What Conditions Are Treated With Antibiotics in Dogs?
An infection can occur in any part of a dogs body, and there are many different species of bacteria that may cause infection. Some of the most common types of infections seen in dogs are:
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What are the most common cat antibiotics?
If your cat needs an antibiotic, there are some of the most commonly prescribed.
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When your furry friends are unwell, helping them feel better as quickly and painlessly as possible is every pet owner’s goal. Sometimes, that might mean giving them pet antibiotics. But how do pet antibiotics work and what do you need to look out for? Read on.
Pet antibiotics are medications that may be prescribed by a veterinarian when your dog or cat has a bacterial infection—like an ear infection, urinary tract infection, or skin infection. They can also be used to prevent infections from setting in during a high-risk situation, like after a large wound or during abdominal surgery. But don’t run to the medicine cabinet just yet. Like with humans, using an antibiotic on a virus is ineffective.
“Before you can decide if antibiotics are necessary, it’s important to understand whether there’s a bacterial component to the infection at all,” says Georgina Ushi Phillips, DVM, a veterinarian based in West Chapel, Florida.
“While that can sound obvious, conditions like upper respiratory infections may have bacterial or viral components—and, in many cases, a combination of both,” Dr. Phillips explains. “If the infection is only viral, not only are antibiotics not warranted, but they can actually contribute to antibiotic resistance among certain types of bacteria.”
If your veterinarian determines that an antibiotic would be effective, the next step is to determine what pet antibiotic is most effective, since most antibiotics don’t treat specific conditions, but rather types of bacteria.
“To ensure veterinarians are good stewards of antibiotics and prevent resistance, I recommend either culturing or using appropriate first-line medication,” says Michelle Burch, DVM, a veterinarian based in Decatur, Alabama.
“Culturing an area of infection will determine the exact species of bacteria then determine the appropriate antibiotic to eliminate the infection,” Dr. Burch says. “Culturing helps to determine if the bacteria is resistant to certain medications or has a low sensitivity, which can increase the risk of resistance.”
Although antibiotics will work to fight bacteria, whether it’s used on a human or animal, it’s important to not give antibiotics prescribed to people, says Dr. Phillips. Some antibiotics work better in some species over others and dosages may be different. Side effects can also vary greatly between species.
Even in classes of medicine that are prescribed to both humans and animals, certain medicines may be toxic for pets due to differences in metabolism between people and dogs or cats. Veterinarian oversight is critical to making sure the right antibiotics are used on pets.
For example, Dr. Phillips said, “Amoxicillin-clavulanic acid is a commonly used antibiotic in both pets and people under several brand names. But the ratio of amoxicillin to clavulanic acid varies significantly between products that are intended for humans and those that are intended for pets. These kinds of differences can make a big impact on the effectiveness of the antibiotic.”
Bottom line: if you think your dog or cat may need pet antibiotics, it’s best to see a vet and get a prescription to keep your pet safe and get them healthy once again. In some cases, your vet may send you to a human pharmacy to pick up the medication. In others, your pet will need a specially formulated Rx.