Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

3850 Grand View Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066



(for veterinary information only)







Human beings have been at odds with microbes since the beginning of time and the quest for new medications continues even today. When sulfa drugs came on the scene in the 1940's, an "age of antibiotics" was born and a new dimension had opened in the combat against microbes. From there a proliferation of antibiotics developed, each new medication exploiting a different aspect of bacterial metabolism until it seemed that the war on microbes would soon be won.

Despite this progress, one particular bacterial species remained seemingly invincible: Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This species of bacteria was able to change its antibiotic susceptibility with each antibiotic exposure, become resistant to multiple drugs in response to every medication used against it. Eventually, the aminoglycoside class of antibiotics was developed and there was finally a way to kill Pseudomonas fairly reliably but the price was that medication was injectable only, necessitating hospitalization for the patient, and potential kidney damage could result with prolonged use.

A major breakthrough against Pseudomonas came with the development of the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics (including ciprofloxacin which was produced for human use and enrofloxacin for animal use). These medications are active against many bacterial types including  Pseudomonas. They are available as tablets and are not associated with the serious side effects that plagued the aminoglycoside group.

Fluoroquinolones act by deactivating bacterial enzymes necessary for the transcription of DNA. DNA is very tightly coiled in order to fit inside a cell. Segments of DNA to be used in protein production must be uncoiled by an enzyme called DNA gyrase. The fluoroquinolone antibiotics deactivate DNA gyrase making the reading of DNA impossible. The bacterial cell dies. Mammalian DNA gyrase is of a completely different shape and remains untouched.

Enrofloxacin became widely used in both dogs and cats but before long a problem with feline use came to light. Quinolone antibiotics accumulate in the feline retina and cause decreased vision and even blindness which may or may not be reversible. It soon became clear that there was a need for a quinolone antibiotic with as little affinity for the feline retina as possible. The product would ideally be in a formulation palatable to cats and convenient to use. Pradofloxacin is the result of these research developments.

DNA Double Helix
(Photocredit: NIH Public Image Library)


This medication is labeled for feline use only in the U.S. It is active against Pasteurella species, common bacteria in bite wound abscesses and in upper respiratory infections. Pradofloxacin  is also active against Staphylococci, and thus could be used for skin infections and, of course, it has activity against Pseudomonas.


As with most oral medications, the most common side effects of pradofloxacin are related to the GI tract: vomiting, diarrhea, reduced appetite.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics may lower the seizure threshold and increase a patient's tendency to have seizures. This is of no concern in a normal animal but is worth a cautionary statement for patients with a pre-existing seizure disorder.


Sucralfate (a medication used to treat stomach ulcers) may bind ciproflxacin and prevent it from entering the body. These medications should be given at least 2 hours apart if they are used together. A similar phenomenon occurs with magnesium and calcium-containing antacids.

Theophylline (an airway dilator) blood levels may be higher than usual if this medication is used concurrently with prodofloxacin. The dose of theophylline may need to be reduced.

If pradofloxacin is used with oral cyclosporine (an immunosuppressive medication used for inflammatory bowel disease), the kidney damaging properties of cyclosporine may become worse.

Medications or supplements containing iron, zinc, magnesium or aluminum will bind pradofloxacin and prevent absorption into the body. Such medications should be separated from pradofloxacin by at least 2 hours.


Pradofloxacin should not be used in pregnant, or nursing cats and its safety has not been evaluated in kittens under 12 weeks of age.

This medication has not been FDA approved for use in dogs because of issues with bone marrow suppression and heart arrhythmias. It is, however, approved for canine use in the U.K.

Page posted: 3/19/2016
Page last updated: 11/16/2016