Top tips for correct antibiotic use
It is becoming more and more evident that one of the greatest threats to human and animal health is antibiotic resistance and the emergence of ‘superbugs’. As veterinarians, we are taking steps to help prevent the world from a global catastrophe where common infections and minor injuries once again kill.
As a pet owner, you can do your bit too by familiarising yourself with the following recommendations for correct antibiotic use:
- Antibiotics are only helpful in the presence of a bacterial infection. They cannot treat viral infections and are not needed in clean wounds
- It is sometimes necessary to identify the type of bacteria present to help us choose the most appropriate antibiotic. This involves taking samples for culture and sensitivity testing at an external laboratory
- Never start any ‘leftover’ antibiotics you have before you get your pet checked with us as they may be inappropriate or unnecessary
- Always use them as directed and finish the course, even if you think your pet is ‘better’. Stopping too early can lead to the development of resistant bacteria
- Always give the prescribed dose and give them exactly as we have directed (don’t change the dose or dosing schedule as this can reduce their effectiveness)
- Please don’t ask us to prescribe antibiotics without a consultation. This is against the law!
- A revisit may be necessary to check your pet’s and extend the course of antibiotics if necessary
If you have any questions or concerns please ask us for more information.