No one wants to see their cat feeling poorly. Certain types of bacterial infections are common and can be a thoroughly miserable experience. Fortunately, most infections don’t pose any serious long-term effects. The trick, as with most health conditions, is to catch them early and start the right form of treatment as soon as possible. In many cases, your vet will prescribe an antibiotic to treat the problem. This may be either a bacteriostatic antibiotic or a bactericidal antibiotic. Bacteriostatic antibiotics work by preventing the bacteria from reproducing. Bactericidal antibiotics work by killing existing bacteria. One of the most common types of bactericidal antibiotic is Baytril. But what exactly is it? And is it safe to administer to your cat? Here’s what you need to know about Baytril for cats.
What is Baytril?
Baytril is a broad-spectrum, FDA-approved antibiotic manufactured by the Bayer company that’s used to treat infections in cats. It’s actually a brand name for Enrofloxacin, which was first synthesized by Grohe and Peterson in 1980 before entering the market a little under a decade later. As cat-world.com explains, it belongs to a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolones are very effective against several types of bacteria, but all but useless against viral, fungal, or parasitic infections. Although primarily used in the treatment of cats, Baytril may also be prescribed to cattle, swine, ferrets, dogs, horses, rabbits, rodents, and small mammals.
What are the Uses of Baytril?
Baytril has no effect on viral, fungal, or parasitic infections, but it offers an excellent form of treatment against various forms of bacterial infections. According to thehappycatsite.com, Baytril is most commonly used to treat:
Abscesses And Wounds
Baytril presents an effective way of treating abscesses and wounds, particularly those that are susceptible to infection by Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Pasteurella multocida bacterial strains. It works incredibly quickly, and will usually start taking effect within just an hour or two of the first dose being administered. It may, however, take several days for recovery to become noticeable, depending on the severity of the infection.
Soft Tissue Infections
Baytril is a potent antibiotic and is often used for complex, difficult-to-treat problems such as soft tissue infections, which usually require long-term antibiotic use. In these kinds of cases, it’s common for Baytril to be prescribed for several days after the infection has cleared to ensure a full remission.
Pneumonia and Upper Respiratory Infections
Baytril is often prescribed for pneumonia and other upper respiratory infection that require long-term antibiotic use. Although treatment durations vary depending on the severity of the condition, it’s not uncommon for Baytril to be prescribed for up to 30 days in complex cases.
Other common conditions which are often prescribed by Baytril include urinary, gastrointestinal tract, ear, and sinus infections. Baytril is only available on prescription, so your vet will need to assess the infection in the first instance to determine if it’s a suitable candidate for treatment.
How is Baytril Administered?
Baytril comes in one of four forms: tablet, liquid (for topical application), flavored liquid (for oral administration), and intramuscular injection. Injections are used in certain cases, but it’s not for home use: if your vet recommends it, they will administer it directly. As Baytril has a bitter taste, the tablets are coated. It’s best to avoid crushing and hiding the tablets in food as this will simply damage the coating and make the tablets more unpalatable. Most vets recommended that Baytril is administered on an empty stomach. In most cases, the coating on the tablets will help prevent the risk of any reaction, but if your cat does experience any nausea or vomiting after taking the medication, a small amount of food or a treat taken alongside the medication can help reduce any discomfort.
What is the Correct Dosage of Baytril?
Typically, Baytril is administered at a dose of 5 mg/per kilo, per day. However, as this can vary depending on both the cat and the condition being treated, always follow the recommendations of your veterinarian.
Is Baytril Safe For All Cats?
Although Baytril is generally considered a very safe form of treatment, it’s not suitable for all cats. Cats with seizure disorders, impaired cartilage growth or sensitivity to fluoroquinolone should not be administered Baytril. As Baytril is processed by both the kidneys and the liver, care should be taken when administering it to cats with impaired kidney or liver function. Typically, veterinarians will recommend a lower dose in these cases to stop the drug from accumulating, but extra caution should be taken and any negative effects should be reported. Caution should also be applied when giving Baytril to breeding, pregnant, or lactating cats. As a general rule, most vets avoid prescribing Baytril to very young cats. Topical application of Baytril via the ear should be avoided if your cat has a ruptured eardrum.
Is Baytril Safe to Use Alongside Other Medicines?
Typically, it’s advised to exert caution when administering Baytril alongside any medications or foods containing antacids, sucralfate, aluminum, calcium, probenecids, extended-spectrum penicillins, clindamycin, nitrofurantoin, and cyclosporine. Some may lead to adverse side effects when combined with Baytril, while others can reduce the efficacy of the antibiotic. If your cat is currently taking any medication, always be sure to inform your veterinarian before beginning a new course of treatment.
Are There Any Side Effects?
While Baytril is generally considered very safe, it can sometimes lead to side effects. The most common of these include swollen joints, lameness, and ear discomfort. In some cases, it may also cause gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite; cartilage damage in developing kittens, and retinal degeneration (although this is typically only seen in cats that have been administered much higher doses than the recommended amount). If you notice any negative effects from using the treatment, tell your veterinarian immediately. They will then need to evaluate whether a lower dose would be appropriate or whether a different type of antibiotic would be preferable.
What Should I Do If I Miss a Dose?
If you miss a dose, give the medication as soon as you remember. However, if it’s closer in time to the next dose than to the previous one, skip the missed dose and simply give them the next dose at the appropriate time. Avoid doubling up on doses – although overdosing is rare, it can sometimes result in a loss of appetite or vomiting.