Antimicrobial Usage in Dogs and Cats in First Opinion Veterinary Practices in the UK

J Small Anim Pract. 2011 Oct;52(10):515-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2011.01098.x. Epub 2011 Aug 8.


Objectives: To provide baseline data on patterns of antimicrobial usage in dogs and cats through the analysis of data stored in electronic practice management systems.

Methods: Clinical data from 11 first opinion veterinary practices were extracted for the year 2007. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed to assess the usage of antimicrobials.

Results: Widespread usage of systemic broad-spectrum antimicrobials was observed. Antimicrobials most frequently used in both species were potentiated amoxicillin (44·4% and 46.1% in cats and dogs, respectively) and amoxicillin (14·3% and 20·7%). Cephalexin (13·4%) and cefovecin (15·0%) were also commonly used in dogs and cats, respectively. Systemic critically important antimicrobials in human medicine were widely used in dogs (60·5%) and cats (82·7%). Topical antimicrobials used in both species included fusidic acid (48·4% and 54·8%), framycetin (20·4% and 13·4%), polymyxin B (12·6% and 9·3%) and neomycin (6·5% and 6·6%).

Clinical significance: Inappropriate usage of broad-spectrum antimicrobials may contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance and loss of efficacy of antimicrobials in veterinary settings. Data recorded in practice management systems were demonstrated to be a practical source for monitoring antimicrobial usage in pets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Infections / veterinary*
  • Cat Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cat Diseases / microbiology
  • Cats
  • Data Collection
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dog Diseases / microbiology
  • Dogs
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • United Kingdom


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents