Get Smart About Antibiotics!

This week we are raising awareness on antibiotic resistance in our companions!

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Source: Shutterstock

For those who do not know, antibiotics treat bacterial infections and do not treat viruses. Antibiotics kill and stop the bacteria from growing, but can also eliminate the good bacteria in the digestive system.

It is important to know when it is necessary to prescribe antibiotics to a pet. Misuse of an antibiotic can lead to a rise of bacterial resistance. This means that the antibiotic no longer works against the bacteria.This usually happens when the antibiotic is used too often or is not used correctly (ie. stopped too soon, not given at the correct dose, etc…)

When bacteria become resistant to the antibiotic, they can multiply and even pass on the resistance to other bacteria.  Bacteria that are resistant are a lot more difficult to treat, and sometimes are even untreatable.

Know when your pet needs antibiotics and when they don’t. Ask your veterinarian to see if there are treatment choices other than antibiotics or if antibiotics are necessary.

Take this situation for as example:

Let’s say a cat is showing signs of:
-blood in their urine (known as hematuria)
-difficult or painful urination (known as dysuria)
-showing behavior of urinating in inappropriate places
-abnormal & frequent passage of urine (known as pollakiuria)

These symptoms are common in both bacterial infection of the lower urinary tract (UTI) and feline idiopathic lower urinary tract disease.

After testing, the doctor determines it is feline idiopathic lower urinary tract disease..

A UTI can be treated with antibiotics, yet the feline idiopathic lower urinary tract disease cannot be treated with antibiotics, even though both conditions have similar signs.

The treatment for the disease is depended on the underlying cause, such as bladder stones, interstitial cystitis, etc. ( the “idiopathic” means relating to or denoting any disease/condition that arises spontaneously or for which the cause is unknown).

With situations where signs are a compilation of two different health conditions, it is critical for your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and provide proper options for treatment.

-Brought to you by Julie F. & Parkway Small Animal & Exotic Hospital staff

Sources:

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2016/08/antibiotic-resistance-pets-increasing-problem

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/antibiotics/art-20045720

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/read-this-before-giving-your-dog-antibiotics/

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