When researchers learned that some bacteria and molds give off substances toxic to others, a new branch of bacteriology was born. When further research demonstrated that these substances would kill or inhibit bacteria and not poison dogs, a blessing of inestimable value was bestowed upon both us and our pets. And as wonderful as penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline are, they were but heralds offer more wonderful drugs. As yet none has been found effective for viruses.
Several points should be kept in mind when your dog is given medication such as an antibiotic. First, we are rather treating the dogs than the disease. Each antibiotic must develop levels of concentration adequate to either hinder the reproduction of the organism. n(s) or to destroy some of them. When the disease ceases to flourish in the host, your dog can overcome it by building immune bodies to it.
Some antibiotics are called a broad spectrum, meaning that they affect a great variety of microorganisms, whereas some zero in on a few infections and do not affect others. When a dog has an infection, veterinarians have a choice. If the dog has responded to a particular treatment 90 percent of the time, the decision may be to treat it with the usually successful treatment. If that is ineffective, the patient may be put under a more detailed investigation.
It seems that this is a logical approach from an economic point of view. The more detailed investigation consists of culturing the microorganism, inoculating the disease organisms in the material they are expected to grow well in, and exposing these organisms to small disks saturated with different agents that may be effective in preventing their growth.
This is not an inexpensive procedure and does not result in a black-or-white answer. First, it may be difficult to obtain a sample that contains only the organisms causing the problem, since many organisms may grow together. If several organisms are cultured, it may be difficult to determine which is causing the disease.
Furthermore, some innocuous organisms may grow luxuriously and some dangerous ones slowly. It requires a bacteriologist with experience to interpret the results. It is not rare for a veterinarian to send a sample to a bacteriologist and start treatment, hoping it is helpful until the laboratory results come in. When they arrive, often many days later, the prescribed medication would not have eliminated the disease.
It is not rare to find a canine patient that cannot tolerate a given medication. If the effect of the antibiotic or other medication is worse than the disease, you must withdraw it. However, the dog may need a given drug and only that drug to combat an infection, in which case by persisting it may become tolerable.
There is a vast number of antibiotics, many of which are used for similar disease conditions but others specifically for one or two diseases. Some are effective but toxic to some dogs. Some are abused, and some are employed where less expensive members of the family are as effective.
Antibiotics, like sulfates, are prescription drugs. At first, antibiotics are given in quickly absorbed doses, mostly intramuscularly and at very frequent intervals. Later a way was found of combining them in vehicles from which they are slowly absorbed, no that in some cases injections are given once every twenty-four hours suffice to furnish a high enough concentration in the blood to effectively destroy or inhibit the germs against which they are being sited. Today a majority are given orally.
See more: Dog Auto Immunity