Guidance for responsible use of antibiotics
Antibiotics are vital to treat and prevent disease in both animals and humans.
If your pet has been prescribed antibiotics and you are having difficulties giving treatment, please contact your local vet practice, we can help or suggest an alternative medication.
Below are some important points to remember if your pet has been prescribed antibiotics:
- Give the correct amount - As directed by your vet
- Give at the correct time - If medication is to be given twice daily, give it as close to 12-hour intervals as you can, not at breakfast and tea time
- Give for the correct length of time - Even if your pet seems to be better, don't stop before the end of the prescribed course
- Follow any specific instructions - For example, whether medication should be given with or without food
- Always go back to your vet for any scheduled recheck appointments - Your vet may wish to prescribe a longer course of treatment if the infection has not fully cleared
Guidance for responsible antibiotic use
Not every illness needs antibiotics - those caused by viruses or fungi cannot be treated in this way. Do not expect antibiotics if your vet says they are not needed as every inappropriate use may accelerate a bacterial resistance to the drug.
Antibiotics should always be taken as prescribed by your vet. This gives the body the best chance of working with the drugs to fight infection and helps to keep bacteria from evolving into new ways of being resistant to the antibiotic.
Not completing the course as prescribed by your vet is potentially very risky and may allow resistant bacteria to survive. This means infection can become harder to treat.
There are many reasons why a particular antibiotic that works for one animal will not be appropriate for another. Speak to your vet before any course of action is taken.
If the problem persists, it's not about finding something stronger, it's about finding the right antibiotic for each case and taking it for the right amount of time. Sensitivity tests conducted by your vet can help identify the right drug.