Pros:effective, cats like the taste, inexpensive
Cons:requires a prescription from your vet
The Bottom Line: Clavamox is my antibiotic of choice when treating sick kitties.
The world of animal rescue is very unpredictable but there are some things that you can always count on... like sick animals. Most of the cats and kittens that we get from the shelter have upper respiratory infections. The stress of being in that environment can depress immune systems which means that even normally healthy cats quickly become ill. I am always bringing sneezing, congested cats to the vet and he is always sending me home with the same antibiotic: Clavamox Drops.
About This Product
Clavamox comes in a powder to which you have to add 14 mL of water in order to achieve the proper concentration of 62.5mg/mL. Once this product is rehydrated it must kept refrigerated and used within 10 days. Any unused portion must be discarded after 10 days. This broad-spectrum antibiotic is a combination of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium and is used to treat soft tissue and skin infections. Clavamox comes in a plastic bottle with a regular child-safety cap but it also comes with a dropper top to allow you to dispense medication directly into the cat's mouth. This antibiotic is available only with a valid prescription from a veterinarian.
I have used this antibiotic to treat upper respiratory infections, abscesses, open wounds, and urinary tract infections. I've treated literally dozens of cats with Clavamox and only had one whose URI wasn't eliminated by it and who required a different antibiotic. Some of the tougher infections require two bottles and a two week course of treatment but this antibiotic eventually kills the bacteria causing the problem.
It is said to be banana flavored and that is definitely what it smells like. Incredibly, the cats always take it willingly. I didn't realize that cats were big fans of bananas but I'm not going to question it. They like it and that's good enough for me.
Common side effects of Clavamox include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Most cats continue to eat while taking this antibiotic though I do sometimes supplement them with Nutrical if they don't seem to be eating much. I haven't seen it cause diarrhea or vomiting.
Cost and Availability
One 15mL bottle of Clavamox costs anywhere between $9 and $15 depending on where you get it. I usually pay around $14 per bottle at the vet's office. If you don't want to get it from your vet, you can get it from many online pet supply sites but you will have to produce a valid prescription.
I depend on Clavamox Drops when I have a sick cat. It's easy to use, it's inexpensive, the cats are willing to take it, and it's very effective in treating many problems. I do wish that a prescription wasn't required to get it but that's the way the medical world works so I can deal with it. This is a wonderful antibiotic to use for sick cats.
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