European Antibiotic Awareness Day is an initiative of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. This year it falls on November 18. The aim of the Day is to provide an annual opportunity for raising awareness about the threat to public health of antibiotic resistance and how to use antibiotics responsibly.
Responsible use of antibiotics can help stop resistant bacteria from developing and help keep antibiotics effective for the use of future generations. Successful national public awareness campaigns are already resulting in more rational use of antibiotics and a reduction in levels of antibiotic resistance in Europe.
Responsible use of antibiotics includes use in people and in animals. Here are some of the things you can do to help with regard to antibiotic use in your pets:
- Only give your pet antibiotics if directed to do so by your veterinarian.
- Make sure your pet gets the full dose of medication at the correct time(s) of day. If you are having problems getting your pet to swallow pills or take medication, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian may be able to give you advice on some "tricks" for getting your pet to take the medication, or sometimes the medication can be provided in a different form (e.g. a liquid instead of a pill).
- Always ensure your pet finishes the entire prescription. There should be no leftover pills or medication. Do not stop giving your pet the antibiotics just because it looks/acts like its feeling better. This is a common mistake that can have disasterous consequences! You should NEVER "save a few pills for the next time."
- Never give your pet antibiotics that were prescribed for you or any other person, whether they are expired or not.