An antimicrobial is a drug that kills or delays the growth of pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.).
Antibiotics are one of the types of antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when the drug no longer acts against an error (or pathogen) that was previously susceptible to it. Worms have learned to adapt and avoid drugs over time, and they share immune tricks with other insects.
Surprisingly, it's been over 20 years since the last antibiotic was developed, so it's no wonder that mistakes have created our offense!
Resistant errors do not only affect people, but also all animals, including our animals. It is extremely important that we protect the effectiveness of antimicrobials for both humans and animals. Did you know that about 80% of all antimicrobials are the same for humans and animals, and the three most common types of antibiotics used in our animals are also very important in humans? This means that they are the preferred choice of antibiotics for serious human diseases.
During the 68th World Health Organization World Health Organization, member states have adopted a global action plan on antimicrobial resistance, which means that we have all agreed to cooperate to address this global threat in both human health and animal health.
What does AMR mean to you and your pet? When your pet is sick, your vet will decide if antimicrobial is required. Vets use laboratory experience, education and tests to determine what error most likely causes a specific disease. Based on their judgment, knowledge of the properties of the drug and experience in treatment, they can prescribe specific medications.
AMR is changing the success of this approach because some pathogens have adapted to drug resistance that was effective against them. This means that today's veterinarian must be up-to-date with new data and research that analyzes patterns of resistance to specific errors. It is more common for a veterinarian to take a swab or sample from an animal and send it to the laboratory to identify and test for resistance to increase the chance of choosing the best treatment for your pet and avoiding the abuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobials. There will also be cases where antimicrobial therapy is not needed and other alternative treatments are sufficient.
Healthy animals, like humans, can better fight potential diseases. A healthy lifestyle for animals includes regular exercise and good nutrition, regular veterinary examinations, vaccinations and prevention of parasites and a lot of kindness.
If your pet needs treatment, give the animal its antibiotics exactly as prescribed by the veterinarian, which includes curing the medicine, even if the animal feels better. This will help prevent the development of resistant errors – which is important for all of us!
Dr Carolyn Sanford is the Main Provincial Veterinary Officer for P.E.I. The goal of P.E.I. The Companion Animal Welfare Initiative (CAWI) aims to improve the welfare of owned and unfinished companion animals on P.E.I. Animal Talk appears twice in The Guardian. Members are P.E.I. Cat Action Team, P.E.I. Veterinary Medical Association, P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Center at AVC, SpayAid P.E.I. and P.E.I. Human society. For more information, click here. Readers can send questions about the welfare of owned and unaccompanied animals [email protected].
Like your own doctor, the vet must make a responsible choice when treating your pets.
Combating antimicrobial resistance will require a joint effort for the health of people and animals.
For more information, click here.