Slowing down and fighting the effects of antimicrobial resistance is an effort that will require the collaboration of pet owners, veterinarians, food producers, doctors, and everyday people. We all use antimicrobials, and we all rely on them, and because of this we all share the responsibility of preserving their effectiveness for future use. By being careful and conscientious of our antimicrobial usage and by reducing our dependence on them, we can protect ourselves from losing access to these invaluable medications.
Only give your animals antibiotics when prescribed:
Unnecessary use of antimicrobials is one of the biggest causes of growing antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobials only affect bacterial infections and do nothing to treat viral infections like the common cold or upper respiratory infections.
Always give your animals their complete prescriptions:
Even if you're feeling better, you may be still be host to infectious bacteria. The same goes for your pets and horses. It's these bacteria that survive treatment that develop a resistance to antimicrobials, which is in turn spread to more bacteria.
Improve your animals' hygiene and your own:
The most important thing we can do to prevent antimicrobial resistance is to reduce our dependence on antimicrobials. By staying cleaner and healthier we preserve our access to these life-saving tools and allow more time to discover new classes of antimicrobials and alternative treatments.
Keep your animals' vaccinations up-to-date:
Regular vaccinations are essential to maintaining your animals’ health and minimizing the need for antimicrobial treatment. By preventing the need for antimicrobial treatment in this manner, we can preserve their effectiveness for infections, which would otherwise be untreatable or unpreventable.
Consider a healthy diet, clean surroundings, and regular activity for your animals:
One of the most obvious and often overlooked aspects of prevention is the general health of animal. In addition to the innumerable list of benefits that a healthy lifestyle provides, it reduces dependence on antimicrobials by making better use of the body’s natural defenses and preventing bacterial infections from taking hold.