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Common Sense is Key with Antibiotic Resistance

18 November 2014
Australian Veterinary Association

AUSTRALIA - Pet owners should be made more aware of the potential implications of antibiotic resistance, according to the Australian Veterinary Association.

President of the AVA, Dr Julia Nicholls, said that pet owners need to follow some simple rules when their pet is prescribed antibiotics.

“If antibiotics are prescribed, it’s important that you don’t stop treating your pet before the course is finished. That’s the best way to help fight antibiotic resistance and keep these important medications working. And if your pet is still sick let the vet know.

“Giving tablets to your cat or dog can be challenging at times, but your vet can share some of the tricks of the trade to help you get that medication inside your furry friend.

“If your pet’s sick, antibiotics won’t help if the problem’s caused by a virus or another non-infectious medical issue. So taking your vet’s advice about the best treatment is crucial to a speedy recovery for your furry friend.

“And you should never use prescription or over-the-counter human medication on your pet unless a vet says it’s OK. Using antibiotics on your pet other than the one prescribed is not a good idea and may even be harmful,” Dr Nicholls said.

“A study conducted earlier this year showed that Australian animals had low levels of resistant organisms of significance to human health. But we can’t remain complacent. Vets do see infections that are resistant to antibiotics and if this continues to grow, we will have fewer options for treating infections in pets.

“To minimise resistant bacteria being transferred between humans and pets, we should follow simple hygiene when handling animals. Washing hands and preventive healthcare like regular parasite prevention are very important,” she said.

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