• Therapeutic Class: Broad-Spectrum Lincosamide Antibiotic
  • Common Uses: Infections
  • Species: Dogs and Cats

Basic Information:

  • Action: Clindamycin acts as a bacteriostatic or bactericidal agent depending on the concentration at the infection site.
  • Distribution: It is well distributed in the body, penetrating bone, joints, and other areas, including the CNS when meningeal inflammation is present.
  • Absorption: It is absorbed well orally and can be taken with food to optimize absorption without affecting the extent.
  • Metabolism: Metabolized partially in the liver and excreted through urine, feces, and bile.


  • Dogs: Treats conditions like Staph pyoderma, dental infections, anaerobic infections, and certain protozoal infections, including Toxoplasmosis.
  • Cats: Similar to dogs, with notable effectiveness in treating clinical Toxoplasmosis, often considered the treatment of choice.

Administration Tips:

Clindamycin should be given with food to minimize the risk of esophageal irritation and enhance gastrointestinal tolerance. Injectable forms should be monitored for localized pain but do not typically cause GI distress.

Side Effects:

Common side effects include gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea, which can be mitigated by administering the medication with food. Rarely, esophagitis or hypersalivation can occur.


Use with caution in animals with severe liver or kidney dysfunction; dosage adjustments may be necessary. Clindamycin crosses the placenta and is found in milk, potentially causing diarrhea in nursing young. Not suitable for horses due to the risk of severe diarrhea and potential for Clostridial overgrowth.

Drug Interactions:

This may increase the effect of neuromuscular blocking agents. Can reduce the levels of cyclosporine. Should not be used concurrently with erythromycin due to potential antagonistic effects.


Overdoses are rare, and clindamycin generally has a wide margin of safety; however, immediate veterinary consultation is recommended in overdose situations.