Can I Give My Cat Amoxicillin?
Is Amoxicillin something you should give your cat? Cats are prone to contracting bacterial, fungal or viral diseases that left untreated can lead to significant health complications. Outdoor feline explorers are often more prone to catching illnesses as they may rummage through trash and dirt.
They can easily come in contact with other outdoor or stray cats, putting them at risk of contracting contagious diseases. Indoor cats are less likely to come home bearing the scars of a fight, but can still fall victim to many diseases. Antibiotics can be used to treat many fungal and bacterial infections, both in humans and in cats.
Antibiotics are fairly common in the average household, so it may be the case that you have some Amoxicillin available. It is an antibiotic prescribed for human use to treat urinary tract infections, pneumonia and bronchitis, skin infections, and infections of ear, nose, and throat.
Can I Give My Cat Amoxicillin? Answer: Only if Approved by Your Vet
Amoxicillin specifically targets certain strains of bacteria and therefore is not prescribed for all kinds of infections. Cats should never be given Amoxicillin prescribed for human use, however convenient it may be for pet owners. The concentration is much too high for cats’ unique livers to process and it could seriously harm your cat.
Effective Only for Specific Cases
Veterinarians can prescribe Amoxicillin for pet use. It is the same antibiotic, but in a completely different dosage and mixture and is specifically designed for our pet friends. The vet will take a look at your cat’s medical history, body weight, sex and other factors and will give a very specifically concentrated dose for your cat. Because Amoxicillin is only effective for very specific strains of bacteria only a veterinarian would know which antibiotic to prescribe for your cat for its specific affliction.
Typically, vets can prescribe Amoxicillin for cats to treat skin infections, and urinary tract infections. But only your vet can properly diagnose an infection and its root cause and thereby prescribe the right kind of antibiotic and the right dose. Also be aware that bacterial infections can also be symptomatic of other diseases. Cats that suffer from a serious condition will have weaker immune systems and will therefore be more likely to contract bacterial and other infections. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure that you are treating the correct affliction in the most effective way possible.
Use of Antibiotics
All antibiotics, for human or pet use, have side effects. Due to this, antibiotics are only prescribed by vets if it is absolutely necessary and other medical options have been exhausted. It is not used as a first line of treatment unless the infection is far gone or the risk for infection (for example after surgery) is very high. You should always consult with the vet about the best antibiotic to be used and its potential side effects.
Potential Side Effects
The side effects of vet-prescribed Amoxicillin for cats can be: shortness of breath, rash, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. In rare cases it can cause more serious side effects such as unusual bleeding and even seizures. Ironically, a fungal or yeast infection may develop. These are a good reminder of why Amoxicillin is only prescribed to cats when absolutely required, and therefore it should be left to a veterinarian to determine when and which antibiotic should be used.
You should inform your vet about any allergies your cat may have, especially if you know your cat to be allergic to any drugs. Also, inform your veterinarian about any kidney or stomach problems your cat may have or had in the past as Amoxicillin may cause further damage of these organs.
A Last Recourse Prescribed by Veterinarian
Essentially the same antibiotics are effective in cats and in humans, however always in different concentrations and dosages. Administering Amoxicillin prescribed for human use to your cat may do serious harm. Always consult your veterinarian and if needed they will prescribe a special formulation designed for your cat, with the appropriate dosage and concentration of Amoxicillin suited for your cat’s weight, age and sex.
Furthermore, Amoxicillin is only effective for specific bacteria and if used to treat other bacterial infections it will have no effect at all. Therefore it is necessary to have your cat properly diagnosed and have a veterinarian prescribe the correct form of treatment.
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