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Azithromycin For Cats

azithromycin for cats


Azithromycin is an azalide or advanced-generation macrolide antibiotic. Macrolide antibiotics work by inhibiting protein synthesis by susceptible bacteria and usually are considered bacteriostatic. Advanced generation macrolides characteristically produce high tissue-concentrations and comparatively lower serum-concentrations of antibiotic. Azithromycin concentrates within polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMN), which gravitate by chemotaxis towards the site of infection. Upon phagocytosis of the PMN, the intracellular pathogens are exposed to very high, potentially cidal antibiotic-concentrations. Azithromycin in particular has an extended tissue-elimination half-life. The prolonged, high concentration of azithromycin at the site of infection permits once a day dosing and may allow for a shorter duration of treatment.

Dosage and Administration

You might not have a hard time getting Kitty to take this medication. Azithromycin is available as a liquid, tablet, paste or chew treat. Medication used as a treat? It gets better -- available flavors include anchovy, liver, beef, cheese, bacon, chicken, duck and fish. If your cat's sort of weird, he might like marshmallow, grape, banana or tutti-fruitti. How much of the drug your vet prescribes depends on Kitty's weight, as well as the reason he's given the medication. As with all antibiotics, give Kitty the correct dosage for the exact number of days on the prescription. Even if Kitty seems better, he needs the full amount of the medication to ensure the bacteria is gone.


Although your vet might prescribe azithromycin for a number of bacterial infections, in cats it's most common use is treating urinary and respiratory tract infections. If Kitty has a particularly severe ear infection he might receive azithromycin. A paste version is available for treating feline gum diseases. Various bacterial skin infections also respond to azithromycin. The intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium, which causes diarrhea and dehydration, can be eliminated via azithromycin. The drug also treats Bartonella, often called cat scratch fever. It will get rid of the Bartonella bacteria in the cat as well as in you, if Kitty gave you a good scratch.

Azithromycin Maleate Side Effects

No information was found in the literature on the side effects of the atovaquone and azithromycin combination in animals. Malarone (atovaquone combined with proguanil hydrochloride) should not be used in dogs due to a high incidence of gastrointestinal side-effects.

In humans, the most commonly reported side-effects to the drug combination of atovaquone and azithromycin were diarrhea and rash and the most commonly reported side effects to Malarone were related to the digestive tract. They included abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, anorexia and diarrhea.

The most common potential side effects associated with azithromycin include gastrointestinal problems like abdominal discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea. Angioedema and jaundice can also result from taking azithromycin, although the chances are rare. More serious potential side effects can include cardiac arrhythmia, ventricular tachycardia and issues with renal function.


The most-common side-effects in all species are gastrointestinal. Vomiting may occur in dogs. Mild to moderate diarrhea may occur in foals. Hyperthermia is a serious and potentially fatal side effect that may be seen in foals. There is ample clinical evidence that foals on erythromycin are very sensitive to heat and possibly to bright sunlight and there have been anecdotal reports of similar hyperthermia with both azithromycin and clarithromycin. Because of this problem, many veterinarians do not turnout foals on macrolide antibiotics in the daytime and may severely limit their turnout time in general. Should hyperthermia occur, aggressive cooling using water and fans or air conditioning is helpful.

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