Cat owners, who often receive medications for their pets without knowing how or why the drugs work, need to become informed on the proper dosage and administration to better help their ill feline friends. Amoxicillin, a well-known veterinary medicine, can be prescribed only through a registered veterinarian. The handling of both the medicine and the cat patient, however, usually happens at home, and a general knowledge of what his cat is getting can ease an owner's worries.
Amoxicillin is a gram positive, penicillin-like antibiotic commonly prescribed in veterinary offices worldwide. Because it is relatively low-cost and easy to produce, it has been used for a number of years in small-animal medicine and its efficacy in felines is well documented.
Amoxicillin kills staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria by inhibiting cell wall synthesis. It is prescribed for a wide variety of diseases, including respiratory and urinary tract infections. It is also used for all manner of skin diseases, such as pyoderma and acute moist dermatitis, and bacterial ear infections. An oral medication, amoxicillin is particularly effective for cats because it has proven to be more readily absorbed than other antibiotics and is usually well tolerated.
Usually administered orally, amoxicillin can be found in both pill and liquid form. The pills, trademarked named Amoxi-tabs, can be found in 50, 100, 150, 200 and 400 mg tablets. Liquid amoxicillin, trademarked named Amoxi-Drops, is available in a 50-mg/ml oral suspension. This is the form most often prescribed for cats because of the ease of administration. Clavamox is amoxicillin that is combined with clavulanate potassium to treat felines that may have become resistant to regular amoxicillin. It is also available in both tablet and liquid forms.
The size of the dose depends on the weight of the cat and the severity of the infection. It can be administered in doses ranging from 6.6 to 20 milligrams of amoxicillin per 2.2 pounds of body weight. That means a 10-pound cat will receive 30 milligrams of medicine two to three times a day, according to the veterinarian's directives.
Amoxicillin is usually well tolerated in cats. Although they may spit it out because of the taste, most cats will not suffer from any adverse reaction to either pills or liquid suspension. Allergic reactions are possible, but rare. These can be characterized by swelling of the nose or mouth, skin redness, scratching and labored breathing. Some diarrhea or vomiting is also possible, but is also fairly rare in cats. Animals who are allergic to penicillin should not be given amoxicillin. Any of these symptoms should be reported to the veterinarian immediately. It is also important to administer the full dosage of 10 days to two weeks to the feline patient to achieve full efficacy.