Under Pressure: Vets May Feel Push To Prescribe Antibiotics To Horses

by | 04.07.2018 | 4:33pm

One trend from the human medical world is carrying over to the equine veterinary world: veterinarians are feeling pressured to prescribe antibiotics to animals without first seeing them. A recent Australian study published in the Journal of Internal Veterinary Medicine found large-animal veterinarians feel pressured to prescribe antibiotics to their clients without seeing the animal, but companion animal vets did not report feeling the same pressure. Experts are concerned this practice will accelerate antimicrobial resistance worldwide.

The study determined that antimicrobials were given without the vet seeing an animal for three main reasons:

  • Vets are pressured to keep clients happy to retain them as customers.
  • Some clients felt they were able to diagnose common diseases themselves and that they didn't require the veterinarian to consult on the animal. Additionally, some vets felt that they were not able to examine every animal that needed treatment. Participants noted that the treatments they advised for the affected animal were not the client's first choice; antimicrobials were often used off-label and advice not followed in these cases.
  • Giving antimicrobials to clients was easier than convincing clients that the horse needed to be seen or that the horse may not need them. A lack of time for veterinarians factored into this.

Read more at HorseTalk.


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