Injectable Antibiotics for Cats: Pros and Cons

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If your cat is in need of antibiotics to combat an illness, your veterinarian might suggest an injectable antibiotic, such as Convenia. But before you agree to this treatment option, consider the pros and cons, outlined below. It turns out that, while antibiotic injections might certainly be beneficial, there are several reasons why some experts advocate against using them.

One of the main reasons why antibiotic injections are so popular is because cats could be difficult to medicate when you have to give them oral antibiotics every day. Some cats may become agitated or downright aggressive when they’re being medicated, while others might feel frightened and hide as soon as they realize that it’s time to take their medicine.

To avoid stressing out your pet, and to reduce the risk of missing doses because you forgot to medicate your cat or your schedule got in the way, an injectable antibiotic can be given once at your vet’s office instead. A single injection of an antibiotic like Convenia is capable of working in your cat’s body for up to 14 days.

Despite the convenience of injectable antibiotics for pets, there are some downsides to consider. First off, as is the case with any medication, a cat may have an adverse reaction to the antibiotic. In the case of an oral medication, if side effects occur, you could contact your vet, who would probably tell you to stop administering that medicine and, if necessary, bring the pet in for treatment to counteract the adverse effects. But when you’re dealing with an injection, it might not be possible to do that; the medicine is designed to be long lasting, so your vet might not be able to do much, if anything, about it, or the treatment required might be costly. Also, according to experts, Convenia could remain in the body at sub-therapeutic levels for roughly 65 days after it has been administered. In other words, unlike oral antibiotics in pill or liquid form, this injectable antibiotic isn’t cleared quickly from a cat’s body, even after the 14 days of antibacterial effects have passed.

The side effects of injectable antibiotics could range from mild to life threatening, and many pet parents have taken to the web to tell their stories about their cats’ adverse reactions to Convenia, in particular. A Facebook page titled “Convenia adverse reactions in cats/felines and dogs/canines” is one example of a place where individuals who’ve lost pets to injectable antibiotics can share information.

Injectable medications, such as antibiotics, have their pros, and when they’re used appropriately, they can be helpful. However, it’s important to discuss the potential drawbacks of these medications with your vet. Ask about what the injection is labeled to treat, as well as what the possible side effects are. Keep in mind that, if an adverse or allergic reaction occurs, there may not be much that can be done, whereas you do have the opportunity to stop administering an oral medication, which will also be cleared from the pet’s body more quickly than a long-lasting injection.

Bottom line: consider weighing the pros and cons before making a decision about injectable antibiotics. It might give you greater peace of mind, and reduce some risk, if you opt to give your kitty oral medications while using strategies to make the process less stressful for you and your pet.


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