It’s not always easy to get a doctor’s appointment, and you still have to work it around your schedule and have it fit your wallet. A few months ago, this was my problem when I had a small cut on my hand that got infected.
I had some dog medicine in my cabinet, leftover from when my dog had fallen and hurt his paw. I wondered what animal antibiotics are safe for humans. If it were safe, I would be so relieved. So I set out to find the answer.
Medical professionals do not advise humans to take animal antibiotics; however, fish antibiotics are an alternative in an emergency. The type of antibiotic used depends on what kind of infection you need to treat. For example, a particular kind of penicillin can be good for infected cuts and others for tick bites.
Taking medicine without thorough research and a medical opinion is never a good idea. However, if you are ever in a tricky situation where medical help is not at hand, there are some antibiotics that you can take to prevent infection or help with an existing one.
It’s interesting to note that people who have been in situations without medical help, such as military personal, are trained to use all kinds of medication to help stop the spread of infection, including animal antibiotics, with success. So let’s look at the information on this together.
Is self-medicating with animal antibiotics a good idea, and what are the risks?
In regards to any medication, there are risks to taking antibiotics meant for animals. Three main things can affect the usage of animal antibiotics.
That is why consulting a medical professional is critical when dealing with any medication you must take. It is illegal for any doctor or veterinarian to prescribe animal medication to humans for human consumption in the US.
A lot of people buy over-the-counter medicines for their pets. So if you find yourself with some leftover medication and are in a pinch, here are the three things to consider before chugging the meds in question.
The difficult task of diagnosis
It is imperative to diagnose the infection correctly before continuing to any treatment. Diagnosis of infection can be tricky, especially when you don’t know what kind of infection you have.
The first type of infection is bacterial, the second type of infection is viral, the third type of infection is fungal, and the fourth type of infection is parasitic.
There are several types of bacterial infections, and it is crucial to know what a bacterial infection is before taking medication to clear it up. Some examples of bacterial infection are strep throat, urinary tract infection (UTI), whooping cough, ear infection, bacterial food poisoning.
Here is a list of general symptoms to look out for if you suspect you might have a bacterial infection.
- Redness and swelling
- Continuous burning sensation
- Pus leaking out of the wound
- Painful to the touch
The second type of infection is viral, and some examples of viral infections are; flu (influenza), common cold, rabies, chickenpox. The critical thing to remember about viral infections is that antibiotics can’t clear it up.
Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections. Doctors prescribe them to help relieve the symptoms until your body’s natural immunity kills off the viral invader. Because of this, you need to be sure if your infection is bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic before treating it.
The third type of infection is fungal. Not all fungi can make you sick. Sometimes you may see physical signs of them, and sometimes you may not. Some examples of fungal infections are; vaginal yeast infections, thrush, ringworm, athlete’s foot, fungal meningitis.
It’s crucial to remember that a fungal infection is usually medically treated with anti-fungal medication, from topical creams to oral or IV anti-fungal medications.
The fourth type of infection is parasitic. These tiny creatures get their food off of their hosts, and the three types of parasitic infections are Protozoa (microscopic one single-celled organism), Helminthes (largerworm-like organism), and Ectoparasites (such as ticks, fleas, lice).
Some examples of infections caused by these parasites are; malaria, roundworm, pubic and head lice, scabies, river blindness, toxoplasmosis. The treatment for these parasitic infections is also precise to the parasitic infection type and generally clears up using prescription antiparasitic medication.
Are you allergic to any medication?
The second thing you need to be sure of is if you are allergic to any medicine or substances used in the drug. If you aren’t sure what you are allergic to, it’s best to consult with a medical provider before taking medication.
The reason some people may find getting antibiotic prescriptions difficult is because of antibiotic resistance. It means that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has put regulations in place to control antibiotic use in animals intended for human consumption or byproducts such as milk and eggs.
These animals need medication when sick, and some antibiotics can linger in the food we get from these animals, which leads to us having too many antibiotics in our system. It creates a chain reaction that can make typical viruses and infections mutate and evolve into antibiotic-resistant diseases or viruses that regular antibiotics can’t treat properly.
Some states have heavily enforced these regulations, and doctors only prescribe antibiotics to severe cases to curb the antibiotic resistance in our bodies.
The types of animal medication/antibiotics that humans can use
Now that you have assessed the type of infection you are dealing with, you can look at the animal antibiotics that can help treat it. Here is a breakdown of the kind of antibiotic animals most people agree are the ones they took in a pinch once or twice; fish antibiotic.
There are four types of fish antibiotics, Fin Pen Forte that contains Penicillin 500g as the active ingredient. Fin Mox Forte contains Amoxicillin 500g as the active ingredient. Fin Flox Forte contains Ciprofloxacin 500g as the active ingredient, and Fin Flex Forte has Cephalexin 500g as the active ingredient.
So when purchasing or before taking one of these medications, make sure the only ingredient in the medication is the active ingredient (antibiotic) you are looking for, such as;
Also, make sure the antibiotic does not have any fish supplements or added medication, oils, etc., that can make you ill.
Ensure that you always do proper research about any prescription and the side effects of each drug before taking them. Always make sure you take the correct dose.
While you should never take any medication without the advice of a medical professional, in an emergency, the use of fish antibiotics can help the situation until you can get to a doctor. It is a good “in case of emergency” item to keep in your survival kit.
Always make sure you read all the available information on self-medicating with animal antibiotics before deciding on your medical health, and make sure you know all the risks involved, such as dosage and side effects.
- Are Animal Medications Safe for Humans to Take? (verywellhealth.com)
- Antibiotics in Veterinary Medicine | Antimicrobial Resistance Learning Site (umn.edu)
- Infections: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatments, List, and More (healthline.com)
- Bacterial infections – symptoms, causes and treatments | healthdirect
- Fish Antibiotics For Humans: A Safe Option For Your Survival Kit? (thebugoutbagguide.com)