Antibiotics – Where They Fit In & Where They Do Not

The Importance of Antibiotics in Pet Health:

Antibiotic use is for bacterial (not viral or fungal) infections in dogs and cats and other pets.

  1. Antibiotics ONLY treat bacterial infections.
  2. Specific types of antibiotic act against a specific bacterium.
  3. Take the total pills per day, as well as the number of days the veterinarian asked to treat the infection.
  4. DO NOT STOP the antibiotics if you think your pet is feeling better.
  5. Continue the medication as prescribed to ensure the correct treatment for your pet.
  6. Many veterinary professionals have been too quick when it comes to antibiotics. In too many cases we still elect to shoot first and ask questions later. As pet parents we demand antibiotics in ways that increase antibiotic resistance. This can make our pets sick in the process.
  7. Antibiotics have side effects, (diarrhea, loss of appetite, other infections like candida etc.)
  8. It is important to use antibiotics very rarely and only if necessary.
  9. If you do not believe your pet needs antibiotics talk to another vet. You can also search online before filling your pet’s prescription.

Health Care Professionals Rely on Prescribing Antibiotics.

The overuse of antibiotics in human and animal medicine has let to antibiotic resistance. This means the bacteria are no longer killed by the antibiotic.

Bad bacteria are often the targets of antibiotics. Now these bacteria have found ways to dodge their effects.

Many veterinarians are more cautious about prescribing antibiotics for our pets. Please do not beg your veterinarian to write a prescription for antibiotics.

Antibiotics work to kill either a larger number of bacteria or one specific type of bacteria. All antibiotics have an effect on your pet’s microbiome.  A dog’s gut has trillions of microorganisms made up of thousands of types, many of which are bacterium.

It is important to maintain your dog’s microbiome. In a case of digestive distress from antibiotics return your pet's belly to it's normal state fast. Choose a probiotic to help replenish the good bacteria. There are millions of other microorganisms in your dog’s gut, so a high dose of good bacteria is essential.

Antibiotic use in veterinary medicine treats bacterial infections in dogs and cats.


If antibiotics are ingested in toxic amounts, it can result in mild to severe side effects. They can range from:

Stomach issues (e.g., drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, discolored teeth)

Metabolic [drug processing] signs (e.g., skin lesions, liver failure, kidney failure, etc.)

Central nervous system [CNS] signs (e.g., tremors, seizures, death).

One antibiotic called isoniazid for the treatment of TB in humans can be deadly when dogs and cats eat it. It can lead to severe tremors, seizures, and death.

Check with the Pet Poison Helpline if your dog or cat accidentally eats antibiotics. If your pet eats more than the average dose of antibiotics, please call the Pet Poison Helpline.

The phoneline is open 24/7 (855) 764-7661

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