Antibiotics and Pets


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     Pet Antibiotics - Good, Bad, or Otherwise?  

In our current medical society, antibiotics are used often and as the years progress we get more potent and more potent ones. I recall being a kid and going to my doctor with a cold and getting a shot of penicillin and some cherry flavored liquid antibiotics to take for 2 weeks. I got better, but am sure I would have with some vitamin C, garlic,rest and lots of fluids without the digestive side effects of the antibiotics.

Recently, the use of antibiotics has become much under scrutiny. There is the probelm of resistant bacteria development and other more common issues as the kill-off of the body's normal bacteria which messes up the normal function of that system and can allow for overgrowth of yeast and other bad infectious agents. A common issue in humans is Candida due to the use of antibiotics which has many widespread medical ramifications. Candida isn't such an issue in pets, but there are other yeasts, that if present could overgrow and create non-optimum or even diseased states.

The gut is a main area that gets negatively affected by the use of antibiotics. Common side effects are diarrhea and vomiting from the use of them, especially the oral forms. Also, the gut contains a large amount of the body's immune system and any disruption in its function can cause suppressed or increased (allergy or even auto-immune diseases) immune sytem responses.

Now, antibiotics aren't always bad. In fact, sometimes they are necessary. For example, with a deep puncture wound, such as a cat or dog bite, some sort of antibacterial agent is usually needed especially if the area develops pus and abcesses.

Ideal scene any time antibiotics are used is that the least potent one that can get the job done be used so as to not kill off anything else, if possible. And they are usually less expensive as well. If time allows, getting a sample of the bacteria and doing a culture and sensitivity test is best case senario. That way you know exactly what bug is there causing disease and the exact antibiotic that it will respond to avoiding trial and error and being on these medications longer than necessary.

Also, if your pet must be on antibiotics, it is best to take preventative measures and give some sort of pro-biotics during and for awhile after the treatment is over. Yogurt can be use that has live cultures, but a concentrated, well proven pro-biotic is better and probably easier to get your pet to take. There are formulas that are in powdered flavored form for pets that can be mixed into food and keep you from having to poke, yet another pill down your dog or cat's throat.

There are many herbal and other formulations available for treating bacteria. I am not familiar enough with them to recommend any. One caution is that cats are highly sensitive to all pine oils and that rules out using Tea Tree Oil in cats. It can create a toxicity. Ultracolloidial silver has antibiotic and antivirral properties, but is unproven in pets and I have no dose to give for animals, therefore can't really promote the use of it. Any use of any of these non-tested for results and dosage treatments would be purely up to the user and must be used with great caution. Cats and dogs aren't people, so don't try to figure it out off a human model. There are alternative veterinarians who may be able to make such recommendations. Here is a list of such veterinarians and you could see if there is one local to you if you wanted to try herbals. Veterinary Botanical Medical Association

Here is hoping your beloved pet never is ill enough to need some sort of antibaterial agent, but if it happens, I hope this information helps.

To see our pro-biotic recommendation, go here: Nutrigest for Dogs and Cats

Please let me know if you have any requests for articles in the future.

Until next time,

Best,

Dr. Jan


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