We have all heard about the overuse of antibiotics in humans. The overuse of antibiotics is the most important factor contributing to antibiotic resistance. Misusing antibiotics by not taking them as prescribed is also a contributing factor.
Pets are prescribed antibiotics too and the same considerations need to be made about the use of antibiotics in pets.
Of course there are times when antibiotics are absolutely necessary to treat infections, or ward off possible infections after surgery for example. In these cases, it is important to carefully follow the directions provided by your veterinarian. The dosing instructions will be different for every breed and size of animal – what is correct for your Doberman may not be for your Corgi or your cat.
Do not stop the antibiotics when your pet appears to be feeling better – this may lead to antibiotic resistance by bacteria. Follow the directions you were provided with. Your veterinarian has had years of training and has access to the latest evidence on how long your pet should be taking the antibiotics.
NEVER use antibiotics (or over the counter medications) prescribed for human use with your pets. If you suspect your pet has an infection, see your veterinarian for the correct antibiotic and correct dosing. There are many cases of human drugs that are dangerous to pets.
Don’t even think about buying antibiotics for your pet on the internet. These antibiotics might be counterfeit and may not actually contain what the label says putting your pet’s health at risk.
Always follow your veterinarian’s advice to ensure that your pet stays healthy and to help reduce the chance of antibiotic resistance.
Note: Unused portions of antibiotics (or any medication) must be disposed of properly. Do not flush them down the toilet, pour them down the drain, or throw them in the garbage can. Return any unused antibiotics or medications to your veterinary practice for proper disposal.