Posted: May 1, 2012, 8 a.m. PDT
Q: My 7-year-old, male ferret was today given oral tablet medication called Clavaseptin 50 mg (40 mg Amoxicillin and 10 mg Clavulanic acid) Palatable Tablets for Cats and Dogs for suspected / possible infection of some sort. The dosage that my general veterinarian gave me was 1 tablet per 12 hours (two a day) for five days. My ferret weighs 1.85 kilograms (about 4 pounds). Does this dosage sound normal to you? It sounds like a lot to give a small ferret. I don’t really want to question the vet, but he does not know much about ferrets so I wanted a second opinion.
A: Whenever there is a question in regard to the health care of your ferret, the first thing to do is ask your veterinarian. Many times when people pick up their pet from the hospital, it is difficult to fully focus on what the veterinarian says because the owner is so concerned about their ferret and worrying too much to hear many of the details. What eventually happens is that people arrive home, look at the written directions or the medication label and realize they are not exactly sure what was said at the office in regard to the dosage of the drugs to give to their ferret.
When you have a question about the dose of a medication, it is imperative that you call your veterinarian’s office and make sure you understood what was explained in the office. It is always possible the dose you were told was written incorrectly on the take-home sheet or even on the medication bottle. Make sure the written directions you received match what is written on the bottle. If there is a discrepancy, call the hospital immediately.
Sometimes, instead of calling the hospital people check the Internet to see if the dose is correct, which may cause more confusion. This could lead a ferret owner to possibly “panic” because the dose given does not match what was find online.
The first thing I would say is, don’t panic. The second thing is, don’t depend on the Internet for antibiotic dosages. Antibiotics are given in a very wide range of dosages as not all bacteria “act” the same. Some bacteria can be killed with a smaller, less frequent dosing scheme, whereas other bacteria need a higher strength of the same antibiotic, possibly given more frequently.
Because I do not know exactly what bacteria is causing your ferret to be ill, it is impossible to know if the dose is appropriate or not. So, again, calling the hospital and double-checking the dose is always the most efficient and appropriate method to make sure your ferret is being treated properly.
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