NDSR is committed to the responsible use and prescription of antibiotics. The guidance for responsibly taking antibiotics is the same for both humans and animals.
Antibiotic resistance is when the bacteria causing and infection are not affected by the antibiotic and therefor make it ineffective as a treatment. This is becoming a greater challenge in pets in the same way as it is in humans.
There are several key facts to remember:
Antibiotics are not always the answer
Not every illness needs antibiotic treatment (e.g. viral infections). Do not demand antibiotics if your vet has said they are not needed – every inappropriate use may accelerate bacterial resistance to a drug. Antibiotics are life-saving drugs and to make sure they stay effective both now and in the future, their use must be controlled and used only when really necessary.
Follow the dosage instructions
Antibiotics should always be taken as prescribed to give the body the best chance of working with the drugs to fight an infection and keep bacteria from evolving new ways of being resistant. Increasing the dose will not mean it will work quicker.
Always finish the course
Not completing the course is risky and may allow some bacteria to survive, even if your pet seems better after a few doses. This may make the infection harder to treat.
Antibiotics work in different ways
Some antibiotics work for one person or animal and not another and there can be many reasons for this. Do not share antibiotics or use any prescribed for a previous illness as they may not be effective. Always speak to your doctor or vet before any course of action is taken.
Tests may be needed
If problems persist, it may not be necessary to simply find something stronger. Some diagnostics or sensitivity tests may be needed to find out which antibiotic will work best.
Good Hygiene Helps
People’s hands are the most common way of spreading germs. Although most are harmless, they may occasionally cause diseases such as stomach bugs that are resistant to antibiotics, for example MRSA. Always make sure you wash your hands properly to minimise infection.
Talk to your Vet!
If you have any questions or concerns about antibiotics or antibiotic resistance please speak to your vet.