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Baytril For Dogs and Cats

Updated on May 9, 2011

What is Baytril?

Continuing on with my series on pet meds, I will look at Baytril, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections in pets. While used widely to treat dogs, it can be used to treat cats, rabbits and other pets as well. This article will review the many uses for Baytril and the common side effects, as well as provide some testimony for this product.

As always, my series on pet medicines is meant to educate you on the pros and cons of these meds and to allow you to understand why they are prescribed. Most of us look at the bottle before we take meds ourselves, but we often fail to do so when it comes to our pets. It's not that we don't care, but rather, that we trust our veterinarians that much. Still, we have the same trust in our own doctors, but we educate ourselves to better understanding what we are taking. We should show the same respect for our pets, as they can't fend for themselves and depend on us to be informed on their behalf.

So, without further ado, let's learn more about Baytril.

How Does Baytril Work?

There are many uses for Baytril, but they all revolve around killing off bacterial infections. The method used by this medicine is quite interesting, as it messes with the DNA in the bacteria, causing it to die.

If you're not familiar with DNA, it's one of the basic building block of all cells. As such, this medicine disrupts the bacterial cells from inside, causing them to perish and end their attack on the health of your pet.

This medicine can treat infections of the lungs, infections of the respiratory tract, infections brought upon by wounds, and skin infections. It can also be used to prevent infections during surgery. The applications are endless, as this med simply does one thing ... kills bacteria. There's even a form of it called Baytil Otic, created specifically to deal with ear infections in animals.

I found this video on Youtube that goes over the many applications for this pet med:

Is It True That Baytril has Been Banned?

Yes, there is some truth to this, but it wasn't banned for use in all animals, and it wasn't banned for being unsafe. In the case of animals later ate by humans (foul such as turkeys and chickens), there is a ban on using Baytril. The reasoning is quite simple. Some bacteria, over time, develop an immunity to certain medicines. These bacteria are then passed onto humans when they eat undercooked meat.

To understand this better, consider the life of a bacteria. Always on the run from various antibiotics, they mutate to survive, creating a more resistant variant over time. Now, if that more resistant variant is in an animal we don't eat, then we only need modify the drug to create a more effective cure; but what happens when this more resistant bacteria enters us?

The result is the same, with us needing to find a more effective cure, but the better solution is not to allow the modified bacteria to be passed onto us in the first place, which is why the ban exists.

How Effective is Baytril?

In the treatment of all infections, Baytril has been proven to be highly effective in many animals, including dogs, cats and rabbits. That's why it's so commonly used and prescribed by many veterinarians. The only drawback is that it's prescribed in pill form, which be can be difficult to administer, as many canines and felines are not privy to wanting to take pills.

One trick I use for my dog is to bury the pill in peanut butter and hope it sticks to the roof of his mouth and is then swallowed. You need to watch carefully to be certain the pill isn't spit out, as dogs (and cats) are very sneaky. For my cats, I use a 'pill shooter', which is a device that allows you to push the pill past the cat's tongue with far less of a fight.

Those who have given pills to cats will tell umpteen stories of how Fluffy managed to hold the pill on her tongue and spit it back out, and this little miracle device ends that struggle.

Any Side Effects?

All meds have side effects, and by knowing what they are you will know if your pet is having an adverse reaction. The most common side effects for Baytril are:

  1. diahrrea
  2. liquid stool
  3. joint problems (in younger animals)

Some more serious effects to be aware of:

  1. mood changes
  2. seizures
  3. blindness in cats and certain small breed dogs (for them, halving the dose is recommended)

These serious effects are extremely rare, but if you see signs of them, discontinue the med immediately and consult your veterinarian. Here's some more information on the side effects of Baytril:

Can Baytril Be Purchased Online?

As I have said before in this series, you can purchase your pet meds online, but I do caution you to always take your pet to the veterinarian first and allow them to prescribe the med before purchasing it on your own.

I can't say it enough when I say that these people are trained to understand your pet's health needs, and they will see to it that the proper amount is prescribed. Once you are aware of the proper prescription, then you can save your money by ordering online, but be certain you order your pet meds from a reputable place. Your pet is totally dependent on you for all of its health needs, so make the same wise choices they would make for you if they were capable of doing so.

My Special Thanks to You

I'd like to end this article by thanking you for loving your pet enough to learn more about their care. Many pets lead long lives nowadays, all because of the loving care provided by their owners, which extend their pet's lives and makes them happier. I have a German Shepherd, a Siamese, and an Ocicat, and they mean the world to me. That's why I never hesitate to take them to the veterinarian when they are sick, as I consider them a valuable member of my extended family.

You must feel the same about your pets, for you to be reading this article, and I commend you for realizing the importance (and responsibility) of owning a pet. May your pets live long and healthy lives, and may you enjoy every moment of selfless love and compassion they have to offer.

As for me, I will try to continue on with these helpful articles on pet meds and pet health, as it helps me learn more about the care of my own pets while providing information for others to do the same. Remember ... they count on you totally for their survival.

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