The Magic Pet Pill-Antibiotics

Amongst people it is stated that common infections will once again kill as the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs has a devastating effect on modern medicine – World Health Organisation.

cat infections resistant to antibiotics

In the UK, patients infected with superbugs are twice as likely to die as those with non-resistant infections. Resistance to antibiotics is already on the way and minor scratches and infections could kill people in the future unless there is a rethink about the prescribing of antibiotics and the prevention of infections.

Prof Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer in the UK warned that antibiotic resistance posed an “apocalyptic” menace which should be ranked alongside terrorism as a threat to the nation.

This made me think about our companion animals and veterinary treatment. If doctors are prone to overprescribing antibiotics as a “magic pill” and if patients are expecting a prescription for antibiotics even when it is inappropriate, it is reasonable to believe that something similar might be taking place in veterinary surgeries across the country.

When a veterinarian is unable to fully diagnose an infection which may be viral or bacterial, as a precaution, some veterinarians may prescribe antibiotics and today there is a two-week antibiotic injection as a precautionary treatment but it may not be the right treatment.

Antibiotics prescribed to pets usually won’t cause harm them but they shouldn’t be prescribed unless there is a reason to do so and is argued that they should be prescribed with care. Alternative treatment should be considered sometimes. Cat owners should not expect prescriptions of antibiotics unless it is certain that their cat has a bacterial, yeast or fungal infection.

Once antibiotics are used on a companion animal there is the potential for the animal to develop a resistant population of bacteria. In the future, when an antibiotic is genuinely required the infection may be resistant to the drug and become unmanageable.

Amongst people, some of the world’s most common infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics and standard drugs but in some countries this problem is not being properly monitored. We don’t know exactly what is happening.

When I read those words I wondered whether we know what is happening in the pet world – in veterinary clinics? If it can happen in the human world it might be happening in the companion animal world as well.

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Diagnosing Respiratory Infections


Signs show from 2-17 days after exposure. The worst symptoms are at
10 days.

First severe sneezing lasts for about 1 – 2 days.

Next there is conjunctivitis. Ths is called “pink eye”. The eyes are pink.

cat pink eye


Pink eye – Photo by Elisa Black-Taylor

There is also runny nose and the eyes water too.

Days 3 – 5 and the cat may have a fever and be apathetic and lose his or her appetite. How to check a cat’s temperature.

The watery discharge from the eyes and nose may become a mucous like discharge.

The cat might breath with mouth open. The eyes might be inflammed.

There may be a cough combined with sneezing.

cat with cold
Cat with cold – drooling
by Detlef C

Further signs are (for upper respiratory infection caused by calicivirus) ulcers in mouth, drooling and shortness of breath, dehydration (lack of skin elasticity), starvation.

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