Antibacterial drugs, or antibiotics, are widely used in veterinary practice to treat diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria, fungi, or protozoa. Viral infections are not treated with antibacterial agents; non-cellular organisms do not respond to them. There are antimicrobial agents of local (external) and general action. External agents include ointments, liniments, gels, powders, aerosols, suppositories, drops. Agents for internal use are tablets, capsules, medicines, injection solutions.
Drugs that affect a certain type of pathogenic microflora are narrow-spectrum antibiotics, drugs that can destroy several types of bacteria are broad-spectrum drugs.
According to the method of influence on the pathogen, they distinguish bactericidal and bacteriostatic antibacterial agents. The former kill bacteria, the latter do not allow them to multiply, over time, the population of microorganisms comes to naught, and the products of their vital activity are naturally excreted from the body.
For cats, a group of antimicrobials are used in the treatment of:
Antibiotics for cats are also used for prophylactic purposes: they are prescribed after operations to prevent purulent complications and shorten the rehabilitation period (for example, after cat sterilization).
There are virtually no obstacles to the use of antibiotics – they are effective in diseases of any organs and systems. This was made possible due to the variety of substances that have antibiotic properties. Each of them is active against a certain type of bacteria or protozoa. There are also broad-spectrum antibiotics. There are also antibiotics that can penetrate and accumulate in certain types of tissues: bone, soft, parenchyma of internal organs, brain matter.
Groups of antibiotics used in human and veterinary medicine:
In terms of molecular structure and properties, drugs intended for humans are no different from those for animals. In humanitarian and veterinary medicine, the same active substances are actually used, even their names differ little. The only difference is the concentration of compounds in the preparation.
By the way, did you know that there are also many antibiotics for fish? these are amoxicillin cephalexin, metronidazole, ciprofloxacin, penicillin, clindamycin, doxycycline, erythromycin and trimethoprim-sulfa.
Like any medicine, antibiotics can have side effects. First of all, they can cause dysbacteriosis. Together with harmful microorganisms, the antimicrobial drug destroys part of the natural microflora, and this leads to disruption of the gastrointestinal tract: in particular, a cat may have diarrhea after taking an antibiotic. Therefore, antibacterial agents are usually prescribed with probiotics that restore the intestinal microflora. In this case, the probiotic is given another 2-3 weeks after the end of antibiotic therapy.
The composition of the medicinal product always contains additional substances: emulsifiers, stabilizers, preservatives, shapers. Some of them can cause allergic reactions in a cat (itching, skin rashes).
Other side effects of antimicrobial agents for cats depend on the type of drug, its dosage and duration of administration. The consequences of taking antibiotics can be:
Metabolites of many antimicrobials are excreted through the kidneys, and if the animal has a urinary tract disease, it can worsen. In diseases of the liver or kidneys, the aminoglycoside monomycin should not be taken. In some skin diseases, the bacteriostatic levomycetin and synthomycin are contraindicated. All of these factors should be considered when prescribing an antimicrobial agent to a cat.
Important! Antibiotics have a negative effect on reproductive function. Therefore, it is not recommended to mate cats within three months after a course of antibiotic therapy, otherwise you can get inferior offspring.
When treating cats with antibiotics, it is very important to follow the correct dosage. When taking insufficient doses, the infection will not be completely destroyed, even if the external manifestations of the disease pass. Exceeding the dose can lead to poisoning or even death since many antimicrobials are toxic.
Another important factor in successful treatment is the quality of the drug. You’d better purchase medicines for cats in veterinary pharmacies licensed to retail medicines. In this case, it is necessary to check the expiration date.
The owner of a cat must learn how to give the animal medicine properly. The easiest way is with kittens – there are drugs in the form of drops or mixtures, which are easy to pour onto the root of the kitten’s tongue. If you need to give a kitten a pill, it is better to break it into several parts, then put each one in turn deeper on the side of the tongue. In the same way, a tablet is given to adult cats, but not in parts, but as a whole.
If the medicine is prescribed in the form of injections, it is recommended that the first injection is made by a doctor. He will see the reaction of the animal to the drug, and, if necessary, will be able to provide first aid. In the future, injections can be done at home. Each drug has its own daily dosage, which is selected by a vet.
It is most convenient for cats to inject the solution for injection subcutaneously, into the withers or knee crease. The injection is made with a syringe that is suitable in volume, it is advisable to take a thin needle. It is not required to lubricate the injection site with alcohol. At the injection site, the skin must be collected in a fold, then pierced, making sure that the needle does not pass through, and its end is in the subcutaneous space. Then quickly inject the medicine, and holding the skin, remove the needle. With proper subcutaneous injection, the cat will practically not feel pain.
The type and dosage of an antibiotic is selected by a vet individually after examining the animal and conducting the necessary tests. Even if the owner has a medical education, he or she is unlikely to be able to independently determine the cause of inflammation and choose the right drug that will give the best effect and will not harm the body.
For infections of the respiratory tract, pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, diseases of the genitourinary system – metritis, urethritis, cystitis, cats are prescribed:
For eye infections, otitis, deep wounds, bacterial infections of the oral cavity, soft tissues and skin, injections of azithromycin or gentamicin are usually prescribed. For diseases of the skin and mucous membranes caused by streptococcus, staphylococcus, chlamydia, salmonella, mycoplasma, Escherichia coli, spirochete-like bacteria Borrelia (Lyme disease), the following antibiotics are also used:
With infections of the digestive system, birth injuries, inflammatory diseases of the reproductive organs in cats, amoxicillin and clavulanic acid give a good effect. A contraindication for use is hypersensitivity to penicillins.
For the treatment of infections of the oral cavity, nasopharynx and eyes caused by protozoal microorganisms (Trichomonas, Giardia, Plasmodium malaria), veterinary Oxytetracycline is used. Tetracycline ointment is most widely used for external use in the treatment of infected wounds, boils, pustular skin diseases, eczema, burns.
Attention! When treating with antibiotics, it is very important that the course is completed, it cannot be reduced, even if the cat looks quite healthy. This is due to the fact that the bacteria remaining in the body become more resistant to the action of harmful substances for them, more aggressive, and therefore represent a greater danger.
Almost all veterinary antibiotics have a “human” counterpart. Sometimes such medicines are also used for cats – if the animal needs urgent treatment, and the veterinary version of the medicine is not available for some reason. The dosage for an adult cat will be the same as for a newborn child, and this dose is halved for kitten.
In order for the result of antibiotic therapy to be effective and with minimal harm to the cat, three key rules must be strictly followed: