The Magic Pet Pill-Antibiotics

Amongst people it is stated that common infections will once again kill as the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs has a devastating effect on modern medicine – World Health Organisation.

cat infections resistant to antibiotics

In the UK, patients infected with superbugs are twice as likely to die as those with non-resistant infections. Resistance to antibiotics is already on the way and minor scratches and infections could kill people in the future unless there is a rethink about the prescribing of antibiotics and the prevention of infections.

Prof Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer in the UK warned that antibiotic resistance posed an “apocalyptic” menace which should be ranked alongside terrorism as a threat to the nation.

This made me think about our companion animals and veterinary treatment. If doctors are prone to overprescribing antibiotics as a “magic pill” and if patients are expecting a prescription for antibiotics even when it is inappropriate, it is reasonable to believe that something similar might be taking place in veterinary surgeries across the country.

When a veterinarian is unable to fully diagnose an infection which may be viral or bacterial, as a precaution, some veterinarians may prescribe antibiotics and today there is a two-week antibiotic injection as a precautionary treatment but it may not be the right treatment.

Antibiotics prescribed to pets usually won’t cause harm them but they shouldn’t be prescribed unless there is a reason to do so and is argued that they should be prescribed with care. Alternative treatment should be considered sometimes. Cat owners should not expect prescriptions of antibiotics unless it is certain that their cat has a bacterial, yeast or fungal infection.

Once antibiotic are used on a companion animal there is the potential for the animal to develop a resistant population of bacteria. In the future, when an antibiotic is genuinely required the infection may be resistant to the drug and become unmanageable.

Amongst people, some of the world’s most common infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics and standard drugs but in some countries this problem is not being properly monitored. We don’t know exactly what is happening.

When I read those words I wondered whether we know what is happening in the pet world – in veterinary clinics? If it can happen in the human world it might be happening in the companion animal world as well.

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The Magic Pet Pill-Antibiotics — 4 Comments

  1. Some people get angry when I talk about ABT (antibiotic therapy) abuse.
    It really just has to stop and people need to learn.
    It makes me crazy when humans get a scratch or bite, or even when their cat gets a minor infection, and they run to get antibiotics.
    For instance, a bite is painful, swollen, reddened, and may even be pussy. Pus is good. That means that white blood cells have raced to the area to help. ABT will not speed up the healing process. It will just push the immune system aside and take over.
    We need to stop encouraging our and our animals’ own natural immune system to become lazy and make us ABT resistant.
    There may be a time when it is important to have all immune systems functioning full force and for antibiotics to give it an added boost, and it will fail.

    • Very well put Dee – I think you are exactly right there. We let the pills take over.

      Another point – we have become too obsessively clean. Our immune systems are getting weaker and weaker. Its very important to be dirty, to build up an immunity to common bacteria that can be found everywhere and which can be easily fended off with a healthy system.

  2. Well find this very interesting and food for thought. I guess we dont really realise how dependent we are on those pills. I guess sometimes we dont always realise what is best for our cats even though our vets may say what we need to hear.

  3. I just read a recent study about antibiotic use and its connection to cancer.
    Although the study was geared toward humans, I believe it is probably true for any animal too.
    The study relates that, if a course of antibiotics has been taken 17 times or more in a 20 year period, the risk of any sort of cancer increases by 5 fold.
    It makes perfect sense to me. If we suppress our own immune system over and over with antibiotics, it gives any nasty entity permission to move in and take over.
    Antibiotics need to be used sparingly and only when confirmed evidence of infection is present.

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