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Dogs, Cats, and Horses
May Be Prescribed by Vets for:
Variety of infections, specifically those caused by anaerobic bacteria
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Chloramphenicol is a broad-range antibiotic is used in veterinary medicine to treat bacterial infections in dogs and cats.
Chloramphenicol can be effective only against bacterial infections, and not infections caused by parasites, mites, viruses or fungi. Veterinarians typically use it to treat skin infections, wound infections, bone infections, intestinal tract infections, and pneumonia in dogs and cats. It also can be effective against infections of the nervous system like meningitis and encephalitis, as well as certain tick-transmitted diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
In many cases, chloramphenicol is preferred over other antibiotics, as it can pass deeply through cell membranes and purulent material to attack bacteria residing in places other antibiotics cannot reach.
Chloramphenicol should not be prescribed to an animal with a known allergy to the drug, or to animals who are pregnant. It also should not be administered to very young animals or those suffering from abnormal bone marrow, liver or kidney failure, or non-regenerative anemia.
While this medication can be appropriate for use in both dogs and cats when prescribed by a veterinarian, cats can be more susceptible to experiencing adverse reactions and therefore may need to be monitored more closely.
While rare, chloramphenicol can cause aplastic anemia in some people if they are orally exposed to the medication. Therefore, it is very important to wash hands thoroughly after administering this medicine.
Chloramphenicol can cause side effects in some animal patients, the most common of which include vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. If the drug is administered in high doses over a prolonged period, blood dyscrasias can develop; the condition is most common in cats.
Chloramphenicol also can interact with other medications that the animal patient may be on. This drug should not be administered concomitantly with phenobarbital, primidone, tylosin, phenytoin, cyclophosphamide, or with other antibiotics like amoxicillin, clindamycin, or erythromycin. Chloramphenicol also can interfere with vaccinations.
Dr. Evan Ware is a veterinary practitioner in Phoenix, Arizona. He received both his undergraduate degree in microbiology and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University.
Dr. Ware is currently the Medical Director of University Animal Hospital (VCA) and is also the owner of two other hospitals, including Laveen Veterinary Center and Phoenix Veterinary Center. His areas of interest include orthopedic medicine and surgery, veterinary oncology and chemotherapy, and general and advanced soft-tissue surgery.
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This content is intended for counseling purposes only. This content is informational/educational and is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or patient. No claims are made as to the safety or efficacy of mentioned preparations. The compounded medications featured in this content have been prescribed and/or administered by prescribers who work with Wedgewood Pharmacy. You are encouraged to speak with your prescriber as to the appropriate use of any medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy’s compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.
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