Side Effects of Feline UTI Antibiotics

Feline UTI is an infection that develops in area of the urinary tract. The infection may originate from the kidney, urinary bladder or urethra. Although the cause of urinary infection varies, most conditions require medical intervention to cure the condition. UTI should be diagnosed and treated promptly to prevent a more severe condition, known as urethral blockage. This condition is more common in male cats suffering from kidney stones. Your cat will most likely be given antibiotics to deal with a UTI, and these antibiotics can have some side effects.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Cats suffering from UTI often urinate out of the litter box. Although this symptom is confused with behavioral problems, it's best to conduct a vet check on cats that urinate in unusual places. Additional symptoms related to feline UTI include licking of the genitals, frequent urination and straining while urinating. Since cats mask pain or illness, pet owners should monitor cats that exhibit any symptom and initiate early treatment. During diagnosis, the vet will perform a physical examination and note the cat's previous medical history. A urine analysis is then performed to determine bacterial infections. In order to obtain a pure sample of urine, the vet may use a catheter to directly obtain urine from the body. Ultrasounds and other blood tests can rule out underlying health concerns.

Treatment of Feline UTI

The treatment of UTI depends on the severity and type of infection present. Most cats are prescribed antibiotic medication to kill susceptible strains of bacteria. Urinary infection caused by bladder stones may be treated with dietary modification and oral medication. Bladder stones that don't dissolve with medication require surgical removal. Commonly prescribed antibiotics for UTI include amoxicillin and cephalexin. Penicillin based antibiotics can also be used. However, pets susceptible to chronic UTI require additional preventive medication to prevent re-infection. Antibiotics cannot be prescribed too frequently, due to the various side effects involved.

Side Effects of Antibiotic Medication Include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fungal infections
  • Abdominal pain

Other Precautions:

  • Pets shouldn't be administered antibiotic drugs if they have known hypersensitivity to the ingredients.
  • Symptoms such as facial swelling, hives or shortness of breath that develop due to antibiotic medication are serious and pet owners should seek emergency medical help.
  • Antibiotic medication should be discontinued if the pet suffers from seizures, bleeding and shortness of breath.
  • Overdose is dangerous and may cause health conditions such as muscle spasms and coma.
  • Drug interactions are common in pets prescribed other antibiotic drugs, certain vitamins or herbal remedies.

Tips for Pet Owners

Since cats suffering from UTI experience pain and discomfort, pet owners should determine the cause of UTI and take measures to prevent future infections. Litter boxes should be cleaned regularly and pets should be fed diets that prevent the formation of kidney stones. Some pet owners prefer the use of homeopathic and herbal remedies as long-term solutions to feline UTI. It's best to feed the pet commercially available diet food and herbal supplements that control chronic feline UTI. New diets should also be incorporated gradually to normal pet food, to prevent food intolerance.

Herbal remedies or homeopathic medication that fails to cure UTI should be replaced with conventional medication. It's important to remember that prompt diagnosis prevents complications and expensive surgical procedures.