Antibiotic resistance in pets
ANTIBIOTIC resistance is real and is petrifying.
It is estimated by the World Health Organisation that 700,000 people die annually due to drug resistant bacteria.
They also estimate that if no action is taken that number could rise to 10 million by the year 2050.
Antibiotic resistance could mean that hip and knee replacements, chemotherapy and C-sections would become too risky to perform and a thing of the past.
There is increasing pressure on the veterinary community to be very careful with how we use antibiotics.
There are some antibiotics we are not allowed to use and potentially any new class of antibiotics developed in the future will be for human use only.
Thus we need to be very careful with how we use our antibiotics we have access too now.
There may even come a time, if we are not careful, that we have to prove there is an infection by performing a culture, before we are allowed to administer antibiotics.
This will make treating animals much more expensive and time consuming.
Everyone needs to play a role in this.
Everyone needs to recognise this is a major, global, public health issue that is already affecting lives.
We need to be smart about how we use antibiotics and only use them when we have a high suspicion of infection with a BACTERIA.
They are of no use for viral infections.
A lot of superficial wounds can be treated using a lavage solution and maintaining hygiene.
Many illnesses need time, rather than truckloads of antibiotics.
The same goes for people with a cold or flu who think that antibiotics are the solution, they are not and if we keep misusing them, the consequences are dire!
In Victoria now we are seeing antibiotic resistance in our pets and livestock.
There have been instances when animals have been exposed to multiple antibiotics, used for incorrect periods and for incorrect illnesses that are now dying because there are no antibiotics left to treat them.
These same bacteria killing these animals can also infect people.
So next time you think I’ll just give it a shot of this or that, really consider what you are doing and how it might affect you and your family down the track.
This is a very serious issue and it really scares me to think what our future is going to be like.
There are now guidelines that vets need to follow in regards to how to use antibiotics correctly.
One study estimated that 30-50 per cent of antibiotic use was inappropriate.
So if your vet isn’t handing out antibiotics by the truck load to anyone who asks for them, then there are some very good reasons for that, they are not trying to make life difficult for you, they are doing their bit to hopefully preserve their use in the future.