Antibiotics for Cats
Why Antibiotics Fail
Antibiotics may not always be effective, for a number of reasons.
Inadequate Wound Care
Antibiotics enter the bloodstream and are carried to the source of the
infection. Abscesses, wounds that contain devitalized tissue, and wounds with
foreign bodies (dirt or splinters, for example) are resistant areas. Under such
circumstances, antibiotics can’t penetrate the wound completely. Accordingly,
it is essential to drain abscesses, clean dirty wounds, and remove foreign
An antibiotic chosen to treat an infection must be effective against the
specific bacteria that is infecting the body. The best way to determine
susceptibility is to sample the organism, grow it on a culture plate, and
identify it by the way its colony appears and by microscopic characteristics.
Antibiotic discs are then applied to the culture plate to see which discs
inhibit the growth of bacteria colonies. The results are graded according to
whether the bacteria is sensitive, indifferent, or insensitive to the effects
of the antibiotic. Laboratory findings, however, do not always coincide with
results in the patient. Nonetheless, sensitivity testing is the best way to
select the most effective antibiotic.
Antibiotics can destroy the normal flora in the body that crowds out
pathogens. This allows harmful bacteria to multiply and cause disease.
Furthermore, strains of bacteria may develop that are resistant to antibiotics
and thus cannot be effectively controlled. This is particularly likely to occur
when antibiotics are used
- For too short a time
- In too low a dosage
- When the antibiotic is not bactericidal
Microorganisms that are resistant to one antibiotic are usually resistant to
other antibiotics of the same class. The development of antibiotic-resistant
bacteria is one of the main reasons why antibiotics should be used exactly as
prescribed and only in situations in which they will clearly benefit the cat.
Antimicrobial resistance is becoming a serious health problem for both pets and
Antibiotics should only be used when necessary and always used
appropriately. Most upper respiratory infections in cats are caused by viruses
that are not affected by antibiotics. Also, most bladder problems in cats are
not accompanied by bacterial infections and will not benefit from treatment