Vets prescribe the broad-spectrum antibiotic Baytril for a variety of conditions. It's the drug of choice for ear infections. Like any medication, it can result in side effects in certain felines, but these are usually mild. Rarely, cats suffer severe side effects. Mild side effects generally go away.
Manufactured by Bayer Animal Health, Baytril is a brand name for enrofloxacin, a type of antibiotic that kills bacteria. Unlike other antibiotics used to treat both people and animals, Baytril is available only for veterinary use. The drug comes in tablet, liquid and injectable forms, as well as eardrops. While it can't treat infections caused by parasites, viruses or molds, it's often used for treating skin ailments, respiratory and urinary tract infections, along with ear issues. It's often given to cats suffering from wound abscesses to prevent infection.
Mild Side Effects
If your vet prescribes Baytril for your cat's illness, Kitty could experience some mild side effects that go away once the drug is discontinued. These might include diarrhea or loose feces, vomiting, lethargy, depression, drooling or appetite loss. If used in Kitty's ear, it could cause some discomfort. Some younger cats come down with swollen joints or have difficulty walking. Since this is a possible result from cartilage damage that could have long-term effects, call your vet as soon as possible.
Serious Side Effects
While extremely rare, a small percentage of cats treated with Baytril go blind. The drugs damages the cat's retina. This particular side effect is irreversible. Because of the seriousness of this particular side effect, most vets are extremely careful regarding Baytril dosages. Baytril might also cause kidney damage, another irreversible side effect. Your vet will conduct regular bloodwork and urinalysis on Kitty if he's prescribed Baytril long-term to monitor kidney function. Baytril can also cause seizures in some felines. If Kitty appears to have an allergic reaction to the drug, since as difficulty breathing or any type of swelling or hives, call your vet at once.
Baytril shouldn't be given to kittens, or pregnant or lactating cats. It's not recommended for elderly cats with possible underlying kidney disease or those with a history of seizures. It also interferes with other medications, so let your vet know about any prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs supplements you give Kitty. Baytril can interfere with vitamin or mineral supplements. If Kitty takes anti-acids for gastrointestinal problems, don't give them to him within two hours of administering Baytril.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.