Selected Antimicrobial Information – Companion Animal

Cefoxitin [Companion]

Restriction Status



Species Usage Dose
Cats For systemic infections 25-30mg/kg IV q8h (extra-label use)
Dogs For soft tissue or orthopedic infections 30mg/kg IV q8h (extra-label use)
For bacteremia 30mg/kg IV q6-8h (extra-label use)
For surgical prophylaxis 22mg/kg IV given 30-60min prior to incision; may repeat once in 3-6h (extra-label use)

Brand Name(s)



Cefoxitin is a bactericidal, time-dependent second generation cephamycin (╬▓-lactam) antibiotic often grouped with second generation cephalosporins. It has good activity against many Gram-negative organisms and also anaerobes, but less activity against Gram-positive organisms compared to first generation cephalosporins. It is not effective against Enterococcus spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella spp., and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. Distribution throughout the body is wide but it does not enter the CNS, and excretion is primarily as unchanged drug in urine.

Acceptable Uses

  • Parenteral treatment of a wide variety of Gram-negative aerobic infections, including sepsis, pyothorax, or osteomyelitis.
  • Surgical prophylaxis particularly when anaerobic infections are expected, such as colorectal surgery. Also useful for treating intra-abdominal bowel rupture.

Unacceptable Uses

  • N/A

Formulations Available within the OSU Pharmacy

  • No formulations currently available within the OSU pharmacy; will order upon request


  • It is recommended that this medication be used only via IV administration due to pain and injection site reactions with SQ or IM administration.
  • Cefoxitin can be used initially for parenteral treatment of severe infections, and then therapy can be de-escalated to oral treatment long term.


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OSU VMC Antimicrobial Use Guidelines Copyright © 2018 by The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.