In veterinary medicine, one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics is a combination drug consisting of Amoxicillin and Clavulanate. These two drugs work together to treat a wide range of bacterial infections in both cats and dogs.
This is an effective compounded combination because is similar to Penicillin, except that it has a much broader spectrum of antibacterial action, while the Clavulanate effectively inhibits the beta-lactamase enzyme produced by bacteria that would otherwise render the Amoxicillin inactive.
When combined into one administration, the drugs are able to work synergistically to treat a variety of bacterial infections, many of which would have otherwise been resistant to Amoxicillin alone.
Veterinary Medicine Uses for Amoxicillin/Clavulanate
has several uses in veterinary medicine. Some of its most common uses include infections caused by susceptible bacteria, as well as bacterial infections such as:
- Wound Infections
- Skin Infections
- Bone Infections
- Infections in the Mouth
- Bladder Infections
Amoxicillin/Clavulanate is a highly effective treatment option for most bacterial infections, however, the patient may develop a resistance to the drug with prolonged use. In such cases, the bacteria may prove unresponsive to the medicine and other antibiotics may need to be considered. Because Amoxicillin/Clavulanate is an antibacterial agent, it is not effective against viral or parasitic infections.
Potential Side Effects of Amoxicillin/Clavulanate
One of the things that makes Amoxicillin/Clavulanate a popular drug combo is that the medication is relatively safe when administered according to a veterinarian’s prescribed directions. However, precautions still need to be considered. For instance, Amoxicillin/Clavulanate should not be prescribed to a patient that has a known allergy to either Amoxicillin or Clavulanate.
The most common side effects of Amoxicillin/Clavulanate include vomiting and/or diarrhea. To help prevent vomiting, the patient should be fed prior to the dose administration. In cases where the patient experiences diarrhea, it is typically the result of the intestinal bacteria being affected by the Amoxicillin. If the vomiting or diarrhea persist, then the pet should be seen by the veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Drug Interactions With Amoxicillin/Clavulanate
Amoxicillin/Clavulanate may interact with other medications. Two common drugs known to interact with this compounded combo are tetracycline and chloramphenicol. Any time a patient is taking other medications, the veterinarian needs to be informed so potential drug interactions can be avoided.
Precautions for Using Amoxicillin/Clavulanate
Amoxicillin/Clavulanate is generally safe for use in cats and dogs, but it should never be administered to small animals like ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, or hamsters because the antibiotic nature of the medicine affects the normal bacteria in a small animal’s gastrointestinal tract, and this can cause potentially fatal diarrhea.
The safety of this drug for use in pregnant or breeding patients has not been determined, so in most cases, the veterinarian will prescribe it based on a risk vs reward basis.
Dosage and Administration of Amoxicillin/Clavulanate
Amoxicillin/Clavulanate is available in tablets, capsules, and liquid formulations. The dosage, frequency of administration, and duration of treatment are based on a wide variety of factors, including the breed and size of the pet, and the type and severity of the infection being treated.
It is extremely important to administer the medication exactly as prescribed by the veterinarian. Missing doses can result in the bacterial infection developing a resistance to the antibiotic, so the prescription needs to be followed as thoroughly as possible.
Author: Giano Panzarella