Antibiotics and your pet
This month we’re taking a look at some of the issues surrounding our pet’s health, including the effects of antibiotics and why it is important to use them responsibly.
Antibiotics are essential to treat all kinds of conditions in people and their pets, but they must be used responsibly, in order to ensure that they remain effective for when we really need them. But why is this so important?
Antibiotic can cause a plethora of serious issues which could affect everybody. If you don’t dispose of unused antibiotics appropriately, this can cause problems by damaging the environment, water quality and wildlife. And if you don’t use antibiotics correctly and carefully, then they can cause dangerous side-effects, delay an accurate diagnosis or contribute to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Never give antibiotics that were prescribed to a human to your pet – and vice versa.
Lab photo by Christy Rice on Pexels
This is a much bigger problem than people realise and the effects can be reaching, which is why, back in November, a number of UK veterinary institutions got together to raise awareness of these issues for the first time, with an ‘Antibiotic Amnesty’ highlighting how crucial antibiotic medicines should be used or disposed of safely.
Helping to co-ordinate the amnesty was vet Fergus Allerton, who said:
“The veterinary profession is committed to not only the responsible use of antibiotics to help treat pets when appropriate, but also to the safe disposal of these important medicines.
“Antimicrobial resistance is a world-wide health threat. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria develop resistance to the effects of antibiotic treatments, making treatment for people and animals less effective.
Vet photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels
“Antibiotics can offer life-saving treatment for serious conditions in humans, animals and pets, which is why in all situations, antibiotics need to be used and disposed of carefully.”
“The veterinary sector is collaborating with human health colleagues on this amnesty, and in doing so, we are adopting a One Health approach to support the welfare of people, pets and the planet. In doing so, we can jointly help to reduce the risk of AMR and preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics long into the future.”
It is hoped that by increasing public awareness of the dangers of antibiotic misuse and the dangers of antimicrobial resistance, that the risks will be reduced and this is something that vets and human health practitioners can continue to work on together.
Dog walk photo by James Frid on Pexels
Time to end the poonami!
Speaking of an amnesty, we were shocked to read about another human/pet-related public health issue last month when a shocked Cornish dog walker described how she had found 37 filled dog poo bags dumped along her favourite dog walking route.
Why-oh-why are people bagging up their poop and then leaving it behind? This is worse for the environment than simply leaving the poo on the floor. If you’re going to take the trouble to bag it up, why leave it behind?
Speaking to Metro, the walker said it was normal to find two or three bags of poo hanging from trees at eye level, but over Christmas the problem had escalated:
“It’s my pet hate.” She said.
“I often see three or four poo bags left by the side of the path on my walk but I’ve never seen it as bad as that. The number of people and dogs increases 10 times during holiday periods in this area and over the Christmas week at least 10 bags per day were being left by the path, some of them together in a group in the same distinctive red bags.”
If you are one of those people that bags it and leaves it, then we are suggesting an amnesty now. Stop leaving it behind – and don’t leave it on a wall on the way out thinking you’ll pick it up on the way back through as this is often how these bags are left, forgotten until it is too late and left for the next person to find. If you don’t like carrying a bag of poo with you when you walk, take a carrier bag to out the poo bag into so that you aren’t holding it quite as close, then empty it when you get home. If you can’t be a responsible dog owner, then perhaps it is time to rethink whether you should own a dog at all.
Main photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels