the Fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Because of this, juvenile dogs are often used in studies of how the Fluoroquinolones damage connective tissue in an attempt to understand how they might harm humans.

And they do damage connective tissue, sometimes badly. In fact, in humans, one of the most accepted medical problems from these drugs is tendon rupture. But joints and tendons are not the only types of connective tissue in the human body, and a more recent study found that connective tissue damage also doubles the risk of a deadly condition known as an Aortic Aneurysm.

In dog studies, these drugs cause serious damage to the joints, making dogs lame after as few as two doses, severely damaging the cartilage, almost certainly irreversibly. Even cats are not left unscathed, they are just effected differently and can end up with retinal deterioration, often causing blindness. 1. Human retinas can also be damaged, with some studies showing a higher risk of retinal detachment after taking the drugs, and Vision Problems from Fluoroquinolones are common.

Quinolone analogs may kill chondrocytes in the
intermediate zone of articular cartilage by causing
overwhelming damage to repair or
replication mechanisms for DNA.
Histologic and Histochemical Changes in Articular Cartilage
in Beagle Dogs from Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics

Just like all humans don’t get Tendon Rupture or an Aortic Aneurysm when they take a Fluoroquinolone, not every dog gets harmed either, and researchers set up the conditions that can lead to harm so that they can better study how this harm happens. It just so happens that the Fluoroquinolones actually can bind with and remove magnesium from the body, and one way in which they cause damage in cells is by removing magnesium, weakening connective tissue cells.

Magnesium Deficiency is a Big Factor in Who Gets Damaged

In fact, if you want a recipe to increase the odds of someone having Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, make sure that they have magnesium deficiency. It’s not just that the drugs do DNA Damage and destroy these connective tissue cells, it’s that the repair of the DNA and Mitochodrial Damage is dependent upon having sufficient magnesium to activate the cellular repair processes that would have allowed the body to fix any small amount of damage done by the drugs. But when someone is both magnesium deficient already, and the drugs chelate magnesium out of the body, it’s a double whammy that allows this serious damage to occur.

While most people would think that they don’t have magnesium deficiency and so wouldn’t have to worry about those kinds of problems, the fact is that Signs of Magnesium Deficiency are simply epidemic in humans from poor food choices and the low quality of the soils our food is grown in. Whether your Fido has plenty of magnesium when he’s sick and needs antibiotics is anyone’s guess. Are you willing to take the chance? What we DO know is that he’s at risk for connective tissue damage, possibly permanently, if he gets as little as two doses of Fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Levaquin for Dogs.

Levaquin for Dogs, What’s the Right Dose?

If one of the Fluoroquinolone drugs ends up being the best option for your sick friend, studies have shown that the lowest dose that is possible is the best. However, this is somewhat meaningless since we don’t have enough studies to actually determine what the right dose is for pets.

Far more is known about the basic chemistry of
antibiotics, their pharmacokinetics, and their
mechanisms of action and of resistance
than is known about the practical problem
of what dose to give”
Pharmacology of the fluoroquinolones: A perspective for the use in domestic animals

Certainly if your fur baby’s life is at stake and the Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are the only thing that will save him, you want to use any tool at your disposal to do so, but it’s always prudent to ask your doctor if there are any safer options for than the Fluoroquinolones. Just like in humans, Levaquin for Dogs is not something that one should take lightly, and everyone should always consider all of the other options before ingesting these chemotherapeutic agents with so much potential to do damage. And while we’re on the topic of things that are bad for dogs, make sure you read the page on Xylitol Risks so that you don’t inadvertently give your dog this natural sweetener.


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