Veterinary Record 172:156-160 doi:10.1136/vr.101070
  • Research

Suggested guidelines for using systemic antimicrobials in bacterial skin infections: part 2— antimicrobial choice, treatment regimens and compliance

Open Access
  1. M. Vroom, DVM, DipECVD6
  1. 1Cabinet Vétérinaire, Spa, Belgium
  2. 2Clinique Vétérinaire Saint-Bernard, Lomme, France
  3. 3Centro de Dermatología Veterinaria Adervet, Madrid, Spain
  4. 4Servizi Dermatologici Veterinari, Peveragno, CN, Italy
  5. 5The University of Liverpool, School of Veterinary Science, Leahurst Campus, Neston, UK
  6. 6Veterinaire Specialisten, Oisterwijk, The Netherlands
  1. E-mail for correspondence: timn{at}


Systemic antimicrobials are critically important in veterinary healthcare, and resistance is a major concern. Antimicrobial stewardship will be important in maintaining clinical efficacy by reducing the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance. Bacterial skin infections are one of the most common reasons for using systemic antimicrobials in dogs and cats. Appropriate management of these infections is, therefore, crucial in any policy for responsible antimicrobial use. The goals of therapy are to confirm that an infection is present, identify the causative bacteria, select the most appropriate antimicrobial, ensure that the infection is treated correctly, and to identify and manage any underlying conditions. This is the second of two articles that provide evidence-led guidelines to help practitioners address these issues. Part 1 discussed the use of clinical signs, cytology and culture in diagnosis. This article will cover the rationale for topical and systemic antimicrobial therapy, including choice of first-, second- and third-line drugs, the dose, duration of therapy, compliance and identification of underlying predisposing conditions. In addition, there is guidance on cases of therapeutic failure and environmental hygiene. These guidelines will help veterinarians avoid the development and propagation of antimicrobial-resistant bacterial strains.

  • Accepted December 5, 2012.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

Open Access

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