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.
© 2011 Royal Veterinary College.