Considerations for the Use of Antibiotics in Dogs

Dog Health

Various bacterial infections can occur in dogs, as in humans, and the use of antibiotics may become necessary in the treatment of these infections. Antibiotic drugs in dogs often prevent bacterial invasion without harming healthy cells and microorganisms. Some antibiotics are synthesized in laboratories, while others are produced from living organisms such as fungi, molds, and some soil bacteria. At this point, it should be noted that “Which antibiotic is used in dogs?” The answer to the question may vary depending on the problem the dogs are exposed to. For example, the antibiotic for ear infections in dogs may not be the same as for a bacterial infection in another part of the body. Each antibiotic works only on certain bacterial infections. For this reason, veterinarians should evaluate the type of infection and its spread in order to determine which one to use in which dosage. In this article, you can find what you need to know about the use of antibiotics in dogs.

How Do Antibiotics Fight Bacteria?

Before we go to war with bacteria, we would like to remind you that antibiotics are ineffective on viruses and will not work in the treatment of viral infections. In the past years, antibiotic treatment could be offered to people and animals infected with the virus to prevent secondary infections, but today this approach has been abandoned because it can lead to resistance.

Each antibiotic uses a different mechanism to kill bacteria. Some prevent bacteria from forming a cell wall, some destroy bacterial membranes, and some affect the way the bacteria make proteins or copy DNA. For this reason, when it comes to the use of antibiotics in dogs, it is effective to choose the type of infection instead of broad-spectrum drugs. However, in some cases, if waiting for culture results causes a waste of time, broad-spectrum drugs can also be preferred. The sooner treatment is started for any infection, the less bacteria will be able to fight, and the effect of antibiotics will appear quickly.

Which Antibiotic Is Used in Dogs?

Many different antibiotics can be used in dogs. The details of antibiotics will also provide us with answers to the question, “In which cases antibiotics are given to dogs?” Of course, as always, the decision of which drug should be used in which situation, in which situation, for what duration, should be left to the expertise of veterinarians.

Amoxicillin/Clavulanate: The use of this antibiotic combo can be considered in cases of skin infections, respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, excretory and reproductive tract infections.

Gentamicin: Gentamicin can be used when it comes to antibiotics for ear infections in dogs, eye infections and when pneumonia is diagnosed. This drug can also be preferred in cases such as swelling and redness due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Chloramphenicol: In case of bacterial infection in the organs, Chloramphenicol, which has a safe pH value, can be preferred.

Sulfamethoxole: It is preferred in the treatment of urinary tract infections in dogs. However, it causes complaints such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and nausea. For this reason, dogs should drink plenty of water while using Sulfamethoxole.

Tetracycline: It can treat infections caused by various bacteria, as it inhibits the protein synthesis process. Tetracycline is used when another antibiotic has proven ineffective because it has the ability to break through the barriers of protection that bacteria use to protect themselves.

The terms of use, duration of use and dosages of all these antibiotics are determined by veterinarians. For this reason, antibiotics should not be used unconsciously in dogs, just as in humans.

dog taking antibiotics

Antibiotic Side Effects in Dogs

Side effects may vary depending on the drug. Medications recommended by veterinarians usually do not have very serious side effects and are limited to nausea and vomiting due to nausea. Experts will make recommendations on what needs to be done to deal with emerging complaints. Alternatives will also be offered should severe symptoms occur. The most common antibiotic side effects in dogs can be listed as follows:

1. Allergic Reactions

Dogs can have an allergic reaction to these drugs, just like humans. Medications used in the past may cause allergic reactions in the future. Allergy symptoms can be mild to moderate. If reactions such as difficulty in breathing and facial swelling are observed, veterinarians should be examined immediately.

2. Gastrointestinal Problems

Some antibiotics in dogs can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and decreased appetite. In order to cope with these symptoms, which occur within 1-2 days of starting the drug use, it will usually be sufficient to give formula while giving the drug. However, if complaints increase, veterinarians should be consulted.

3. Neurological Symptoms

Some medications can cause drowsiness, dilated pupils, head tilt, involuntary eye movements and, in rare cases, seizures in dogs. When such symptoms occur, veterinarians should be consulted without wasting time.

4. Antibiotic Resistance in Dogs

The ability of bacteria to survive against antibiotics formulated to kill them is called antibiotic resistance. Infections cannot be cured when antibiotic resistance occurs. To avoid antibiotic resistance in dogs, antibiotics should not be given unless they need it. In addition, not using the prescribed drugs completely as a result of a disease may contribute to the formation of resistance. We can explain it briefly as follows. When the treatment of infection is started, first of all, the weakest and easiest to destroy bacteria is fought. More resistant bacteria survive the initial effects of antibiotics. When the life cycle is interrupted, the most resistant bacteria may not be destroyed and more resistant bacteria may emerge. This process can sometimes result in the medicine used no longer having any effect.

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