Antibiotics for treating a cat infection


There are several considerations to take when treating a cat infection with antibiotics. Antibiotics are highly effective in treating feline infections, but they may cause some painful side effects.

Determining the Cause of Infection

Before beginning antibiotic treatment, it is important to diagnose the source of infection. If the source of infection is a cat wound, a quick antibiotic response will halt the infections penetration and abscess development. If an abscess developed before antibiotic treatment, the wound should be drained by latex tube. After that, administered antibiotics will help the wound heal within 2 to 5 days.

The first signs of infection are fever, inflammation, behavioral changes and abnormal bowel movements. These are strong indicators that your cat has an infection and that antibiotics are the best treatment. Your vet can also determine the presence of infection with a culture. Lab cultures can also reveal the kind of bacteria present, which helps your vet make a more informed decision regarding which antibiotic is the most effective.


Antibiotic Treatment

Once infection cause is determined, the right antibiotic can be prescribed. One of the most common antibiotic groups is penicillin. Penicillins attack method is breaking down the cell wall of the invading bacterium. It fights off a side range of bacteria, but is not particularly suited to specific resistance bacteria. Amoxicillin also works like penicillin but is more easily absorbed by the gut. Other penicillins include Oxacillin (used for Staphylococci) and Ticarcillin (used for Pseudomonas).

Other common antibiotics include Aminoglycosides, Cephalosporins, Tetracyclines and Erythromycin. Aminoglycosides and Tetracyclines keep the cell from building proteins. Without protein synthesis, cells are not replicated and the strain dies. These antibiotics must be given as an injection. Erythromycin specifically targets bacterial protein building. Cephalosporins break down the cell wall, similar to how penicillin does, but it targets anaerobic bacteria.


Side Effects of Antibiotics for Cat Infections

Since antibiotics inhibit cell function in some way, they are likely to cause side effects. Side effects of penicillin include rash, allergy, fever and white blood cell loss. Aminoglycoside treatment can cause the face to swell, loss of hearing, nerve and severe kidney damage. Tetracyclines and Erythromycin can cause liver or kidney disease, loss of hair and sensitivity to light. Cephalosporins are perhaps the least threatening and may cause a serious diarrhea problem, allergy and gastrointestinal disease.

Another concern that pet owners have about using antibiotics is it's effect on the cat's normal and healthily functioning cells. Breaking down healthy cells could cause the feline to be more vulnerable to infection than it was before treatment. Infection that manifests after antibiotic treatment is usually caused by pathogens, which cannot be killed with antibiotics. Further, bacteria shares genetic code for resistance of some antibiotics and could spread that resistant chain to its surrounding environment, including other pets or humans.

Antibiotics are great compounds that can effectively attack bacteria to help your cat recover from an infection or illness. Correctly diagnosing the source of infection will help your vet determine which antibiotic will produce the best results and minimize harmful side effects.


Is it a Good Choice?

When faced with serious UTIs, veterinarians often prescribe clavamox for cats, a combination antibiotic containing amoxicillin and clavulanate. The amoxicillin attacks the bacteria, and the clavulanate suppresses the formation of enzymes used by resistant strains of bacteria when holding out against the amoxicillin.

The reason for this one-two punch is that as humans learn to fight bacteria using antibiotics, bacteria learn to fight back, each new strain using new techniques to survive the medical assault of the drugs. Humans and bacteria are in an ongoing arms race, and our careless use of drugs has only increased the speed of the race.

Where antibiotics should be preserved as a last choice, they have become a first choice to vets pressured to provide quick fixes in circumstances which would be better addressed through slower, more natural treatments, first.

Clavamox cats may experience side effects such as nausea, loose stools, and dizziness. The clavamox will not only attack the bacteria in the cat's urinary tract, but may kill off many of the same strains living in the digestive tract. This is not a great side effect, or some sort of added benefit.

The primary bacteria of UTIs is e.coli, accidentally transferred to your cat's urinary tract during grooming. Growing in the wrong environment the e.coli can cause serious problems, but in the digestive tract they are natural and help maintain normal digestive functions. Using clavamox for cat's UTI infections fails to protect the bacteria growing where they belong in the effort to eliminate them where they do not belong.

If your cat has a serious UTI it may be necessary to prescribe clavamox. A bad UTI is dangerous enough to your cat's health and survival that there may be no better way to handle the problem. However it is wise to supplement with natural homeopathic formulas taken from alternative medical traditions ... and once the outbreak is under control it is vital to adapt your care of the cat to ensure that further outbreaks don't occur. Repeated rounds of clavamox for cats places stress on the cat and increases the odds of a resistant strain of bacteria developing.

The most important tools you have in changing your pet's life are food, water and supplements. Using these you can adjust pH, strengthen the immune system, heal minor irritations of the urinary tract, flush out bacteria, kill germs before they can start colonies, ensure comfort and well being.

Avoiding clavamox for cats in most instances, reserving it for rare, severe outbreaks of infection, allows you and your cat to experience a natural health without the need to turn to antibiotics over and over, in a chronic cycle of infection and medication -- with all the ills either can cause. Whatever approach you choose, but sure to do it in consultation with your veterinarian since urination problems can be very dangerous for cats.


® CuanCats

Jeff Grill at the Cat Health Guide