Amoxicillin Antibiotic Side Effects in Pets

The amoxicillin antibiotic treatment may be used in pets with bacterial infections. Amoxicillin belongs to the same group of antibiotics as penicillin. The drugs can be effective in eliminating the harmful bacteria from the body, but will also have a series of side effects.

Secondary Infections from Amoxicillin

The amoxicillin antibiotic treatment is highly effective in killing bacteria; however, in addition to the elimination of the harmful bacteria, the good bacteria from the dog’s body will also be removed and this can lead to the development of secondary infections such as fungal infections (i.e. overgrowth of yeast cells).

The secondary infections should be managed with topical treatment, if available and if the infection is located on the skin or in the ears. Antibiotics treatment for these secondary infections should be avoided, as the drugs may do more harm than good.

Immunity to Antibiotics

If the dog receives amoxicillin treatment and for whatever reason this is discontinued abruptly, before the day indicated by the vet, the dog’s body can build up immunity to amoxicillin, penicillin and other similar antibiotics. This means that the dog will no longer respond to this type of treatment and should he need amoxicillin again, a different type of antibiotics will be needed.

For this reason, you should never discontinue the administration of amoxicillin unless indicated by the vet.

Typically, the treatment will be 7 to 14 days.

Kidney and Liver Damage

Amoxicillin is a powerful antibiotic that contains a lot of toxic materials which can affect the kidneys and the liver, especially when the drugs are administered for over 2 weeks.

The damage to the kidneys and the liver may be manifested through:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures, if the damage is advanced

Other Side Effects of Amoxicillin

There may also be other side effects associated with the amoxicillin antibiotic treatment:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Allergic reactions manifested through rashes
  • Skin itchiness
  • Hair loss in patches, especially if the treatment is administered for a longer period of time
  • Lethargy
  • Sleepiness
  • Gastric ulcers

The allergic reaction can be serious and may lead to breathing difficulties or even an anaphylactic shock, which means that the pet’s airways will be constricted and will shut within minutes, so the dog needs to receive an epinephrine shot, which will immediately reduce the inflammation. Severe allergic reactions are rare, but you need to pay attention to your pet and let the vet know if your dog typically develops allergic reactions to drugs, food or other environmental factors. A testing will be performed to detect if your dog is allergic to amoxicillin. An anaphylactic shock manifests through shaking, vomiting, panting and swelling of the face and air ways. The dog may faint or start seizing.

If the side effects of amoxicillin in your pet are more serious, you need to resort to alternative types of treatment, such as herbal remedies, which may help curing your pet, without side effects.