Veterinarian Practices: Actions to Combat Resistance

Doctor examining dog with stethoscope in clinic

Veterinarians are leaders and stewards in preserving antibiotics for animals and people. Working with animal owners and producers, you can slow antibiotic resistance by implementing disease prevention strategies and improving the use of antibiotics while also guaranteeing high-quality medical care for your animal patients.

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Prevent Disease

Implement best practicesexternal icon for animal husbandry, vaccination, nutrition, and biosecurity. Educate people who engage with animals on how to prevent disease. Learn how carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) in companion animals can affect your veterinary practice and how to implement infection prevention practices to keep your patients and pet owners healthy.

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Clean Your Hands & Equipment

Wash your hands regularly to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs between animals and people. Disinfect equipment to help prevent spread among animals and between farms.

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Maintain Accurate Records of Treatment & Outcomes

Document and review diagnostic test results and patient response to therapy. Re-evaluate reason for prescribing, dose (amount), and duration (period of time) as needed.

Print Version
Combat Antibiotic Resistance, Protecting Yourself and Your Family

Download a printable fact sheet pdf icon[PDF – 1 page] of this webpage.

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Select & Use Antibiotics Appropriately

Follow regulatory requirements (antibiotic use should involve veterinary oversight per FDA guidance). When available, use current established guidelines and diagnostic tests to assess the need, selection, dose, frequency, and duration of antibiotics.

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Stay Current

Stay up to date on disease prevention tools; consensus and prescribing guidelines; local, state, and federal requirements; and professional standards for antibiotic use.

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Prevent Environmental Contamination

Dispose of unused or expired antibioticsexternal icon appropriately.

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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 (AVMA) established antibiotic use principles to build an antibiotic stewardship plan for your practice settings: