Antibiotics in companion animals

Veterinary medicines are important tools for the prevention and treatment of bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic diseases in companion animals. These diseases can have a negative impact on the animal health and welfare of pets.

Some of the known infectious diseases in companion animals can be transmitted to humans through close contact through petting and stroking or, alternatively from the environment (e.g. zoonoses). Examples of common zoonotic diseases in pets are salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis and ringworm infections, as well as emerging zoonoses such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and MRSP (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius).

Appropriate selection and responsible usage of antimicrobial medicines for use in veterinary settings is vital to maintain the efficacy of these treatments in companion animals and to minimise antibiotic resistance that can seriously compromise animal health and welfare and can have negative implications for public health.

Veterinary surgeons play an important role in the prevention and treatment of diseases in companion animals but also in the education of animal owners. Communication with pet owners is essential to raise awareness to potential human health risks and to ensure their active involvement in the prevention of bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases in their pets as well as complying with the prescribed therapy.

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