Augmentin is the brand name for the antibiotic mixture of amoxicillin and potassium clavulanate, a combination that is used to treat certain types of bacterial infections in an array of species.
This mix can treat bacterial infections in humans and in cats. The veterinary formulation of the same product is marketed under the name Clavamox. The composition of the veterinary version has a different concentration of the antibiotic so that it can be more safely metabolized by cats.
The antibiotic can be used to treat infected skin, bone, wounds, bladders, in addition to pneumonia and infections in the mouth.
Can I Give My Cat Augmentin? Answer: Only if Directed by a Vet
Cats metabolize chemicals in a different way than humans, so as a general rule human medication should never be administered to cats. Although Augmentin has the same active ingredients that work on both cats and humans, the dosage is fit for human needs, therefore, it should not be given to your cat unless indicated by a veterinarian. Augmentin will have doses for human use and the concentration of the antibiotic is too great for the feline liver to process and could harm them instead of helping them.
Limited Amount of Bacteria Affected
Not all bacterial infections can be treated with Augmentin. Using it without proper diagnoses is like shooting a gun blindfolded into a crowd and hope that you hit the bad guy. The antibiotic targets specific bacteria and it is therefore necessary for a veterinarian to indicate its use. The vet can also take the specific medical needs of your pet into consideration such as medical history, sex, weight, and any other factors that need to be considered to establish the correct dose for your cat.
As Clavamox is created for veterinary use, this is probably the version of the antibiotic that your cat will receive. Another reason why it is important for your furry friend to see a vet when suffering from an infection is because the infection itself could merely be a symptom of a larger health issue. Weak immune systems are more vulnerable to bacterial and other infections.
Antibiotics Are Not the Answer
Although the antibiotic penicillin changed the world of medicine, it is not always the answer. Antibiotics can always have side effects that may vary from cat to cat. Additionally, they only work to treat bacterial infections and it is difficult to distinguish whether the infection is being caused by bacteria or a virus.
Veterinarians and doctors will only prescribe antibiotics if absolutely needed. The use of antibiotics after surgery is an exception as the risk for infection is high. Consult with a veterinarian if antibiotics are the best treatment and be informed of the potential side effects.
Allergic reactions are a possibility with any drug. Let your veterinarian know if your cat has had any allergic reactions in the past. Augmentin, or the cat equivalent Clavamox, does put a strain on the stomach and kidneys so inform your veterinarian if your pet has had any problems with these in the past.
Side Effects of Clavamox
The known side effects of medication containing amoxicillin that cats may experience are nausea, vomiting, rash, shortness of breath and abdominal pain. Unusual bleeding and seizures may also occur in rare cases. While it does its work treating bacterial infections, other areas of the cat’s immune system are weakened paving the way for fungal or yeast infections.
This broad spectrum of unpleasant side effects can be considered as an argument to only use antibiotics as a last resort. If your cat displays these side effects or they have overdosed on the medication contact a veterinarian immediately.
Augmentin is for Humans, Claramox is for Cats
Augmentin and Claramox both contain different concentrations of the same ingredients: amoxicillin and potassium clavulanate. In theory Augmentin is effective in treating bacterial infections in cats. The problem is that both Augmentin and the pet version, Claramox, target only specific bacteria so a professional diagnosis should be made before any antibiotics are given.
An additional danger lies in the fact that the concentration is too high and therefore harmful to your cat. Do not give your cat Augmentin without first consulting with a veterinarian.