Clavamox for cats is a broad spectrum antibiotic which fights infections of the skin and soft tissue. The medicine contains amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium. It is a prescription medication, so your vet must decide if your cat needs Clavamox. There is potential for allergic reaction, but generally speaking it is a relatively safe medication.
Clavamox For Cats FAQs
Our readers often ask these questions about Clavamox for cats.
- What do you use Clavamox for?
- How much Clavamox do you give a cat?
- How long should I give my cat Clavamox?
What Is Clavamox For Cats?
This medication is an antibiotic in the penicillin family. Clavamox is a brand name for a drug that has, as its main active ingredients, amoxicillin and clavulanic acid.
Amoxicillin fights bacteria by restricting their ability to form cell walls. This limits their growth.
Clavulanic acid inhibits enzymes produced by the bacteria that could neutralize amoxicillin. It only has weak antibacterial activity on its own, but helps the amoxicillin to work.
Clavamox was developed specifically for dogs and cats. It is similar, but not identical, to some medications developed for humans.
The Development Of Clavamox
The amoxicillin/clavulanic acid combination was first created by British scientists working for a company that’s now part of GlaxoSmithKline.
Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines. This list contains medicines deemed effective and safe for meeting the most vital needs of a health system.
Research And FDA Approval
The FDA has approved Clavamox for use in cats.
While the use of amoxicillin trihydrate/clavulanate potassium has been better studied in humans, research has also tested its effectiveness in cats.
Clavamox significantly reduces the size of feline skin lesions and reduces evidence of bacterial infection.
It is often the first choice for shelters treating animals with upper respiratory infections, which can arise in kennels and communal spaces for animals.
Antibiotics For Cats
Antibiotics can work in one of two ways. They either prevent the bacteria from reproducing, thus killing it off that way. Or the antibiotic is directly bactericidal, which means that it kills the bacteria.
Clavamox is the latter.
Antibiotics are typically used to treat skin infections or infections of the soft tissue, such as might result from a wound.
What Is Clavamox Used For In Cats?
Clavamox treats a wide variety of bacterial infections. Clavamox for cats fights both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
Gram-negative bacteria have a structure that’s more resistant to medications because of an impenetrable cell wall.
It also works against both aerobic or anaerobic microorganisms. Aerobic microorganisms require oxygen to grow, while anaerobic ones do not.
Clavamox is not effective against beta-lactamase-producing bacteria. These types of bacteria are resistant to antibiotics in general.
Clavamox diffuses easily into the body’s tissues and fluids. It is effective against staphylococcus bacteria, streptococcus, E. coli, Pasteurella multocida and Pasteurella.
Clavamox For Infections In Cats
Vets may prescribe Clavamox for urinary tract infections, skin infections, respiratory tract infections, otitis media and interna (ear infections), and tooth and gum infections like gingivitis.
It may also be prescribed for tuberculosis. During the course of your cat’s life, he may experience one of these conditions, requiring the use of Clavamox.
The antibiotic action of the medication kills off the bacteria that are causing the infection.
Many infections that are treated with Clavamox begin to go away within three days. However, follow your vet’s recommendation.
Clavamox For Bite Wounds In Cats
Clavamox treats bite wounds, as well. This is because wounds like this often fester and can become infected, necessitating an antibiotic.
Just as amoxicillin is often used for humans who have sustained bite wounds, Clavamox fights against wound infections in cats and dogs.
How To Give Clavamox Dosage For Cats
Clavamox is orally administered.
It is available in chewable or regular tablet form, with a coating to make it easier to swallow. Alternatively, you can get it as an oral suspension liquid, known as Clavamox Drops.
Either of the different forms makes it easy to add Clavamox to food, hide in a treat, or offer with a syringe.
Clavamox is similar to some medications used by humans. So a pet owner may think that they can give human amoxicillin, for instance, to their cat instead of visiting their vet for a prescription. However, this is not recommended!
Despite similarities in medications, Clavamox was developed specifically for cats and dogs. Human medications, meanwhile, were developed specifically for humans. Use of medication in an unintended way can not only inhibit the effectiveness of the medications, it can potentially be dangerous for your pet.
Where To Buy Clavamox For Cats
Clavamox is only available on the order of a licensed veterinarian, as dictated by federal law.
These days, you can find pretty much anything online. This includes pharmaceutical products that are only available with a prescription. It can be tempting, but it is also illegal and dangerous.
First, if you haven’t seen a vet, you don’t know exactly why your cat has certain symptoms. If you get Clavamox without seeing a vet, you’re taking a chance. If your self-diagnosis is incorrect, your cat will become more ill while you pursue the wrong treatment.
Secondly, there is another worry. Non-prescription Clavamox for cats may also not be legitimate. It could be mixed with something else. Alternatively, the actual dose might not match the packet.
Also, cats react differently to different medications, just like people do. However, your vet will have a better idea about what works for your cat and his condition, whatever it is.
Clavamox Dosage For Cats
The recommended Clavamox dosage for cats of average size, according to the manufacturer’s data sheet, is 62.5 milligrams twice a day. Clavamox doses can be adjusted for cats by weight, but only your vet can determine if that is necessary for a larger or smaller feline.
If you’re using Clavamox drops for cats, you’ll need to reconstitute it with water.
When 14 ml of water is added, each ml contains 62.5 mg of Clavamox. That is, 50 mg of amoxicillin and 12.5 mg of clavulanic acid.
Chewable tablets come in different sizes: 62.5 mg, 125 mg, 250 mg, and 375 mg.
How Long Should I Give My Cat Clavamox?
Your vet will instruct you exactly how to use Clavamox. However, a typical treatment regime for skin and soft tissue infections involves administering Clavamox for 5-7 days, or for 48 hours after symptoms disappear.
In the case of urinary tract infections, your vet may advise you to continue use for 10-14 days.
Do not use Clavamox for more than 30 days. Stop using it immediately, however, if no results are seen after three days.
Please note, generic forms of Clavamox may not come in the same forms. Regular tablets may be your only option.
Clavamox For Cats Side Effects
All medications have potential side effects, and Clavamox is no different. While it is a relatively safe antibiotic, there is no guarantee that it will work for your cat.
Ultimately, your veterinarian is the best person to decide if your pet can handle Clavamox’s effects.
Some other drugs will interact with Clavamox, and therefore your vet can let you know if it’s safe to give Clavamox with any other medications, vitamins or supplements your cat is on.
Clavamox also has some contraindications. For example, if your cat is sensitive to penicillins or cephalosporin antibiotics, Clavamox may not work for her.
Your vet can best help decide what course of treatment is best for your cat. Your pet’s doctor will also know what to do in case anything goes wrong.
Potential Clavamox For Cats Side Effects
Cats can be allergic to Clavamox. Symptoms of allergies include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the lips and tongue
If your kitty suffers severe allergic reactions to Clavamox, contact your vet immediately. Your cat may need epinephrine and steroids to control the allergic reaction.
In addition, if you see any other changes in behavior that you suspect are the result of Clavamox for cats side effects, tell your vet.
Is Clavamox Safe For Cats?
Veterinarians prescribe Clavamox often for cats, and have done so for decades. It is a relatively safe medication, and one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics.
Apart from the potential for allergic reaction, the largest concern with Clavamox is before its use: correctly diagnosing the problem. It’s important that you see your vet before administering Clavamox to your cat.
Clavamox is proven effective in treating bacterial infections. However, these conditions must be diagnosed first. Your cat’s symptoms may have any number of causes, and only a vet can figure out what those are.
Additionally, a vet can take a culture of the bacteria and use Clavamox to make sure it will work on your pet’s specific condition.
A medical professional can also determine whether the standard Clavamox dosage for cats may need to be adjusted for your pet.
Clavamox For Cats Overdose
Pet owners should take care to give their pets medication at the right time, and to avoid doubling up on any medication, especially antibiotics.
If your cat misses a dosage, and it is almost time for the next dose, it’s better to give just one rather than try to make up for the lost dose by giving extra.
If you accidentally give your cat a double dose, or otherwise give her too much Clavamox or any other medication, contact your vet immediately. Keep an eye out for any potential bad reaction, such as change in behavior or difficult breathing.
Clavamox For Cats
Clavamox can be great for curing bacterial infections in cats. Used as prescribed, it is an effective feline antibiotic.
Does your cat have upper respiratory issues, UTIs, skin infections, or tooth and gum issues caused by bacteria? Clavamox may very well help bring your pet back to health.
Has your cat had Clavamox? We’d love to hear about your experiences with Clavamox for cats in the comments section below.
References and Further Reading
- Clavamox. FDA
- Management of bite wounds and infection in primary care. MD Edge
- Setting the story straight on human antibiotics in animals. International Food Information Council Foundation
- European Patent Office, US 4441609
- Harvey, C. E. et al (1995). Antimicrobial susceptibility of subgingival bacterial flora in cats with gingitivis. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, 12(4)
- Spindel, M. E. et al (2013). A survey of North American shelter practices relating to feline upper respiratory management. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 15(4)
- Sturges et al (2006). Clinical signs, magnetic resonance imaging features, and outcome after surgical and medical treatment of orogenic intracranial infection in 11 cats and 4 dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 20
- Wildermuth, B. E. et al (2011). Response of feline eosinophilic plaques and lip ulcers to amoxicillin trihydrate-clavulanate potassium therapy: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled prospective study. Veterinary Dermatology, 23(2)
- Pfizer Animal Health (2012). Clavamox: Product Information
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