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Can I Give Antibiotics to my Dog?

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: July 11, 2017
Can I Give Antibiotics to my Dog?

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There are many different factors that influence how antibiotics work, so answering the question "can I give antibiotics to my dog?" and working out their benefits can become quite difficult.

In order to give you some general guidelines, here at AnimalWised we will go over how antibiotics work, how to know when they're necessary and how to prevent their possible adverse effects. This way, you'll be able to make up your mind about whether you should give antibiotics to your dog or not.

What are antibiotics and how do they work?

Antibiotics are chemotherapeutic drugs, meaning that they are a purely chemical treatment. This kind of medication is used to prevent and treat diseases caused by bacteria, so it doesn't have any effect on viral diseases.

Antibiotics work by preventing the spread of bacteria or by eliminating them altogether, depending on the drug in question. There are two types of antibiotics:

  • Selective antibiotics are those that only act on specific bacteria.
  • Broad-spectrum antibiotics are those that act against a wide range of bacteria.

Occasionally, broad-spectrum antibiotics are taken with other non-antibiotic substances with the aim of enhancing the drug's impact. Used on both humans and dogs, the best known example of such a combination are amoxicillin and clavulanic acid, which bolsters antibiotic action.

Can I Give Antibiotics to my Dog? - What are antibiotics and how do they work?

When should you give antibiotics to your dog?

The vet will prescribe antibiotics to your dog after any surgical intervention to prevent skin lesions from getting infected, and to stop any form of systemic infection that could affect the whole body.

Antibiotics will also be prescribed after being bitten by ticks or other parasites in order to prevent the wound from becoming infected. They may also be prescribed when your dog is ill, often with fever, after the vet confirms that the illness is caused by bacteria.

Can I Give Antibiotics to my Dog? - When should you give antibiotics to your dog?

What are the adverse effects of antibiotics, and how can I prevent them?

Besides the fact that all new drugs can cause an allergic reaction, antibiotics can indeed cause a series of side effects.

As explained at the beginning, there are several broad-spectrum antibiotics that act against a wide range of bacteria, both good and bad. This means that the dog's intestinal flora, which is healthy and necessary for the maintenance of defenses and its internal balance, will be damaged after taking antibiotics.

Antibiotic treatments endanger the body's beneficial flora, which results in general discomfort, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite and even vomiting. To avoid this, ask your vet to recommend probiotics for dogs. These products contain bacteria of the kind found naturally in the dog's own intestinal flora, and thus will help to stop your dog's defenses from being destroyed.

Can I Give Antibiotics to my Dog? - What are the adverse effects of antibiotics, and how can I prevent them?

Only give antibiotics to your dog after consulting a vet

Some antibiotics used by humans can also be used on dogs, but you should never give them to your dog unless they have been prescribed by a vet. An antibiotic's dosage must be matched to the dog's weight. Moreover, some drugs could damage their kidneys or other organs.

If your dog is sick with various symptoms including high fever, you should go to the vet and get them to make a diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate medication. You should keep an eye on the dosage and recommended frequency.

Giving your dog medicine by yourself is risky conduct that can be harmful for your pet's health.

Can I Give Antibiotics to my Dog? - Only give antibiotics to your dog after consulting a vet

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Can I Give Antibiotics to my Dog?, we recommend you visit our Bacterial diseases category.

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