Antibiotics can be a lifesaver but they can also harm our pets if used incorrectly.
The indiscriminate or casual use of antibiotics may lead to bacterial resistance, or set up the potential for a future allergic reaction to the drug.
What is bacterial resistance?
If an antibiotic is used incorrectly or too often, the bacteria it was designed to destroy mutates and multiplies, rendering the antibiotic ineffective.
How do I use antibiotics correctly?
- Always use antibiotics according to your vet’s instructions. Some medication must be administered once a day, some twice a day, some only once a week. It is essential to stick to the frequency as prescribed.
- Always use the correct dosage. If your pet needs one pill every day for five days, don’t be tempted to give it five pills at once or three if you have missed a couple of days. This encourages bacterial resistance.
- Always finish the full course of antibiotics. If you stop using the antibiotic because your pet appears to have recovered and is no longer in need of the drug, his/her risk of antibiotic resistance increases and the drug may not work the next time he/she needs it.
Keeping your pet healthy by providing proper nutrition, clean water, regular parasite control, annual vaccinations and annual checkups at the vet helps your pet maintain natural resistance against disease.
Antibiotics should be reserved for pets who truly need them. Trust your vet to prescribe them when they are really necessary.