AVMA releases canine, feline antimicrobial use guidelines

AVMA releases canine, feline antimicrobial use guidelines

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Mar 01, 2002
By dvm360.com staff

Schaumburg, Ill.-Adding to its swine, bovine and equine recommendations, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) puts forth judicious use of antimicrobial guidelines for cats and dogs.

The guidelines are designed to provide information to aid veterinarians in choosing appropriate antibiotic therapies while minimizing the development of antimicrobial resistance and protecting the public.

Although real concerns regarding antimicrobial resistance usually regard food animals and the transfer of resistance to humans, Dr. Lyle Vogel, AVMA director of scientific activities, notes that there is a possibility of resistance transfer by direct human-to-animal contact.

"The main point with these documents is that they encourage veterinarians and owners to stop and consider if antibiotics are really necessary," he says. "I'm sure there is a lot of antimicrobial use going on that's based on pure judgment rather than scientific testing."

Guideline suggestions

Established in cooperation with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the guidelines recommend practitioners emphasize to clients strategies on illness prevention, always use science to determine antimicrobial needs, consider therapeutic alternatives and employ a narrow spectrum of antimicrobial whenever possible.

Vogel says that while some of the information is common knowledge, the guidelines serve as a reminder for DVMs.

"It doesn't hurt to remind veterinarians to use appropriate considerations when treating patients with the aim of controlling possible antibiotic resistance," he says. "It just makes sense."

The guidelines can be viewed online at www.avma.org.