Orbax® (orbifloxacin) for Cats and Dogs

Updated Jun. 27, 2024
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PetMD’s medications content was written and reviewed by veterinary professionals to answer your most common questions about how medications function, their side effects, and what species they are prescribed for. This content shouldn’t take the place of advice by your vet.

What Is Orbax® for Cats and Dogs?

Orbax® (active ingredient orbifloxacin) is a veterinary antibiotic prescribed for dogs and cats for treatment of susceptible bacterial infections.

Orbax® is FDA-approved for use in dogs for the treatment of bladder infections, skin infections, wounds, and abscesses. In cats, Orbax® is FDA-approved for the treatment of wounds and abscesses.

Orbax® is available as an oral suspension and an oral tablet. Orbax® is considered a convenient antibiotic treatment by veterinarians because of its once-daily dosing.

Orbax® Oral Suspension is especially easy to administer due to its tasty malt flavor that pets like, and that there is no need for it to be mixed with water (reconstituted) or refrigerated. No generic formulation of orbifloxacin is available at the time of this publication.

Orbax® is sometimes prescribed for other certain types of bacterial infections such as prostate and kidney infections in dogs, and for kidney and bladder infections in cats. This is called extra-label or off-label treatment because this use isn’t described on the drug label. Your veterinarian will determine whether this medication is right for your pet.

Orbax® Considerations in Cats and Dogs

It is important to note that Orbax® should not be used in puppies and dogs during the rapid growth phase, between 2–8 months old in small- and medium-sized breeds, and up to 18 months of age in large and giant breeds. This is because Orbax® can cause abnormal cartilage development in growing animals. Speak with your veterinarian about whether your pet is still in its growth stage.

Orbax® should not be used in pets who are hypersensitive to quinolones. Orbax® should be used with caution in pets with certain medical conditions including neurological disorders and liver disease.

Giving Orbax® with certain medications can result in health risks to your pet, so it is important to discuss your pet’s medications, including vitamins and supplements, and medical conditions with your veterinarian.

Studies had not been performed at the time of this publication to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of Orbax® in breeding, pregnant, and nursing animals.

How Orbax® Works in Cats and Dogs

Orbifloxacin, the active ingredient in Orbax®, is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, which works by disrupting DNA formation in susceptible bacteria during the replication process, thereby preventing them from multiplying and thriving.

Orbax® Directions for Cats and Dogs

Follow the directions on the drug label or as provided by your veterinarian. Generally, this medication is given once daily. Shake Orbax® Oral Suspension well before use.

Orbax® is best absorbed on an empty stomach. If your pet experiences signs of an upset stomach such as vomiting or not wanting to eat after taking Orbax®, speak with your veterinarian about giving your pet a small amount of food with subsequent doses.

Missed a Dose?

Speak with your veterinarian about what to do if you forget to give a dose of Orbax®. Generally, they may instruct you to give it when you remember, or if it is almost time for your pet’s next dose, to skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Do not give extra or double doses.

Possible Side Effects of Orbax® in Cats and Dogs

Orbax® is generally well-tolerated by most cats and dogs. The most common side effect is digestive upset, including loss of appetite and vomiting.

Less commonly, serious side effects may occur, including:

  • Low energy (lethargy, depression)

  • Loss of balance

  • Seizures

  • Drooling

When used at higher dosages in cats, Orbax® can cause damage to the retina (back layer of the eye), causing enlarged (dilated) pupils, and blindness. If you notice your cat’s pupils are larger than usual while on Orbax®, contact your veterinarian immediately or seek emergency veterinary care.

Human Side Effects

Orbax® is a prescription veterinary medication not intended for use in humans.

Due to possible side effects, humans should never use medicine dispensed for their pets and pets should not be given any medicine dispensed for a human’s use.

If you are allergic to Orbax® or other fluoroquinolone antibiotics, talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of administering an alternative medication to your pet.

Avoid contact with eyes, and in case of contact immediately flush eyes with copious amounts of water for 15 minutes. In case of skin contact, wash skin with soap and water and avoid direct sunlight.

Consult a physician if eye or skin irritation persists.

If you accidentally ingest a pet medication, call your physician or the national Poison Control Center hotline at 800-222-1222.

Call Your Vet If:

  • Severe side effects are seen (see above)

  • Your pet’s condition worsens or does not improve with treatment

  • You see or suspect an overdose

  • You have additional questions or concerns about the use of Orbax®

Orbax® Overdose Information for Cats and Dogs

The severity of an Orbax® overdose depends on the species, the amount given by weight, and for how long it was given. Symptoms may vary but can include an upset stomach, drooling, vomiting, soft stool with mucus, and decreased appetite. In cats, overdoses of Orbax® may cause serious eye damage and could lead to blindness.

If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact your veterinarian or an animal poison control center. Consultation fees often apply.

Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764-7661

ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888) 426-4435

Orbax® Storage for Cats and Dogs

Always confirm storage requirements by reading the prescription label.

Orbax® Oral Suspension does not require refrigeration and should be stored upright at temperatures between 36–77 F.

Orbax® tablets should be stored at temperatures between 36–77 F. Keep the container tightly closed to protect its contents from moisture and light. Shake oral suspension well before use.

FKeep out of reach of children and pets.


What is Orbax® used for in cats and dogs?

Orbax® is a veterinary antibiotic used in cats and dogs for the treatment of bacterial infections, such as bladder infections, skin infections, wounds, and abscesses.


Weese JS, Blondeau J, Boothe D, et al. International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases (ISCAID) guidelines for the diagnosis and management of bacterial urinary tract infections in dogs and cats. The Veterinary Journal. 2019;247:8-25.

Molly Price, DVM


Molly Price, DVM


Dr. Molly Price has practiced small animal medicine for over 20 years and is a graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. She...

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