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Antimicrobial prescribing patterns in UK equine practice

L. A. Hughes, G. Pinchbeck, R. Callaby, S. Dawson, P. Clegg, N. Williams

JUDICIOUS use of antimicrobials is advocated by UK veterinary bodies. This study aimed to characterise the antimicrobial prescribing practices in UK equine practices.

A scenario-based questionnaire was sent to 740 veterinary surgeons in practices that treat horses, and had a useable response rate of 34 per cent. From the information gathered, it was found that less than 1 per cent of these practices had guidelines for antimicrobial use; 11 per cent of prescriptions were for antimicrobials not licensed for use in horses and 5 per cent of prescriptions were under the recommended dose rate.

Clinicians in this study most commonly used the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) Compendium of Data Sheets for Animal Medicines as a source of information regarding antimicrobials and their use (82.5 per cent), followed by continuing professional development courses (77.3 per cent). The authors note that, while the compendium is a good source of information, such compendia do not provide guidance to prevent potential overuse of broadspectrum antimicrobials.

Antimicrobials could be prescribed at an inappropriate dose, even when practitioners …

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