Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Back to results
Enter Your Information All fields are required

While efforts are made to answer all questions as quickly as possible, if an immediate answer is required or if your pet is in need of urgent or emergency care, contact your pet's veterinarian immediately.

*Please note: Questions submitted and the answers will appear on our website as a benefit to all pet owners. Please make sure not to include any personal information in the box where you enter your question.

Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Thank you! Your question has been submitted.

You will receive an answer from Dr. Dym and our vet/tech team as soon as possible, usually the same day.

All answers are provided for informational or educational purposes only, and are intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your pet's veterinarian.

It may be necessary to consult your pet's veterinarian regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your pet's symptoms or medical condition.

Close
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Oops! Your question has not been submitted.

An error has occurred, please reload the page and try again.

Close
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Got questions? Ask Dr. Dym & our Vet Team:

While efforts are made to answer all questions as quickly as possible, if an immediate answer is required or if your pet is in need of urgent or emergency care, contact your pet's veterinarian immediately.

Do these answer your question?
Showing of | See All
Have another question, or can’t find your answer?
Submit your question
We're Sorry!

There is no answer related to your question

Can’t find your answer?
Submit your question
Category Hide All Show All

Which Antibiotics Can Dogs or Cats Take?

There are four types of microorganisms that can cause infection in or on your pet's body. These tiny microbials include bacterium, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Your veterinarian typically determines what type of pet antibiotic medication to prescribe only after making a diagnosis and determining what type of organism is causing the problem.

The pet antibiotic you should use to treat your furry companion depends on which organism you're fighting and how the medication works in your pet's body.

Bacterial infections

Bacteria invades your pet's body in any number of ways: through open wounds, in something your pet eats, or just by cohabiting in the same environment as your pet. They come in different shapes and sizes, and it is those physical characteristics that help your veterinarian determine which bacteria are infecting your animal. Responsible for gastroenteritis, pneumonia, skin infections, urinary tract problems, and a host of other diseases, these tiny, one-celled organisms can multiply unchecked in your pet's body without the intervention of antibiotics.

How do antibacterials work?

Bacterial antibiotics work to destroy the offending cells while leaving your pet's healthy cells intact. Depending on the medication, an antibiotic might inhibit the bacterium's ability to construct cell walls, thus destroying its ability to reproduce. An antibiotic can also starve the bacterium by stopping its ability to transform glucose into energy, a major function of all living cells.

Common antibiotic medications for pets include:

  • Enrofloxacin (Baytril) - respiratory, skin, and urinary tract infections
  • Amoxicillin/Clavulanic acid (Clavamox) - wounds, respiratory infections, skin infections
  • Metronidazole (Flagyl) - gastrointestinal upsets, periodontal disease
  • Clindamycin (Antirobe) - bacterial, soft tissue, bone, and dental infections
 
Viral infections

Viruses are the organisms responsible for canine distemper, canine parvovirus, feline herpes, and the feline calici virus, as well as a myriad of other diseases that can make your pet very ill. These parasites can multiply only inside the living cells of other organisms and are so tiny they are estimated to be one-hundredth the size of the average bacterium.

How do anti-virals work?

Anti-viral drugs cannot destroy the virus. They work instead by inhibiting growth and ability to reproduce, thus causing the viral infection to die away of its own accord. While there are no anti-viral drugs in common use in veterinary medicine, most veterinarians opt to treat all of the secondary bacterial infections that can occur with a viral disease in an effort to keep your pet comfortable until the virus leaves the animal's system.

Anti-viral medications for pets include:

  • Acyclovir (Zovirax) - some herpes virus infections
Fungal infections

If your pet has had ringworm, skin, or ear yeast infections, or the more serious and deadly blastomycosis, then you know your furry companion was infected with a fungus. Fungi are microscopic organisms related to yeasts, molds, and the more ubiquitous mushroom. They live by ingesting the building materials of your pet's cells, destroying growing tissue, and feeding on the waste materials of dying cells.

How do anti-fungals work?

Most anti-fungal pet antibiotics are designed to destroy the fungi's cell walls, allowing the parasite to die and the surrounding tissue to rejuvenate.

Common anti-fungal antibiotics for pets include:

  • Griseofulvin (Fulvicin) - ringworm infections
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral) - internal and external fungal infections, Cushing's disease
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan) - skin, yeast, and ringworm infections
  • Amphotericin B (Fungizone) - histoplasmosis and blastomycosis infections
 
Protozoal infections

Protozoa are micro-organisms that feast on nutrients provided in your pet's body by either totally engulfing the food produced by the animal's digestive system, or sweeping it into their "mouth pores." Covered in hair-like structures called "cilia," protozoa constantly move around your pet's cellular structures to gain as many nutrients as possible in order to reproduce. These tiny parasites are accountable for major gastrointestinal tract disorders like Coccidiosis and Giardiasis, and the blood disease Haemobartonellosis, which can prove fatal.

How do anti-protozoals work?

Some anti-protozoal pet antibiotics work to kill the microorganisms in your pet's body by damaging its DNA, and by inhibiting cell growth and reproduction so that the infection resolves as the protozoa die off. Other pet medications kill the protozoa outright.

Three common pet antibiotics used to combat protozoal infection include:

 
Max's Tip

Some antibiotics can also be compounded for easier administration.

We'll contact your Vet to verify.
Prescription Item
$5 to $20 Off with code PETS
$1.15
$1.64
$1.09
Shop now
We'll contact your Vet to verify.
Prescription Item
$5 to $20 Off with code PETS
$0.65
$0.93
$0.62
Shop now
We'll contact your Vet to verify.
Prescription Item
$5 to $20 Off with code PETS
$0.34
$0.49
$0.32
Shop now
We'll contact your Vet to verify.
Prescription Item
$5 to $20 Off with code PETS
$0.58
$0.83
$0.55
Shop now
We'll contact your Vet to verify.
100
Prescription Item
$5 to $20 Off with code PETS
$0.51
$0.73
$0.48
Shop now
We'll contact your Vet to verify.
Prescription Item
$5 to $20 Off with code PETS
$1.67
$2.39
$1.59
Shop now
We'll contact your Vet to verify.
Prescription Item
$5 to $20 Off with code PETS
$2.29
$3.27
$2.18
Shop now
We'll contact your Vet to verify.
Prescription Item
$5 to $20 Off with code PETS
$0.34
$0.49
$0.32
Shop now
We'll contact your Vet to verify.
Prescription Item
$5 to $20 Off with code PETS
$21.40
$30.57
$20.33
Shop now
We'll contact your Vet to verify.
Prescription Item
$5 to $20 Off with code PETS
$0.49
$0.70
$0.47
Shop now