Article Text

Survey on antimicrobial prescribing patterns in small animal veterinary practice in Emilia Romagna, Italy
  1. A. Barbarossa, DVM PhD1,
  2. J. Rambaldi, DVM1,
  3. V. Miraglia, DVM2,
  4. M. Giunti, DVM1,
  5. G. Diegoli, DVM2 and
  6. A. Zaghini, MSC1
  1. 1Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna – Alma Mater Studiorum, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064 Ozzano dell'Emilia, BO, Italy
  2. 2Servizio Prevenzione Collettiva e Sanità Pubblica, Regione Emilia Romagna, Viale Aldo Moro 21, Bologna 40127, Italy
  1. E-mail address for correspondence: andrea.barbarossa{at}


This investigation provides for the first time a general view of the prescribing patterns of antimicrobials in small animal practice in Emilia Romagna, Italy. In the context of a project on antimicrobial resistance managed by the Regional Veterinary Service, veterinary clinicians were invited to voluntarily complete an online questionnaire. This was designed to gather information on antimicrobial prescribing practices and biosecurity measures and to understand the perception of the issue specific to this region of Italy. In total, 266 questionnaires correctly completed were collected. Although clinicians seemed to follow different approaches when using antimicrobials, the data analysis revealed a general awareness on resistance. Penicillins were the most commonly prescribed class, followed by (fluoro)quinolones and cephalosporins. Among those who use laboratory testing more or less frequently (microbiological analysis and susceptibility testing) to support their prescribing habits, only 7 per cent make a habit of always waiting for the results before starting the treatment. Seventy-eight per cent of the respondents declared the use of antimicrobials licensed for human beings. Biosecurity measures were carefully taken into account by the majority of the veterinarians. The results identified the antimicrobial classes that are commonly prescribed and highlighted that perioperative hygiene measures and the use of laboratory diagnosis are critical aspects that need to be emphasised in drawing up guidelines on the prudent use of these drugs in pets.

  • antimicrobial resistance
  • prescribing patterns
  • prudent use
  • small animal veterinary

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