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Antimicrobial prescribing in small animal practice

A. L. P. Mateus, D. C. Brodbelt, N. Barber, K. D. C. Stärk

THERE is increasing concern over the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria that infect animals and people. This study aimed to identify factors that influence the decision-making process of small animal veterinarians who prescribe antimicrobials.

Seven small animal practices in England and Scotland were included in the study. Between one and six veterinarians per practice were selected to take part in face-to-face interviews which included four hypothetical case scenarios in which the interviewees were asked to decide whether they would prescribe antimicrobials.

A total of 21 veterinarians took part in the study. Most were male (71 per cent) and British (81 per cent). Seven interviewees said they would consider prescribing antimicrobials in a case of non-infectious gastritis if it was in an elderly animal (that is, with a compromised immune system), or if the owners were ‘particularly worried’. The most commonly chosen antimicrobials were amoxicillin and potentiated amoxicillin. Nine of the 21 interviewees believed that feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) was of infectious origin and stated that they would prescribe antimicrobials for it, while the remaining interviewees were aware that FLUTD was non-infectious and …

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