How To Support Your Pet During & After Antibiotics
Though they can come with negative side effects , antibiotics can be a crucial tool for helping your pet fight off dangerous infections. Fortunately, there are ways that you can support your cat or dog, during and after antibiotic treatment, to help them and move towards improved health. Weve gathered a few important tips that any pet parent can use to help support their furbaby.
Metronidazole For Cats Dosage
The dosage for cats for metronidazole may vary depending on the purpose. Doses for general diarrhea may only be 5-10 mg/kg, but when treating specifically for Giardia or Tritrichomonas foetus are typically much higher.
For this reason, its very important to only use metronidazole as prescribed by your veterinarian.
In some cats, especially smaller kittens, the commercially available tablet sizes may be too large to provide for safe or practical dosing, making compounding the medication into very low dose tablet or liquid formulations at a compounding pharmacy more feasible.
Not So Sure Your Veterinarian Is On Board With These By
Get a second opinion. Its never OK to live with uncertainty on this crucial issue. And just in case youre the kind that likes to be more self-reliant than most, consider getting even better educated on the subject.
For more detailed reading on whats right and not right in the world of antibiotics in animal health, check out The Bella Moss Foundation. This UK group is dedicated to the responsible use of antibiotics worldwide and its comprehensive website always offers the most practical and up-to-date information on the subject.
Now, Im not saying Im perfect and that Ive never erred on any of these five key points Ive listed above. In fact, I once recall a six-week course of antibiotics for my sons never-cultured sinus infection .
Of course, were all guilty of wanting to go for what seems to be the most expedient course. Nonetheless, now that you know how its supposed to be done, how will YOU be approaching these drugs differently?
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What Causes Calicivirus Infection
Feline calicivirus belongs to a large family of viruses named Caliciviridae, whose members infect a wide range of vertebrate animals, including rabbits, livestock, reptiles, birds and amphibians. The human virus norovirus, which causes a brief but unpleasant gastrointestinal disease, is also a member of the Caliciviridae family.
Several strains of FCV circulate in domestic and wild cats. The virus mutates readily, leading to new strains that may not be fully covered by existing vaccines. Strains vary in the severity of the disease that they cause, with the majority causing only mild disease. The ability of the virus to mutate likely explains why after 40 years of vaccinating against FCV, outbreaks still frequently occur.
Rarely, a mutant strain of FCV will spontaneously arise that causes very serious disease with multiple organ damage or even death, called FCV-associated virulent systemic disease or FCV-VSD. The first known outbreak of FCV-VSD occurred in Northern California in 1998. Outbreaks of FCV-VSD are unusual and unrelated to each other.
How Do Antibiotics Work
Antibiotics kill bacteria by damaging their structure or preventing them from multiplying. Some antibiotics are capable of killing many different types of bacteria , while others only kill very specific types . Antibiotics can be given by injection, tablet, capsule, drops, ointments and creams. Antibiotics do not kill other types of germ such as viruses or fungus.
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Tip : Test The Gut Microbiome
The same antibiotic can affect individual pets in very different ways. Getting a picture of the proportions and exactly which bacteria are present in your pets gut can offer more information on how to specifically support your pets unique gut, based on which bacteria are present now. AnimalBiome offers Gut Health Test kits for cats and dogs. Our improved test report provides personalized dietary, lifestyle, and pet supplement recommendations based on the bacteria in your pet’s microbiome. It’s a useful tool to help guide your pet’s everyday digestive health. Learn more about the testing science here.
We know that diet, medications, and environment can influence the microbiome. When a pets microbiome is imbalanced, symptoms may include diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, skin conditions, and even chronic conditions like inflammatory bowel disease . Learn more about how AnimalBiomes Gut Health Test and Gut Restore Supplement work together to help restore pet gut health.
A Happy and Healthy Pet Starts Here
Why Do Vets Limit The Amount Of Antibiotics They Prescribe
There is a serious worldwide problem with antibiotics losing their effectiveness. This is called antibiotic resistance.
Caused partly as a result of people overusing antibiotics, this means that bacteria have had a chance to start adapting and have become stronger, making it more difficult to kill them off with antibiotics.
Continued overuse of antibiotics will cause problems for both humans and animals in future because they will become less effective. So, treatment for bacterial infections will become more difficult.
Your vet will have put careful consideration into whether your pet needs antibiotics and exactly how much they need to help them get better.
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Can You Give Probiotics To Cats
While some veterinarians prescribe probiotics once a pet has an existing issue, like diarrhea, experts recommend that pet parents make probiotic supplements a daily part of a cat’s health routine. To be proactive, pet parents can also give their cats probiotics at the same time that they start a dose of antibiotics.
Are There Any Drug Interactions I Should Be Aware Of
The following medications should be used with caution when given with amoxicillin: bacteriostatic antimicrobials, methotrexate, probenecid, or warfarin. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications that your pet is taking.
Amoxicillin may also interact with certain urine glucose tests and cause false positive results.
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Can I Give My Cat Human Probiotics
While there are no current studies that point to the fact that giving cats a probiotic supplement designed for humans is dangerous, veterinarians still urge pet parents to opt for a product that is specially designed for cats. The microflora in a cat’s small and large intestine are different than for people, so we can’t assume that human probiotics will work in cats, say Deirdre Frey, VMD with Vet at Your Door, a Portland, Maine-based veterinary home-care practice.
What Causes Antibiotic Resistant Bacterial Infections
Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections occur naturally, but the frequent and/or inappropriate use of antibiotics accelerates the process. As a survival mechanism, bacterial organisms can develop ways to resist antibiotics that they are frequently exposed to over time. Those organisms that develop resistance are able to survive and pass their resistant genes to their offspring.
Bacterial organisms can develop ways to resist antibiotics that they are frequently exposed to over time.
Cats that have certain medical conditions and are prescribed antibiotics frequently are at a higher risk for antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. Some conditions that predispose a patient to bacterial infections include atopic dermatitis , diabetes mellitus, chronic upper respiratory infections, idiopathic cystitis, and Cushings disease.
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Amoxicillin For Cats: Dosages Side Effects And More
For many longtime cat guardians, amoxicillin for cats may not be a mystery. It is an antibiotic drug, in the penicillin family, used to prohibit the growth of bacteria. According to Tufts University and Medical News Today, it treats everything from bronchitis to Lyme disease to urinary tract infections in people. Amoxicillin for cats is used frequently on kitties with skin infections, urinary tract infections and ear infections.
When I asked my veterinarian, Shinnecock Animal Hospitals Dr. Kelly Tierney , what she thought about the drug, she paused. I learned the medications that became my go-to drugs from my mentor. He always used an antibiotic in conjunction with clavulanic acid for ailments like urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal infections. So, Id say newer vets are probably going with clavamox over amoxicillin, but its really your veterinarians call. Depending on your vets preference, your cat may currently be on it. Heres the scoop about amoxicillin for cats.
Reactions With Other Drugs And Medications
Doxycycline should not be given with milk or food high in calcium or iron due to interactions that can reduce the efficacy of the antibiotic. Oral absorption is decreased with antacids and coating agents such as sucralfate. Doxycycline can increase the effect of the cardiac medication digoxin and decrease the efficacy of the epilepsy medication phenobarbital. It should be used with caution with anticoagulants.
Always tell your veterinarian if your cat is taking any other medications before giving your cat doxycycline.
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How Long Can A Cat Stay On Antibiotics
If your cat is given an oral antibiotic, chances are they will need to be on the antibiotic for at least three days to be effective. Usually, cats will be prescribed antibiotics for a week to two weeks to make sure the medication has a chance to work. It eliminates all harmful bacteria that might be affecting your cat.
Its important to give your cat the whole course of their antibiotics as prescribed by their vet. Cutting the medication off early might make your cat relapse with an infection and can increase the risk of them developing an antibiotic-resistant infection.
So, rather than worrying about how long your cat can stay on an antibiotic safely, its important to trust your vet to know which antibiotics are safe and for how long.
Antibiotics Are For Bacterial Infections
and that means they wont work for every kind of infection. For example, colds and flus are caused by viruses and, as such, will NOT respond to antibiotics. Offering them in these cases only exposes a wider range of bacteria to these drugs, thereby increasing the chances for the development of resistant strains of bacteria.
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How Long Can A Cat Go Without Eating
Aside from being picky eaters, cats are also resilient and independent creatures. Without a doubt, these traits help them survive the world on their own. So, its just understandable to be curious as to how long can a cat go without eating?
Most of the time, a cat would just stop eating because they dont like their cat food. Other times, their loss of appetite can be due to an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.
However, either way, they could still look perfectly fine. As such, as cat owners, we cant help but wonder how long can a cat go without eating or drinking water?
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I Have Been Told That Corticosteroids Can Cause Cushing’s Disease Why Is This
An excessive level of corticosteroids may cause Cushing’s disease. When a cat is on long-term, high doses of glucocorticoids, there is an increased risk that a condition called iatrogenic Cushing’s disease will develop. The clinical signs of Cushing’s disease include increased thirst and urination, an increase in UTI’s, skin/ear infections, a ‘pot-bellied’ appearance, thinning skin, and hair loss. In the treatment of some diseases, the risk of iatrogenic Cushing’s disease is unavoidable. To minimize this risk, corticosteroid doses are tapered down over time or several different drugs may be used in combination.
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Feline Upper Respiratory Infection
Feline Upper Respiratory Infection is similar to a common cold in humans. It is especially common in cats who have been exposed to a lot of other cats, such as at an animal shelter. URI is very rarely fatal, and usually resolves within one to three weeks. Treatment generally consists of supportive care.
Antibiotics are sometimes given to treat possible bacterial infections. However, while secondary bacterial infections can make the problem worse, the underlying cause is often viral. Viral infections are not cured by antibiotics, so as with the common cold, there is no completely effective treatment besides time and allowing the cats own immune system to do its job.
In rare cases, URI can cause serious disease such as pneumonia. Also, sick cats may not eat or drink enough thus becoming severely dehydrated. In such cases, hospitalization and fluid supplementation may be needed.
Why And How Might My Cat Become Infected
FCV occurs most commonly in multi-cat environments. A cats risk of exposure is higher in shelters, pet stores, and catteries, where 25 to 40 percent of cats may be carriers.
The virus spreads through direct contact with the saliva, nasal mucus and eye discharge of infected cats and through aerosol droplets that spread when cats sneeze. Lab tests have also detected the virus in urine, feces and blood. Cats typically shed the virus for about two or three weeks after infection, but some cats become long-term carriers, and continue to shed the virus on and off for months.
FCV is a hardy virus that survives on surfaces for up to a month in certain environments. Humans that handle infected cats can inadvertently transfer the virus to new animals. Objects that come in contact with a cats bodily fluids, such as food bowls, litter boxes or bedding, can also be a source of infection.
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What Are Antibiotic Resistant Bacterial Infections
Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections are bacterial infections that are minimally or no longer responsive to commonly used antibiotics. In other words, these bacteria are resistant to antibiotics – they cannot be killed and their growth cannot be stopped. These types of infections are difficult and costly to treat, and sometimes require the use of toxic and dangerous alternatives. These infections may also be passed to other pets or to humans. Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections most commonly affect the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, the urinary tract, or the respiratory tract.
Are There Any Risk Factors For This Medication
Amoxicillin should not be used in pets that are allergic to it or other penicillins, cephalosporins, or other beta-lactam antibiotics. Do not use in rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters, or other small mammals. Do not give by mouth to pets with a blood infection, shock, or other grave illnesses, is it will likely be ineffective. Use cautiously in pregnant or lactating pets, although use of this medication is likely safe.
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Liquid Form Probiotic Supplements:
The Pet Naturals of Vermont contains probiotics that also support good, functioning digestion and immune system health of your cat.
This chew supplement is said to be an extremely durable probiotic, containing bacillus coagulans that supports digestion by stimulating the growth of a wide spectrum of enzymes and boosting the ability of the cats system to eliminate bad bacteria.
Taking one chew a day is recommended for dealing with daily stress and regular digestive issues.
Among other ingredients, the product contains natural duck flavor, rosemary extract, aloe vera gel concentrate. Even when weve recommended this one, when youve decided to use this supplement, you can consult your vet to see if they approve it for your cat.
Baker Institute And Calicivirus
Dr. John S.L. Parker, associate professor of virology at the Baker Institute for Animal Health has worked with calicivirus for 15 years. He wants to know why some cats experience a short flu-like illness, while others develop a chronic gingivitis or the more severe life-threatening form of the disease.
Parkers research group has investigated different strains of the virus that cause outbreaks of FCV-VSD. Studies in his lab have shown that these viruses cant be identified based on their genetics, but there are detectable differences among the strains when they grow in cells in the lab.
Parker is also looking into the finer details of how FCV gets inside feline cells, where it copies itself using the cells machinery. The virus must shape-shift to attach to a receptor molecule on the surface of cells, which allows it to gain entry. By understanding this interaction, Parker hopes to identify an Achilles heel that will lead to the development of more effective vaccines.
These investigations into FCV not only give us a better understanding of this common feline infection, but can also help advance the study of similar caliciviruses, such as human norovirus.
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Potential Side Effects Of Amoxicillin For Cats
Antibiotics, including amoxicillin, can cause a range of side effects for cats. Since every cat is an individual, each cat will respond differently to amoxicillin. PetCareRX mentions the following as the most prevalent side effects to antibiotics: rashes, fever, kidney or liver damage, diarrhea and vomiting.
Also, antibiotics can be particularly difficult on the digestive system, so confirm if your cat should take amoxicillin with or without food.
In addition, Vetinfo indicates that your cat could have dangerous complications if amoxicillin is taken while other antibiotics are in his system. And some cats are allergic to it. Monitor your cat closely while taking any medications, and alert your vet to anything out of the ordinary health or behavior wise.
Making Sure Its The Right Antibiotic For Your Cats Problem
This is crucially important when it comes to treating most bacterial infections. But how to tell ?
Increasingly, veterinarians are testing the site of infection to see what kinds of bacteria are affecting the area and which antibiotics will kill them best. This test is called a âculture and sensitivityâ and its by far the best way to know were using antibiotics appropriately.
This is especially crucial if were not sure theres a bacterial infection at play or not. For example, 95% of feline lower urinary tract disease patients are NOT suffering from bacterial infections and yet a huge proportion of these patients receive antibiotics unnecessarily. If we applied this test more frequently wed be much more likely to use antibiotics more judiciously.
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