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Antimicrobial prescribing in small animal practice

L. A. Hughes, N. Williams, P. Clegg, R. Callaby, T. Nuttall, K. Coyne, G. Pinchbeck, S. Dawson

INCREASED prevalence of antimicrobial resistance has resulted in both human and veterinary use of antimicrobials coming under increased scrutiny. This study aimed to characterise antimicrobial prescribing patterns in small animal veterinary practices in the UK by using a cross-sectional survey. A postal questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 900 UK clinicians. Data were collected on the clinicians, the practices and the sources of information they used regarding antimicrobials and their use. Respondents were also given four clinical scenarios and asked if they would prescribe antimicrobials and to give details of their prescription.

Questionnaires were completed by 51 per cent of the clinicians. Only 3.5 per cent reported that their practice had a policy on antimicrobial use. The most commonly prescribed antimicrobials in three of the clinical scenarios were penicillins. First-generation cephalosporins were most commonly prescribed in a scenario about canine pyoderma and, in another scenario, fluoroquinolones and third-generation cephalosporins accounted for 10 and 13 per cent of prescriptions respectively. Five per cent of all prescriptions were under the recommended dose and 20 per cent were over the recommended dose, and …

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