Saving the antibiotic arsenal

 
By Connie Orcutt • Published: January 1st, 2016
Category: Animal Airwaves
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Antibiotics have saved many lives, but they’re not magic bullets for all illnesses that affect our pets. In fact, inappropriate antibiotic use can cause much more harm than good.

Remember that antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, not the viral infections that can also make our pets sick. When you give an antibiotic that’s not medically necessary, bacteria use that drug exposure to hone their defenses and develop antibiotic resistance. That resistance can then spread among animals and on to people.

Some antibiotics also have side effects, so don’t give them to pets without a veterinarian’s blessing. If an antibiotic is called for, give it consistently and completely — and that means finishing the entire course prescribed.

Responsible antibiotic use will keep these weapons strong for when they’re really needed.