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Antimicrobial resistance

The growing threat of antimicrobial resistance is focusing human and animal medicine on all aspects of how to improve antimicrobial drug use, so that we can not only try to preserve these drugs, but also develop new alternative approaches (Prescott and Boerlin, 2016).

In a recent British study of over 963,000 dogs and over 594,000 cats, Buckland et al. (2016) found that 25% of dogs and 21% of cats have been given at least one antimicrobial treatment during a two-year period. The authors have also argued that a quarter of dogs and cats is a high proportion considering that companion animals are a potential source of antimicrobial resistance in humans.

It is believed that a stewardship approach is the best approach for first-line veterinary practitioners to address the resistance crisis (Prescott and Boerlin, 2016). Antimicrobial stewardship is the term increasingly used in medicine to describe the multifaceted approach required to sustain the efficacy of antibiotics and minimise the emergence of resistance (Prescott and Boerlin, 2016). The concept and practice of antimicrobial stewardship continues to evolve in human and veterinary medicine, but it is an approach that takes active, dynamic process of continuous improvement (Weese et al., 2013). According to Weese et al. (2013), several of the major areas important to antimicrobial stewardship include: owner education, owner compliance, vaccines to name just a few. It is therefore our duty to advise you what is best for your pet, and it is your responsibility to follow our advice.


Buckland, E. L. et al. (2016). Characterisation of antimicrobial usage in cats and dogs attending UK primary care companion animal veterinary practices, Veterinary Record, doi: 10.1136/vr.103830.

Prescott, J. F. and Boerlin, P. (2016). Antimicrobial use in companion animals and Good Stewardship Practice, Veterinary Record, doi: 10.1136/vr.i5908.

Weese, J. S. et al. (2013). Antimicrobial stewardship in animals, in Animicrobial Therapy in Veterinary Medicine, John Wiley & Sons, pp 117-132.

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