Thursday 1 May 2014

The Magic Pet Pill-Antibiotics

The Magic Pet Pill-Antibiotics

The magical properties of antibiotics is becoming mundane and is on the wane!  The point is that, at least in the United Kingdom, there has been a tendency for general practitioners to over prescribe antibiotics as a kind of "magic pill" and over the years this has led to drug resistant bugs. Eventually even mundane infections caused by a scratch could prove fatal.

It is time, therefore, in the UK and in other countries of the world to keep an eye on the prescription of antibiotics, perhaps substantially reduce their use and also to look at new ways to prevent infections.

Some senior people in the medical profession in the UK have stated that we are heading for a catastrophe unless changes are made in the use of antibiotics.

This Armageddon-like scenario led me this think about how veterinarians prescribe antibiotics.  It is quite possible that in clinics across the country and in other countries, veterinarians are overprescribing them as a precautionary measure when they're not necessarily appropriate.

Antibiotics don't usually cause harm but they lead to a problem in the future if the bacteria which needs to be treated becomes resistant.

Antibiotics - the first of which was penicillin - treat bacterial, yeast and fungal infections.  The most common of these are bacterial infections.

It is very easy to give a cat an antibiotic injection as a precaution just in case she has a bacterial infection.  She might not. She may have a viral infection. Bacterial infections of the upper respiratory tract usually produce yellow mucus from the nose and the cat will sneeze. The mucous will come out of both nostrils of the nose.  If there is a foreign object in the nose then it will usually be on one side of the nose and mucous will emanate from the nostril on that side. When a cat sneezes because of a foreign object in the nose, the cat will sneeze very loudly and do so several times in rapid succession.  By contrast, a bacterial infection will probably result in a single sneeze, as I understand it.

I suppose, the point I'm making is that, as an example it is possible to fail to differentiate between a foreign object in the nose and an upper respiratory tract infection.

I was quite shocked to read about the way superbugs in people are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Human patients are already suffering in the UK because those affected by superbugs are twice as likely to die as those with non-resistant infections.  Routine operations in hospital can cause infections that may not respond to antibiotics and could therefore prove fatal.  This is a highly serious matter and it is said that it is not being monitored properly in many countries of the world.

This begs the question whether the prescription of antibiotics by veterinarians are being properly monitored.  Do we know?

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