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Antimicrobial Stewardship and the future of veterinary practice

BSAVA Editorial Team
Antimicrobial Stewardship and the future of veterinary practice

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become one of the most important global health challenges, affecting both animal and human health. The rise of AMR is linked to the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in both human and veterinary medicine. For veterinary practice, antimicrobial stewardship is essential for maintaining animal health, protecting public health and ensuring food safety. 

Whilst antibiotics are a vital part of veterinary medicine, used to treat infections and prevent disease, their overuse and misuse can lead to the development of resistant bacteria which can then be transmitted to humans through direct contact, the environment or the food chain. 

There are a few ways that you can ensure effective antimicrobial stewardship in your veterinary practice including: 

  • Ensuring that antibiotics are used only when necessary and in the appropriate duration and dose.

  • Implementing hygiene and biosecurity measures to reduce the incidence of infections and the need for antibiotics. 

  • Provide continuous education for your team and clients on the responsible use of antibiotics. You are a powerful voice of advocacy to your clients, so increase the public awareness!

  • Tracking antibiotic use and resistance patterns to inform your practice, adhering to evidence-based guidelines. 

  • Use accurate and rapid diagnostic tests to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections. 

  • Research and promote alternative measures that reduce the reliance on antibiotics. 

Fergus Allerton, who will be speaking at Vets Cymru in a session on ‘Antimicrobial Stewardship: An update’, said: “Antimicrobial resistance could be the next global health apocalypse, so join the stewardship session to learn how you can be part of the fight back. If we cannot demonstrate, as a profession that we can use antibiotics in a rational manner, they will be taken away from us potentially compromising the welfare of the animals we treat.”

 

The session will cover:

  • When can you safely withhold antibiotics?

  • How long a course should you prescribe?

  • How can you get pet owners on side with a non-antibiotic approach?

Vets Cymru will take place at Aberystwyth University on 4th- 5th July 2024. Get your ticket now!

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