Horse owners and caretakers are again being warned about the overuse of prescribed antibiotics as the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) escalates worldwide. Antimicrobials are used in both equine and human medicine; they are integral to the treatment of infections.
However, excessive and inappropriate use of antimicrobials has led to the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, which means that controlling infections has become more difficult. The World Health Organization describes AMR as “one of the greatest global health challenges the world has ever faced.”
The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has created detailed guidelines and codes of practice for veterinarians. Because of this, Australian animals have a much lower level of antibiotic resistance than animals in other countries. However, there is still work to be done to help equine caretakers understand their role in the fight against AMR. It's imperative that horse owners and veterinarians work in tandem to protect the efficacy of antibiotics.
The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has released a set of rules to encourage the responsible handling of antimicrobials by horse and pet owners:
- Only use antimicrobials when a veterinarian has prescribed them
- Only use antimicrobials when needed; they don't cure all equine ailments
- Only buy antimicrobials from reputable, recommended sources
- Only use the dosage prescribed and diligently follow the treatment duration protocol
Following these guidelines will help prevent antimicrobial resistance throughout the world.
Read more at HorseTalk.
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