Veterinarians often prescribe antibiotic medications for bacterial infections, but sometimes also for viral or fungal infections, on which antibiotics have no positive effect. While antibiotics kill the infection, they also kill off healthy bacteria that keep your dog's digestive system functioning smoothly. Furthermore, with frequent use, dogs develop immunity to antibiotics. Nature makes antibiotic substances that fight infections without killing the friendly organisms your dog's body needs for overall good health.
If your dog has an internal or external infection, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotic medications such as amoxicillin. Antibiotics do kill the infection. However, your dog's digestive tract contains naturally occurring bacteria that facilitate the functioning of the digestive tract. Pharmaceutical antibiotics throw off a delicate balance, and the result can be vomiting, diarrhea and other unpleasant symptoms. Moreover, if your dog has frequent infections and the veterinarian prescribes antibiotics every time, your dog will eventually become immune to the medication, and a higher dose or a stronger antibiotic will be necessary to produce the same effect.
There are many herbs and other natural substances that have antibiotic properties. These include but are not limited to alfalfa, astragalus, bee propolis, colloidal silver, echinacea, garlic, goldenseal, honey, neem, nettle, olive leaf and many others. An herbalist or holistic veterinarian will be able to guide you in choosing a natural antibiotic for your pet.
Never use anything on your dog that you would not use on yourself. Remember that if you use herbs or colloidal silver, the dose for your dog must be proportionately smaller. For dogs, the best way to administer natural antibiotics orally is in tincture or tea form. A few drops three times a day keeps the antibiotic properties working in your dog's blood. Topically, you can pack or dress wounds with topical antibiotics like bee propolis, colloidal silver, garlic or honey. Always continue using the antibiotic for a few days after symptoms clear up, but never keep a dog on antibiotics, even natural ones. Before putting your dog on any health regimen, always inform your veterinarian of what you are doing.
If your dog is prone to infections or has had one that has been resistant to antibiotics, you may want to change her diet to include less processed food and more raw meat. Raw meat is what your dog would eat in the wild, while grain, a major ingredient in many commercial dog foods, is foreign to their natural diet and doesn't digest as well. This can also affect that delicate balance of natural microorganisms that live in your dog's body. Ask your veterinarian how to change your dog's diet gradually. You may also want to add vitamin C to support the immune system. Find a supplement you can add to your dog's food. Remember, whatever you would take for yourself, your dog gets a fraction of the dose.
Talk to Your Veterinarian
Make sure your veterinarian knows of your concerns regarding antibiotics and is willing to work with you on trying something natural. If your vet insists that pharmaceuticals are the only way, you may want to look for a holistic veterinarian to guide you as you learn to treat your dog naturally.