Antibiotic resistance poses a significant threat to global human and animal health and there is considerable evidence in human health that auditing antimicrobial use can be a powerful tool to changing prescribing practices. At BEVA, our Health and Medicines Committee are working on several projects that aim to tackle antimicrobial resistance in equine practice. We chat to Dave Rendle, Chair of the Health and Medicines Committee to get an update on what is happening.
We have made great strides since the PROTECT ME guidelines were introduced in 2012, but multi-resistant bacteria are an increasing problem in equine practice. Affected horses have longer recovery times and their owners are faced with higher costs of treatment. Regrettably some multi-resistant infections simply do not respond to treatment, leading to euthanasia. The problem is relevant to all vets and all horse owners and we must all take responsibility for slowing the development of resistance.
If the highest priority critically important antibiotics are used sparingly then we can preserve their effectiveness for the future. I was really pleased to see some preliminary results from the antimicrobial use in equine practice survey run last year in conjunction with the University of Liverpool. The survey showed that most equine practices have antimicrobial guidelines in place and 50% of respondents use the PROTECT ME toolkit as a primary source of information on the responsible use of antimicrobials. But as we all know there is still a lot for us to work on when it comes to antimicrobial resistance.
That is why in November 2020 we relaunched the PROTECT ME guidelines, revamping all of the resources within the toolkit to provide equine practices with up to date resources that will facilitate antimicrobial stewardship and educate horse owners on the topic.
I would encourage you to all to go and use these updated resources.
- Resources in the toolkit include:
- A policy template
- A no antibiotic prescription form
- A poster to help with client education
- Client leaflets
- Dispensing labels
Access the toolkit here.
As well as the PROTECT ME guidelines we’ve also recently reviewed and updated all of our Client Information Downloads that are available for use when you are prescribing medicines using the cascade. Available to download are information leaflets and medication labels for veterinary surgeons to use to help educate the owner.
Get Yourself up to Speed with Antimicrobial Resistance with BEVA Resources
EVJ Virtual Issue
An online collection of articles from Equine Veterinary Journal.
Antibiotic Online Learning Resources
We have several online learning resources available including two webinars, a quiz and presentations on the rational use of antimicrobial therapy.