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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10372
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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can i give penicillin vk to a kitten? if so i have 250mg tablets.kitten

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can i give penicillin vk to a kitten? if so i have 250mg tablets.kitten is about 6 weeks old. upper respitory infection. no way possible to get to vet. i can break tablets into very small portions and crush if ok.
Hi, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.

As you probably know, most upper respiratory infections are viruses which do not respond to antibiotics.
There can be a secondary bacterial infection in some cats/kittens which is when there is a green or yellow or mucoid component to a nasal discharge (when they sneeze) or to an eye discharge. This is when antibiotics are used.

To answer your specific question, yes, penicillin can be used in a kitten but it is not considered the best choice for an upper respiratory infection. Better choices would be Clavamox, or Doxycycline or Clindamycin or Zithromax. If you don't have access to these antibiotics, Penicillin could be tried but you shouldn't be disappointed if it doesn't seem to help. This drug is dosed at 5 mg/lb.
The dose for a 1 lb kitten, for example, would be 5 mg every 8 hrs; you would be using an almost infinitesimal amount from a 250 mg tablet.

I'm sure you are already force feeding if your kitten isn't eating or drinking.
Keeping the nasal passages clear is also important. Nasal saline sprays from your local pharmacy can be used which clears the nasal passages, improves breathing and smell making it easier for the kitten to want to eat properly.

With supportive care, most kittens will get past an upper respiratory infection.

I hope this is helpful, but if you have more questions, please let me know.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your speedy reply. The nasal and eye discharge is clear at this point. I have used a warm washcloth to clesn eyes and nose. At some times she seems very congested with lots of sneezing but her appetite is still good. When I first came in contact with her the discharge from her eyes was green, but she was not congested or sneezing at that point. She is eating canned cat food with a small amount of broth. I stopped giving formula for now because i was concerned about the congestion and she seems not to really care about the formula. The penicillin VK is the only antibiotic I have access to at this point.

Hi Teresa:)
Thanks for that additional information.
If the nasal and eye discharge is clear, then I wouldn't give her any drugs that she doesn't need.
That's great that she is eating regular cat food rather than the formula.
Clearly she can still smell (because she is eating) even though she might still sound a little congested. You can try the nasal spray that I mentioned and continue cleaning her nose as you have been. You can run hot water in the bathroom and keep her in there; the steam might help loosen up secretions.
It sounds like she just needs a little more time to get past this, though.
Dr. Deb and 5 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Teresa,

I'm just following up on our conversation about No Name. How is everything going?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

She seems to be feeling much better. I am also treating her for ear mites. She is running around with hardly any sneezing or congestion. It is a huge improvement from last week. Thank you so much for your advice. I am going to reccomend your services to everyone I know. Now I just have to figure out a name that fits this cute kitty. lol. Thanks again from both of us.

Thanks so much for the update on "name yet to be determined":) Ther perfect name will come to you; I never rush it, myself, until I get to really know the personality of the cat.
I am so glad that she got past this; most kittens do with enough time and wonderful care from their "moms".....this means you, by the way!

I'm glad that I could help and that you were pleased with the services. Please let me know if I can help in any way down the road. Dr. Deb