In this article we will be focusing on Clavamox. Selecting Clavamox for cats, dogs, and other pets instead of older antibiotics is rapidly become the treatment of choice for veterinarians when it comes to bacterial infections, including those of the urinary tract. For years amoxicillin was the broad spectrum antibiotic most veterinarians called on to cure bacterial infections in cats, dogs, and other pets.
The advantage of selecting Clavamox for cats and dogs over other antibacterial medicines is its ability to treat a much broader range of bacteria.
Additionally, it is now being adopted by many kennels, human societies, and pet rescue services for its effectiveness, affordability, and limited number of side effects.
Clavamox is a combination of the two powerful bacterial killing drugs; amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium.
Amoxicillin is a broad-spectrum form of penicillin that for years was the go to treatment for both bacteria that requires air to flourish (gram negative aerobes) and bacteria that was able to flourish without air (gram-negative anaerobes). While impressive amoxicillin does have a couple of weakness with one being it is not effective against bacteria that produce beta-lactamase. Also, in recent years it is becoming more and more apparent that certain strains of bacteria are becoming resistant to amoxicillin increasing the chances of unsuccessful treatment resulting in chronic or infections or even worse.
Clavulanate (clavulanic acid) inhibits beta-lactamase production increasing the effectiveness of amoxicillin and subsequently broadening the number of strains of bacteria it can be used against.
But while selecting Clavamox for cats, dogs, and other pets has many advantages there are some negatives as well.
For example it is not considered to be an effective against bacterial such as staphylococci which are resistant to penicillinase-resistant penicillin varieties such as oxicillin. The drug also fails to be effective against pseudomonas and enterobacter bacteria varieties.
Another negative is the possibility of side effects. While most veterinarians (including my own) consider choosing Clavamox for cats, dogs, and other animals to be safer than other types of bacteria killing antibiotics it is after all still a drug, and with chemical compounds comes the risk for side effects.
As with other antibiotics Clavamox destroys friendly bacteria in the digestive tract. While seemingly a small price to pay, the lack of friendly bacteria weakens the body's natural defenses against urinary tract infection. There are also more noticeable side effects including loss of appetite, vomiting, and loose stools/diarrhea.
Make sure to complete the treatment plan
Bacterial is notorious for reoccurring especially in cases involving the urinary tract. This can easily happen if the wrong antibiotic is used, the dosage is insufficient, or if the full course of antibiotics aren't given as directed.
If the dosage is stopped early a few things will have happened. First, you will have eliminated much of your pets natural defense against urinary tract infection and second you will have made your cat's infection resistant to the drug. The result will be a chronic/recurring infection that could possibly require a lifetime of antibiotic treatment.
While a depressing possibility there are a four things you can do to prevent this for happening. First, simply use the medication as directed. Second, add a few drops of cranberry/blueberry/raspberry juice your pet's water. Third, implement a probiotic to restore bacteria balance in the digestive tract. Fourth, consider a homeopathic UTI tonic to bolster the efficacy of Clavamox and provide an extra level of protection against possible reoccurrence in the future.
Other notable side effect for Clavamox for cats, dogs, and other pets: skin rash, an anaphylactic reaction, changes in blood count, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, respiratory difficulties, increased heart rate, and neurotoxicities.
Rob Hawkins is an enthusiastic consumer advocate for natural pet health.
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