Antibiotic Resistance – A Threat to Animal and Human Health
Antibiotics are medications that are used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. With misuse, bacteria can become antibiotic-resistant by changing their response to the medicine. As these antibiotic-resistant bacteria become more prevalent, the infections they cause become harder to treat.
Antibiotic resistance is a real threat facing human and animal health. The World Health Organization states that antibiotic-resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays and increased mortality. A lot of our antibiotics are losing their effectiveness more quickly than we are identifying and developing new drugs or other treatments.
But what does this have to do with our pets? Well, a lot of the antibiotics humans use are also used by animals. In addition, animals can transmit infection to humans and vice versa. These types of infections are called zoonotic infections. Therefore, it is important to use and finish antibiotics as prescribed by your pet’s veterinarian.
Here are some steps we all can follow to prevent and control spread of antibiotic-resistance:
- Clean your hands properly and frequently
- Only give antibiotics to pets under veterinary advice and supervision
- Vaccinate your pets to reduce the need for antibiotics
- Use alternatives to antibiotics when available
- Prevent infections through practicing good hygiene and animal welfare
Antibiotic-resistance is a global problem that affects all of us. If we do not curb it, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill. If you have any questions or concerns regarding antibiotic-resistance, please give Edgemont Veterinary Clinic a call. We could be happy to address any enquiries you may have.