Antibiotic Choices in Animals

Antibiotics kill bacteria; we generally use them in veterinary medicine to treat bacterial diseases and infections, much like in human medicine.
In fact many of the antibiotics we use are exactly the same as you would get from a human pharmacist. Not all antibiotics are safe to use in all animals. For instance Amoxicillin can cause severe intestinal distress in rabbits.
Different antibiotics work in different ways, affecting different bacteria. Some antibiotics are broader spectrum than others, meaning they kill a wide range of bacteria, others have a narrower spectrum, but may kill types of bacteria that broader spectrum of antibiotics do not kill. Some antibiotics work better at reaching certain parts of the body, like cephalosporin antibiotics concentrate in the urine and are a good choice for urinary infections. Some antibiotics are better at reaching the skin surface and others are better penetrating the nervous system.
Often clients tell me that they want a stronger antibiotic. There are no strong and weak antibiotics. An abscess with anaerobic bacteria will respond well to penicillin, but not to a newer, more expensive antibiotic like Zenoquin.
The advantage of some newer antibiotics is they can be dosed less frequently. Three times daily can be quite a chore for many people and with the newer antibiotics, once daily dosing is much easier on the pet and owner. Orbax has a liquid formulation that is flavored so many animals accept it and the drug is microencapsulated, so there is no medicine taste.
Topping the list in convenience is Convenia – available as an injection that gives therapeutic antibiotic blood levels for two weeks with one injection. This has been absolutely wonderful for cats, I give them the injection here and the owners have no medicine to give at home!
Choosing the appropriate antibiotic is just one thing that is taught in Veterinary School, basic but none the less important. Attempting to use appropriate antibiotic therapy is just part of our out-treatment plan here at Dickinson County Animal Clinic, PC.