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I have two cats that were infested by fleas and are now...

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Question by Connie Morris
Submitted on 9/7/2003
Related FAQ: rec.pets.*: Fleas, Ticks, and Your Pet FAQ
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I have two cats that were infested by fleas and are now infested with very bad flea bites and some are open sores, I feel really bad for my two cats and don't know what to put on them to get rid of the sores, is it okay to put some antibiotic cream on cats or not?

Answer by shirl
Submitted on 11/9/2003
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When my cat had convulsions because we used a dog flea product on him, I searched the web to find out an antidote.  (There isn't one.)  During my research I read that if an ointment says "do not ingest" on the label, it absolutely should not be used on an animal that grooms itself - definitely not a cat.  Again, learn from our horrible experience, never use a product on a cat if the label advises you not to.  Our Barrie was in absolute misery.


Answer by too cool
Submitted on 1/12/2004
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I feel very sorry for your cats and hope they feel better.
You don't use dog flea product since cats lick themselves and dogs don't as much. You can buy antibiotics if it is from your vet. Since again human antibiotics could poison cats since they like themselves to clean.
For more info email me at makou@sbcglobal.net


Answer by adamj
Submitted on 9/5/2004
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i bought some "frontline" from my vet and it killed the fleas in a matter of hours it seemed. exspensive, but will definetly do the job!


Answer by Chelsea a.k.a baily89
Submitted on 10/23/2004
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My dog has fleas , a very bad case. But he spread it too my cats. They are Himalayan and lately they have been eating away at all of their beautiful fur. I feel sooooooooo bad for them. One of them (Frankie) used to be fat, but now he has absolutely no fat at all, his stomach is just ribs, and then pink skin. And my other cat (Baily) used to be really skinny and now he is really fat. I don`t want to get rid of the dog, but if it comes down to it, we`ll have too. Someone please help me! I love my pets so much! We washed them in flea shampoo yesterday, and today they are back full force, I was crying this morning because Frankie had so many on him. Please, help me, my family, and my pets!


Answer by yes_u_can
Submitted on 1/1/2007
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Antibiotics Commonly Used In Animal Shelters

Antibiotic use is very important when medically indicated for the treatment of susceptible pathogens (usually bacterial.)

You should only treat a dog or cat with antibiotics if you are pretty sure that an infection is present. The best way to determine if an infection is present is through a laboratory culture of an appropriate sample.

Culturing has the additional advantages of confirming the identity of the bacteria and determining which antibiotics are appropriate choices for treatment. A temporary expedient while waiting for cultures is to look at a smear of a sample taken from the infected area under a microscope. This is important, because it helps you determine if there are several bacteria in a sample or if there are bacteria that are not growing.

The next "best" indication of infection would be if the animal is sick in a way that suggests an infection: fever, elevated white blood cells, inflammation, x-rays or other tests with results that suggest certain types of infection. Finally, PCR and other DNA-based identification tests are great tools to use to determine if an infection is present (and can be useful for bacteria that cannot be grown in the lab) However, with this method you do not obtain an isolate for drug-testing and dead bacteria are often still PCR-positive.

Adverse effects of antibiotics

There are three main problems with using antibiotics. One is direct medical side-effects such as toxic effects (e.g. aminoglycoside antibiotics are toxic to kidney cells) or allergies (which can be life-threatening).

The second is that your antibiotic could kill the normal flora and leave the patient more vulnerable to pathogens (often which are resistant to antibiotics).

The last problem is that using antibiotics genetically selects for antibiotic resistance in your bacteria. It may develop if the bacteria has a genetic mutation, but this is an uncommon source of the problem.

we know that almost all urinary tract infections respond very well to most broad-spectrum antibiotics...

Penicillins: Cidal, disrupt cell wall. Spectrum: broad except bacteria with specific resistance.Main use in cats: general use. Side-effects: allergy, fever, rash, loss of white blood cells, anemia, GI upset.

    * Amoxicillin: comparable to ampicillin but absorbed from gut better.
    * Ampicillin: better for some gram-negative bacteria than Pen G but not as good for anaerobes. Penicillin G, procaine pen G (long-acting injection)
    * Penicillin V: slightly less effective than Pen G but better absorbed when given orally.
    * Oxacillin: for penicillin-resistant Staphylococci.
    * Amoxicillin/clavulanate: overcomes much resistance, restores broad spectrum.
    * Ticarcillin: injectable, especially for severe Pseudomonas.

Aminoglycosides: Cidal, inhibit protein synthesis. Spectrum: gram-negative, some gram-positive bacteria. Main use in cats: severe or resistant gram-negative bacteria, must be injected (except neomycin). Side-effects: severe  kidney damage, hearing loss, facial swelling, nerve damage.

Amikacin, Gentamycin, Neomycin: Not given injectably because of severe kidney damage, not absorbed into bloodstream if eaten/used as enema/applied to skin but will treat bacteria in GI tract, on skin.

Cephalosporins: Cidal, disrupt cell wall. Spectrum, first-generation: gram-positive bacteria, anaerobic bacteria.  Spectrum, third generation: excellent gram-negative, some gram-positive. Main use in cats: skin disease,  susceptible infections. Side-effects: allergy (cross-reactions with penicillins), GI disease, diarrhea

    * Cefadroxil (Cefa-tabs): 1st gen.
    * Cephalexin (Keflex): 1st gen.
    * CephCephalothin (Keflin): 1st gen, injectable.alothin (Keflin): 1st gen, injectable.
    * Ceftiofur (Naxcel): 3rd generation, injectable.

Tetracyclines: Static, inhibit protein synthesis. Spectrum: broad-spectrum (but many resistant bacteria), rickettsias, other bacteria that live in cells. Main use in cats: hemobartonella, susceptible bacteria. Side-effects: GI upset, discolored teeth, liver/kidney disease, hair loss, photosensitivity.

    * Doxycycline: much more expensive liquid form, fewer doses/day, different target organs.

Clindamycin (Antirobe): Static or cidal, disrupts protein synthesis. Spectrum: gram-positive bacteria, anaerobic  bacteria. Main use in cats: dental disease, abscesses, diarrhea. Side-effects: GI upset.

Erythromycin: Mostly static, inhibits protein synthesis of bacteria. Spectrum: gram-positive bacteria, rickettsias, Chlamydophila, et al. Main use in cats: Giardia, anaerobes, diarrhea. Side-effects: neurological problems, white blood cell reduction, liver damage, blood in urine, vomiting and diarrhea.

Tylosin (tylan): Static, inhibits protein synthesis of bacteria. Spectrum: variable. Main use in cats: diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease. Side-effects: few.

Enrofloxacin (baytril): Cidal, inhibits DNA gyrase, synthesis. Spectrum: gram-negative bacteria, Brucella,  Chlamydophila, Staph, Mycoplasma. Main use in cats: various infections resistant to other antibiotics. Side-effects: cartilage damage in young animals, urine crystals, GI disease.

Sulfa drugs: Static, interferes with enzyme systems essential to normal metabolic and growth patterns. Side effects: nausea, vomiting, fever, anemia, leukopenia and irritation of the liver or kidneys.

    * Trimethoprim sulfa (diazine or methoxazole)(TMS, SMX-TMP et al.): sulfa is static, combo is cidal, block thymidine (an important enzyme) in the bacteria. Spectrum: broad, many bacteria, some protozoa. Main use in cats: many infections. Side-effects: dry eye, liver disease, GI disease, anemia, allergy.

Metronidazole (Flagyl): cidal, disrupts DNA synthesis? Spectrum: anaerobic bacteria, some protozoa (Giardia, amoebas). Main use in cats: Giardia, anaerobes, diarrhea. Side-effects: neurological problems, white blood cell reduction, liver damage, blood in urine, vomiting and diarrhea.

Rifampin (Rifadin or Rimactane): cidal or static, inhibits RNA polymerase. Spectrum: intracellular bacteria  (Mycobacteria, Staph, Rhodococcus, Chlamydophila et al.), some fungi, some viruses. Main use in cats: with   anti-  fungals in brain fungal disease. Side-effects: discolored tears and urine, GI upset, liver damage (very high doses).
Commonly used antibiotics in animal shelters
Antibiotic susceptibility patterns for positive bordetella cultures submitted to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) at Davis
     Shelter samples    *VMTH Samples  
(including all shelter samples)    
Dogs and Cats









































Trimethoprim Sulfa





*Only a small number of positive Bordetella cultures are listed here.

UC DAVIS  http://www.sheltermedicine.com/portal/is_antibiotic_use_primer.shtml


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