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Could Antibiotic Resistance be a Threat For Our Pets?

Filed under: Health & Training |     

Australian Veterinary Association press release

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As part of Antibiotic Awareness Week (18-24 November), the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is letting pet owners know that the antibiotics used to treat their pets can contribute to antibiotic resistance, just as they can in humans.

Spokesperson for the AVA, Dr David Neck, said that pet owners need to make sure they are responsible when their pet is sick and prescribed antibiotics.

“If your pet is sick, antibiotics won’t help if the problem is caused by a virus or another issue like a vitamin deficiency. So taking your vet’s advice about the best treatment is critical to a speedy recovery for your animal. If antibiotics are prescribed, it’s important that you don’t stop treating your pet before the course is finished.”

“If you’re having trouble giving tablets to your dog or cat, your vet will be able to give you advice. And you should never use prescription or over-the-counter medication on your pet unless a vet says it’s OK. Using antibiotics on an animal other than the one prescribed is not a good idea.”

While there are some systems in place for recording levels of antimicrobial resistance in livestock, the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in Australian pets is not well understood.

“Vets do see infections that are resistant to antibiotics and if this continues to grow, vets will have fewer options for treating infections in pets.

“There’s some evidence that resistant bacteria can be transferred between humans and their pets, so it’s important that pet owners follow simple hygiene when handling animals. Washing hands and good preventive healthcare like parasite prevention and expert veterinary advice on infection control are critical,” Dr Neck said.

Antimicrobial resistance is a global concern and the AVA is working alongside human and animal health agencies to tackle the problem.

More information can be found at and


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