Clavulanic acid is an inhibitor of beta-lactamase (penicillinase) and when used with amoxycillin the resulting combination becomes active against most bacteria resistant to amoxycillin through production of beta-lactamase. A total of 551 bacterial isolates from dogs and cats were examined by disc sensitivity testing, which showed that there was amoxycillin resistance particularly among staphylococci (50 per cent), Klebsiella species (97 per cent) and Escherichia coli (28 per cent). A combination of potassium clavulanate and amoxycillin reduced the incidence of resistance to 0.3, 3 and 7 per cent, respectively. Minimum inhibitory concentrations were determined for a number of the isolates and showed marked reductions in the presence of potassium clavulanate. A formulation containing amoxycillin trihydrate and potassium clavulanate (4:1) was dosed to beagles at 12.5 mg/kg. Concentrations of the drugs in blood, tissue fluid and skin showed that both drugs were sufficiently well absorbed and distributed to allow a prediction of efficacy against infections caused by beta-lactamase producing bacteria.
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