If you’re reading this article, chances are that you’ve just come back from the vet with a prescription for Clavamox for your dog and are wondering what exactly is this drug.
Listening to your vet explain everything you need to know about a new medication can be overwhelming, and it is often hard to remember all of the important details, especially if you are worried about your dog -- or if your dog is doing his best to escape the room by burrowing under your arm.
If you still have questions about Clavamox, don’t panic. Here is what you need to know about Clavamox for dogs.
What Is Clavamox?
The most important thing you need to know is that Clavamox is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. It is the veterinary equivalent of Augmentin for humans. To get a little technical, it is a type of penicillin generically known as amoxicillin trihydrate/clavulanate potassium. Luckily for the average owner, the brand name of the drug, Clavamox, is much easier to say.
Clavamox was developed specifically for veterinary use in dogs and cats. It is given orally, by tablet or suspension drops, to fight off bacterial infections and is most commonly used to treat the following:
- Skin infections
- Soft tissue infections (wounds, abscesses, pyoderma, cellulitis, etc.)
- Periodontal infections
- Periodontal disease
The drug has been clinically proven to fight off several strains of bacteria, including Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and E. coli, along with other strains of aerobic and anaerobic activity. In some cases, your vet might take a culture of the infection prior to prescribing Clavamox to make sure that the drug is the correct choice for the bacteria in question.
Clavamox is not used to treat viral or fungal infections and is also not effective against certain types of bacteria or against infections caused by Enterobacter or Pseudomonas.
Side Effects of Clavamox for Dogs
The most common side effect of Clavmox is stomach upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. As with any medication, some dogs may have an allergic reaction. Dogs with a history of allergies to penicillin should not take Clavamox. Discontinue giving your dog Clavamox and call your vet immediately if you suspect your dog is having an allergic reaction to this medication.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction in dogs include:
Clavamox is generally well tolerated in dogs, but there are some other side effects to watch out for.
- Weight loss
- Change in appetite
- Change in heart or respiratory rate
You should always talk to your vet about possible adverse reactions before administering a medication for your dog, and be sure you have a plan in place with your vet for dealing with an adverse reaction.
Dosage of Clavamox for Dogs
You should only be giving your dog Clavamox under the guidelines of your veterinarian. If you have questions about the dosage, talk to your vet before making any adjustments, as it could limit the effectiveness of the antibiotic.
You can also compromise the drug’s efficacy by shortening the course of treatment. While it might be tempting to stop giving the drug once your dog starts to get better, especially if you have a dog that is difficult to medicate, failure to administer the entire course of antibiotics can lead to a relapse. You also increase the chances of the infection becoming resistant, which means it will be harder for your dog to fight off another infection.
How to Give Clavamox Safely
Clavamox is a generally safe drug, but there are some things you need to keep in mind when administering Clavamox—or any new drug.
Observe your dog closely for any signs of an allergic reaction or adverse side effects, especially if this is the first time your dog has taken the antibiotic. If possible, arrange for someone to check in on your dog if you plan on being away from the house for more than a few hours.
Talk to your vet about the best way to administer the drug and about any possible medication interactions. If your veterinarian prescribes oral suspension drops, remember to refrigerate them, as they will go bad very quickly if left out. If your dog’s condition does not seem to be responding to the drug, call your vet.
The best way to get answers to questions regarding your pet’s medications is to talk to your prescribing veterinarian. If you have concerns about giving your dog antibiotics or if you suspect your dog is having an adverse reaction, call your veterinarian for medical advice.