Treating a Cat Infection With Antibiotics

There are several considerations to take when treating a cat infection with antibiotics. Antibiotics are highly effective in treating feline infections, but they may cause some painful side effects.

Determining the Cause of Infection

Before beginning antibiotic treatment, it is important to diagnose the source of infection. If the source of infection is a cat wound, a quick antibiotic response will halt the infection's penetration and abscess development. If an abscess developed before antibiotic treatment, the wound should be drained by latex tube. After that, administered antibiotics will help the wound heal within 2 to 5 days.

The first signs of infection are fever, inflammation, behavioral changes and abnormal bowel movements. These are strong indicators that your cat has an infection and that antibiotics are the best treatment. Your vet can also determine the presence of infection with a culture. Lab cultures can also reveal the kind of bacteria present, which helps your vet make a more informed decision regarding which antibiotic is the most effective.

Antibiotic Treatment

Once infection cause is determined, the right antibiotic can be prescribed. One of the most common antibiotic groups is penicillin. Penicillin's attack method is breaking down the cell wall of the invading bacterium. It fights off a side range of bacteria, but is not particularly suited to specific resistance bacteria. Amoxicillin also works like penicillin but is more easily absorbed by the gut. Other penicillins include Oxacillin (used for Staphylococci) and Ticarcillin (used for Pseudomonas).

Other common antibiotics include Aminoglycosides, Cephalosporins, Tetracyclines and Erythromycin. Aminoglycosides and Tetracyclines keep the cell from building proteins. Without protein synthesis, cells are not replicated and the strain dies. These antibiotics must be given as an injection. Erythromycin specifically targets bacterial protein building. Cephalosporins break down the cell wall, similar to how penicillin does, but it targets anaerobic bacteria.

Side Effects of Antibiotics for Cat Infections

Since antibiotics inhibit cell function in some way, they are likely to cause side effects. Side effects of penicillin include rash, allergy, fever and white blood cell loss. Aminoglycoside treatment can cause the face to swell, loss of hearing, nerve and severe kidney damage. Tetracyclines and Erythromycin can cause liver or kidney disease, loss of hair and sensitivity to light. Cephalosporins are perhaps the least threatening and may cause diarrhea, allergy and gastrointestinal disease.

Another concern that pet owners have about using antibiotics is its effect on the cat's normal and healthily functioning cells. Breaking down healthy cells could cause the feline to be more vulnerable to infection than it was before treatment. Infection that manifests after antibiotic treatment is usually caused by pathogens, which cannot be killed with antibiotics. Further, bacteria shares genetic code for resistance of some antibiotics and could spread that resistant chain to its surrounding environment, including other pets or humans.

Antibiotics are great compounds that can effectively attack bacteria to help your cat recover from an infection or illness. Correctly diagnosing the source of infection will help your vet determine which antibiotic will produce the best results and minimize harmful side effects.