Veterinarians: Protect Your Patients
Veterinarians are leaders and stewards in preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics for animals and people. Working with animal owners and producers, veterinarians can slow antibiotic resistance by implementing disease prevention strategies and improving the use of antibiotics while also guaranteeing high-quality medical care for animal patients.
Implement best practices for animal husbandry, vaccination, nutrition, and biosecurity. Educate people who engage with animals on how to prevent disease.
Clean Your Hands & Equipment
Wash your hands regularly to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent spread of germs between animals and people. Disinfect equipment to help prevent spread among animals and between farms.
Maintain Accurate Records of Treatment & Outcomes
Document and review diagnostic test results and patient response to therapy. Re-evaluate reason for prescribing, dose, and duration as needed.
Select & Use Antibiotics Appropriately
Follow regulatory requirements (antibiotic use should involve veterinary oversight per U.S. guidance). Use current established guidelines and diagnostic tests to assess the need, selection, dose, frequency, and duration of antibiotics.
Stay up-to-date on disease prevention tools; consensus and prescribing guidelines; local, state, and federal requirements; and professional standards for antibiotic use.
Prevent Environmental Contamination
Dispose of unused or expired antibiotics appropriately.
Commit to Antibiotic Stewardship
Implement practice-level stewardship activities, including documenting antibiotic use data, examining use practices, and serving as an educational resource for clients. Engage veterinary diagnostic labs to provide antibiograms to help determine which antibiotics will effectively treat infections. Become familiar with and use the American Veterinary Medical Association established antibiotic use principles to build an antibiotic stewardship plan for your practice settings.
- CDC Pets and Antibiotic Resistance
- AVMA Information regarding antimicrobial use in veterinary practice and guidance by speciesexternal icon
- AVMA Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobialsexternal icon
- AVMA Antimicrobial Stewardship Definition and Core Principlesexternal icon
- USDA Animal Disease Informationexternal icon