The Effectiveness of Baytril for Abscesses
What is an Abscess?
- When an animal receives a puncture wound, white blood cells rush to the site of penetration to begin fighting infection from invading bacteria. Quite often, the surface of the skin will heal quickly, leaving bacteria trapped beneath the surface. The subcutaneous layer of skin is warm and moist, which makes it the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply. As the bacteria multiply, the pocket under the skin expands to allow room for the pus produced as white blood cells die off. Eventually, the wound site will swell and rupture, spilling copious amounts of bacteria-laden pus.
- Minor abscesses may only require a round or two of antibiotics, but most vets prefer to surgically place a drain to keep the wound partially open to allow pus to escape as the infection heals. The type of antibiotic prescribed depends upon the type of bacteria that is infecting the wound. Many times, a broad-spectrum antibiotic is prescribed first, and most of the time, it works. In some cases, the vet may have to run a culture and sensitivity test on the pus to determine exactly what the bacteria is, and precisely which antibiotic it is sensitive to.
What is Baytril?
- Baytril is a fluoroquinolone, which is a quinolone with added fluorine. Quinolone drugs were discovered in 1962 as a byproduct of experimental malaria drugs, and were only effective against Gram-negative bacteria. In the late 1970s, the fluorine was added, which allowed the drug to fight Gram-positive bacteria as well, and allowed the drug to be more effectively distributed throughout the body tissues.
- Baytril treats most Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria including staphylococcus, E. coli and mycoplasms, and kills both static and reproducing bacteria. The fluoroquinolone molecule easily crosses cell membranes, allowing it to "chase" bacteria wherever it goes. Baytril can even penetrate pus and inflamed tissue.
- As with any antibiotic, Baytril can cause some vomiting if administered on an empty stomach, but it doesn't affect the intestinal flora, so serious illness is very rare. It is a safe drug for pets with compromised immune systems, and resistance develops slowly, if at all. Overdosing is next to impossible, because the animal will vomit the drug out long before a toxic dose is reached.