Antibiotic Therapy in Veterinary Medicine

Small Animal Antibiotic Therapy
Antibiotic therapy in small animals is generally similar to that seen for humans.  Some specific instances where antibiotic therapy would be appropriate include canine borreliosis (lyme disease, which may also occur in cats, horses, or cows, although less frequently), characterised by lameness, lymphadenopathy, and secondary anorexia and fatigue; renal failure in cats leading to urinary tract infection, or infected wounds of any small animal.  Other infections, less common, in dogs include canine ehrlichiosis which is also obtained through ticks (it resembles Rocky Mountain spotted fever producing blood dyscrasias, lymphadenopathy, anorexia, loss of stamina, depression -- treatment of choice is doxycycline) and canine leishmaniasis which produces cachexia, alopecia, hepatomegaly, and splenomegaly (the treatment of choice is antimony, which can be toxic).

Large Animal Antibiotics
There are numerous antibiotics used in large animal practice that are not used in either small animal nor human medicine.  Additionally, there are disease states that are unique to large animals for which these different agents are appropriate.  Following is a brief discussion of selected infectious diseases of large animals. Specific Large Animal Antibiotics
As with any drugs, care should be taken to prepare the medication in an aseptic environment.  However, when preparing large doses in the farm environment, this is often difficult.  In some instances, large batches of antibiotics may be prepared for addition to food or water.  One aspect that should always be remembered when preparing antibiotics in this manner is to never use rusty containers to mix antibiotics, since this may decrease the activity of the medication.
Another aspect of antibiotic use in large animals is withdrawal time.  If the animal is to be a source of milk or food, then sufficient time must elapse following the final dose of drug so that no drug remains either in the milk or the animal prior to human consumption. Go To Next Section (Viral Diseases and Anti-Virals)