Antibiotics for Your Dog or Cat

You’ve heard of antibiotics before, and have probably even been prescribed an antibiotic in the past. Did you know that antibiotics are also quite common in the world of veterinary care? Below, learn about this important part of animal medicine from an Orangevale, CA veterinarian.

What Are Antibiotics Used to Treat?

Antibiotics kill bacteria in or on your pet’s body, and are therefore prescribed to treat bacterial infections. It’s important to understand that antibiotics do not treat viral infections of any kind. The only way that a pet suffering from a virus would be given an antibiotic is if they have developed secondary bacterial infections.

How Do Antibiotics Work in the Body?

Antibiotics work in a variety of ways. Some stop bacteria from multiplying in order to stop an infection from spreading, while others weaken the bacteria’s cell walls until they burst. Other antibiotics interfere with the bacteria’s ability to repair itself. What type of antibiotic your pet will be given will depend on the bacteria that’s causing the problem.

How Are Antibiotics Given to Pets?

Certain antibiotics are administered by mouth, and come in pill or tablet form. Other antibiotics come in the form of a gel, cream, or ointment, and get applied directly to your pet’s skin.

Finish the full regimen of antibiotics prescribed to your pet, even if your companion seems to be back to full health before the antibiotics are gone. If you stop medication before the infection is eradicated, or if you lapse administration during the treatment period, bacteria can develop a resistance.

Follow the instructions on your pet’s antibiotics to the letter to make sure the medication is effective. Remember that certain antibiotics must be given on an empty stomach so that they don’t bind with ingredients in your pet’s food, while other antibiotics need to be given with food to improve the absorption rate in your pet’s stomach. Ask your vet for exact details if you’re unsure about administering your pet’s medication.

Is There Any Risk Involved?

On the whole, antibiotics are an extremely safe and effective way to treat a bacterial infection that’s causing harm to your pet. There is a chance of certain pets having adverse reactions, like vomiting or diarrhea—let your vet know if you think your pet isn’t responding well to their medication.

Want to learn more about your pet’s antibiotics? Contact your Orangevale, CA veterinary clinic today!

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