Every so often, your dog will need a little help getting its health back to tip-top shape.
In the fight against infections, antibiotics are frequently the heroes and veterinarians prescribe them to treat a range of illnesses. Unfortunately, despite their many life-saving benefits, these drugs are not without side effects.
To properly care for your beloved pup, it’s best to be fully aware of the potential side effects your dog might experience when on antibiotics. Let’s take a look at some of these cons.
5 common side effects of antibiotics in dogs
1. Appetite Loss
If your dog begins to eat significantly less, antibiotics may be the culprit.
Just like humans, dogs can display lethargy and loss of appetite a couple of days after they start antibiotic therapy. While a dog on antibiotics not eating isn’t unusual, it should not be allowed to get to an extreme.
2. Nausea and Vomiting
The ingestion of antibiotics leads to several gastrointestinal effects. The delicate bacterial environment in the stomach gets tampered with when your dog takes antibiotics.
Their stomach’s uneasiness, or nausea, can result in an urge to vomit. While this doesn’t always lead to vomiting, it sometimes makes the pup “throw up” or forcibly empty its stomach’s partly digested content.
This is no fun, especially since it may not only be painful but may also prevent your dog from keeping the necessary medication down. These side effects may indicate that your pet is not coping well with the treatment. If you suspect this might be the case, you should notify your vet as soon as possible.
It’s important to watch out for signs of abdominal heaving and contractions in the stomach and chest. You might also notice that your dog drools, gags, or retches when this happens.
3. Allergic Reactions
Antibiotics tend to cause more allergic reactions than most other drug groups. These reactions are rare but often more severe.
You might note unwanted indicators like rashes and hives on your dog’s skin. Sometimes, there might be swelling in the face or muzzle.
In rarer and more extreme cases, your dog may experience breathing difficulties, seizures, and even anaphylactic shock.
4. Yeast Infections
Antibiotics can also have yeast infections as a side effect. These infections result from an overgrowth of a fungus – yeast – that typically inhabits your dog’s intestinal tract.
They are often unproblematic when controlled by other beneficial bacteria present in the gut. However, antibiotics may reduce the number of these friendly bacteria, which makes the yeast grow unchecked.
A yeast infection may show up as:
- Itchy or irritated skin
- Hair loss
- Speckles in the underbelly
- Skin discoloration
- Unpleasant smell
The areas most prone to be affected are the paws, inner parts of the ears, hind legs, skin folds, and armpits. Your dog could also often display signs of discomfort such as head shaking, compulsive feet licking or chewing, and constant scratching.
5. Leaky Gut Syndrome
The insides of your dog’s intestines are coated with bacteria to aid digestion.
These helpful bacteria can be killed or slowed by the effect of antibiotics, leaving the intestinal barrier vulnerable to inflammation or permeation. If this happens, it can lead to improperly digested food leaking into the bloodstream.
The leaky gut syndrome puts the liver and immune system to task and produces multiple unpleasant symptoms.
The most prominent symptom of this syndrome in dogs is diarrhea. Some other notable ones include weight loss, skin and respiratory conditions, hyperactivity, aggression, and overall poor coat health.
Nothing breaks a fur parent’s heart like seeing your beloved pet get sick. It’s even worse to imagine that the solution might come with its fair share of problems.
No matter how well cared for your pup is, infections are just one of those things that you can’t help sometimes. Like humans, dogs often need antibiotics. Antibiotics in different classes and types help combat harmful bacteria that cause infections.
When your furry friend needs to be treated using antibiotics, your best bet is to be aware and prepared. To ease these side effects, arm yourself with prebiotics, probiotics, and essential fatty acids.
With a bit of care and a lot of love, you can be sure your dog will be back to its healthy, adorable, and playful self in no time.
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