Baytril (enroflaxin) from Bayer HealthCare's Animal Health Division is a broad-spectrum antibiotic suitable for treating a range of infections in cats and dogs. Its high absorption and quick action make it one of the most prescribed canine and feline antibiotics. Manufactured both as a ninjectable and in tablet form, Baytril is most effective when administered for the entire period prescribed.
First synthesised in 1980, Bayer's Baytril (enroflaxin) is a broad spectrum quinolone antibiotic used in both cats and dogs, and off-label in some other small animals. It treats infections of the genitourinary and respiratory tracts. It's also effective against a range of bacteria associated with skin infections. Baytril is manufactured both as an injectable and in three strengths of flavoured tablets for once-daily administration.
How Baytril Works
Baytril eliminates urinary tract infections when the kidneys excrete it in urine, where it can kill bacteria in the urinary tract. It also accumulates in inflamed prostate tissue to fight infection.
Baytril works against respiratory infections by inhibiting production of the enzyme gyrase, essential for bacterial replication. Even small accumulations in the respiratory tissue and fluids are effective. Because it penetrates pulmonary and bronchial tissues quickly, Baytril is very useful in controlling pneumonia and bronchitis.
Baytril fights skin infections of bacteria commonly found on dogs and cats. These bacteria sometimes colonise in folds of skin where moisture collects, causing inflammation and infection. Baytril concentrates in these inflamed tissues and kills them.
How to Administer Baytril
A vet normally administers the first Baytril dose by injection. The pet owner then gives his dog or cat Baytril tablets in the appropriate dosage once a day for between five and 10 days.
Tablets are available in 22.7-, 68- and 136-milligram strengths. The usual dose for dogs is 5 milligrams to 20 milligrams/0.998 Kilogram of weight, depending on the severity of the infection. Cats get 5 milligrams/.0.907 Kilogram of weight. Continue treatment for 48 to 72 hours after symptoms have subsided.
The tablets work best on an empty stomach, so give them at least one hour before feeding.
Baytril's Side Effects
Baytril dosage in cats is limited to 5 milligrams/9.98 Kilogram of weight because at higher dosages it's known to cause retinal damage and even blindness. Dr. Isable Jurk, DVM, of the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, reports that in one instance a cat receiving only 4.6 milligrams/9.98 Kilogram of Baytril went blind. Retinal damage and blindness can occur with as little as one or two doses.
Baytril causes cartilage erosion in young dogs between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 months. Less serious side effects include vomiting and diarrhoea, but only in dogs given doses far above the recommended amounts.
Baytril Off-Label Use
Baytril has been used successfully to treat infections in rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and other small companion animals. This is an off-label use without FDA-approval.
A chart of appropriate dosages for differentl animals is available at the Baytril website (see Resources).
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