How Long Do Antibiotics Take To Work On A Dog

Your dog got sick so you took him to the vet. Arriving at the vet’s clinic, they examined your buddy and said you should medicate your dog with antibiotics. You had some doubts about the use of this type of medicine but you were so worried about your furry friend that you forgot to ask in more detail about the treatment. But don’t worry. In this article, we’ll explain how this type of medication works, how long your dog will show improvement after starting treatment and why it’s important to strictly follow the veterinarian’s recommendations and only use this drug class when necessary and only with medical prescription.

How Long After Starting Antibiotics Will My Dog Feel Better? How Long Does It Take A Dog To Get Over A Bacterial Infection?

First, let’s understand what an antibiotic is and its role in treating animals. You’ve probably heard about penicillin, right? It was the first antibiotic produced, almost one hundred years ago. Briefly, antibiotics are drugs that are used only to treat bacterial and fungal infections because they can destroy or inhibit their reproduction in the host’s body, making it easier for the patient’s immune system to react and recover. In addition to these uses, these medicines were responsible for enabling complex surgical procedures such as organ transplantation.

In some specific cases, antibiotics are prescribed preventively; before you even have an infection, you should start using the antibiotic. This is recommended when some procedure weakens the patient. In the case of dogs, this preventive treatment is used when a surgical or dental procedure is performed, such as tartar removal, to prevent infections from occurring after these procedures.

Antibiotics can be administered orally, through pills or liquid, injectable and even ointments. This medication has dramatically improved the life expectancy of humans and animals. However, its incorrect use can have consequences for the health of the general population, we will talk about this later.

There are several ways to administer antibiotics, in cases of serious infections they are usually provided by injections by the veterinarian and the dog will probably be hospitalized for observation. In these cases, there is no need for you to continue providing the medication at home. Now, when the bacterial infection is controlled or is milder, the administration of the antibiotic can be done orally, and you can follow the prescribed treatment for your dog at home. In some diseases such as bacterial dermatitis, the treatment can be done with the use of shampoo containing antibiotics or ointments to be applied to the lesions. However, in all cases, your dog’s veterinarian will analyze the clinical picture and will choose which antibiotic should be used to treat his disease. With this, it is important to say that each antibiotic is specific for certain bacteria, which means that if you decide to change the medication without the doctor’s consent, the treatment will not work. So be aware of the prescribed antibiotic and ask the pharmacist exactly what was prescribed by your dog’s doctor, ok?       

How Do You Know If My Dog’s Antibiotics Are Working?

You may be asking yourself, “how long after the start of treatment will my dog be healthy?” The disappearance of symptoms depends on several factors such as degree of infection (mild, moderate, severe or very serious), bacterial resistance and especially the health of the dog and the regularity of treatment. In cases of mild infection, the disappearance of symptoms can be observed soon after the start of treatment. As a result, it may be that in the first days of administering the medication you will notice an improvement in your dog’s behavior, and even the disappearance of clinical symptoms such as cough, difficulty breathing and lethargy. If you do not see a decrease in clinical signs, after a few days of treatment, retake your dog to the veterinarian, as the bacteria may be resistant to the prescribed antibiotic, and in this case, another drug with another active ingredient should be recommended to combat it the infection.        

What To Expect When The Dog Is On Antibiotics?

The introduction of antibiotics into clinical use was arguably the greatest medical breakthrough of the 20th century. In addition to treating infectious diseases, antibiotics made many modern medical procedures possible, including cancer treatment, organ transplants and open-heart surgery. However, misuse of these valuable compounds has resulted in the rapid rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) with some infections now effectively untreatable. They also can cause allergies and gastrointestinal problems in some patients. 

Pay attention to your dog’s behavior, as antibiotics are strong medications and can cause adverse reactions such as gastrointestinal disorders (such as vomiting and diarrhea). This happens because some have a more general spectrum and therefore can kill good bacteria, which help the digestion process. But don’t worry, it’s very easy to get around this situation, talk to the vet about the use of probiotics to recolonize your pet’s intestinal flora after treatment with antibiotics, and he will guide you on when and if it’s appropriate to use probiotics in the case of your dog. Also, to alleviate these possible discomforts, some medications must be administered without the dog’s stomach being empty, that is, at the first hour of the day, and others after the meal to provide the medicine to your pet. Also, in some cases, antibiotics can cause allergic reactions. If you notice that your dog is scratching a lot, or that the fur is falling out, take him to the vet to analyze the situation and see if the current treatment should continue.

Have you ever heard that we shouldn’t use antibiotics to treat diseases without a doctor’s prescription? But after all, when you have a headache, you don’t need to go to the doctor so that he can prescribe you a medication, why can’t I do the same with antibiotics? This must never be done! Because it generates a very serious problem caused by the incorrect use of antibiotics, called antimicrobial resistance. But after all, what is this? This happens when the treatment is interrupted before completing the indicated period of use, with excessive use or when it is used indiscriminately without a medical prescription, that is, without the need to use this medication to treat the disease in question. When these misuses occur, bacteria become resistant to different antibiotics. But how important is it? This means that they will not be destroyed with the active ingredients available on the market, and the treatment becomes almost impossible. So pay attention to these instructions to avoid bacterial resistance:

  • Use antibiotics only when prescribed by a veterinarian;
  • Never interrupt the treatment, even if the symptoms subside, continue until the last day according to the prescription;
  • Use the prescribed doses;
  • Follow the schedules to give your dog the medicine
  • Do not use expired medicines;

If you have any doubts about your dog’s treatment, don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask the veterinarian, pay attention to the prescribed prescription and follow the treatment to the letter to avoid any complications.

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