The Horse

SEP 2018

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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42 THE HORSE September 2018 surgery is required, perioperative (around the time of surgery) antibiotics are used carefully, and the duration of treatment will be based on the procedure being performed and the likelihood of bacterial contamination. In general, veterinarians are trying to restrict the use of antibiot- ics to those cases that have a bacterial component that requires drug treatment for resolution." 3 Get—and follow—your veterinarian's advice regarding proper antibiotic protocol. Always consult your veterinarian for the correct type, dose, and duration of prescribed treatment for any horse's par- ticular condition. Veterinarians receive intensive training in the mechanism and efficacy of indi- vidual antibiotics, dosage regimens, drug interactions, and side effects. Therefore, they're most qualified to prescribe a protocol that minimizes the risk of AMR by treating the infection effectively and efficiently. Many of us have been guilty of abusing antibiotics at one time or another, either in treating our horses, ourselves, or fam- ily members. Vaala provides a short list of "never-dos" that can guide you in proper and effective antibiotic use: 1. Never use one horse's antibiotic on an- other horse. The mechanism or dosage might be inappropriate or the horse's condition inaccurately assumed. 2. Never stop giving the antibiotic before the prescribed end of treatment. It takes a certain amount of time for the targeted bacteria to succumb to the an- tibiotic so, if you stop treatment early, you're letting those bacteria live—and multiply. 3. Never skip doses. Antibiotics need to maintain a constant level in the horse's body, and skipping a dose can allow so-called superbugs to develop and proliferate. 4. Never stray from FDA-approved anti- biotics. Don't use illegally compounded formulations of antibiotics. 5. Never hesitate to have your horse re- examined if his condition isn't improv- ing with a prescribed antibiotic. 6. Never keep outdated antibiotics for later use. They lose effectiveness over time and, again, a horse's condition could be inaccurately assumed. Take-Home Message Antimicrobial resistance develops when antibiotics are used improperly. Because a finite number of these drugs exist, we all must do our part to ensure they remain effective into the future, for both our horses' sake and our own. h Smart Antibiotic Use In general, veterinarians are trying to restrict the use of antibiotics to those cases that have a bacte- rial component that requires drug treatment for resolution." DR. WENDY VAALA

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