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Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance in Companion Animal Medicine


Dogs and cats

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has long been recognized as a significant global health concern within human medicine. However, its impact on companion animal health cannot be overlooked. Despite being an issue that primarily concerns production animal health, AMR has far-reaching implications in companion animal medicine. It is crucial for companion animal practitioners to prioritize AMR awareness and take proactive measures to tackle this problem effectively.

The Role of Guidelines in AMR Management The International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases (ISCAID) and other veterinary experts have developed antimicrobial use guidelines to address the issue of AMR in companion animals. These guidelines aim to provide veterinary professionals with recommendations on the judicious use of antimicrobials. However, it is disheartening to note that a significant number of companion animal practitioners remain unaware of the existence of these guidelines.

Understanding the Current Scenario To shed light on the current usage patterns and identify opportunities for improvement, the American Veterinary Medical Association gathered data from over 900 companion animal practice hospitals across the United States. Banfield's extensive database played a crucial role in this analysis. By examining prescription patterns, it became evident that there is room for improvement in the way antimicrobials are prescribed and used in companion animal medicine.

Promoting Responsible Antimicrobial Use Antimicrobial drugs play a vital role in combating infectious diseases in companion animals. However, their continued utilization necessitates responsible and judicious use to minimize the impact of companion animal usage on the global AMR crisis. Companion animal practitioners must take the lead in promoting responsible antimicrobial use by aligning their practices with published guidelines, such as those provided by ISCAID.

The Role of the VET Report The VET Report serves as a catalyst for the ongoing conversation on AMR in companion animal medicine. By highlighting the lack of awareness regarding existing guidelines and presenting opportunities for improvement in antimicrobial prescription patterns, the report aims to instigate discussion among companion animal practitioners. Through collaboration and knowledge sharing, the veterinary community can work towards achieving better alignment with established guidelines and enhancing the responsible use of antimicrobials.


How Does QSM Diagnostics address this? QSM Diagnostics mail-in urine kits can play a significant role in addressing the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in veterinary practices.

Here's how:

  1. Accurate Diagnosis: The QSM Diagnostics mail-in urine kit provides a convenient and reliable method for diagnosing urinary tract infections (UTIs) in companion animals. By accurately identifying the specific pathogens causing the infection, veterinarians can prescribe targeted antimicrobial treatments instead of resorting to broad-spectrum antibiotics. This approach helps minimize unnecessary antibiotic use, reducing the risk of developing AMR.

  2. Treatment Optimization: The urinalysis kits offered by QSM Diagnostics not only identify the pathogens but also provide information about their susceptibility to various antibiotics. This data enables veterinarians to tailor their treatment plans and choose the most effective antimicrobial agents. By using antibiotics that are specifically effective against the identified pathogens, the risk of resistance development can be reduced.

  3. Timely Intervention: Early detection of UTIs through mail-in urinalysis kits allows for prompt intervention and treatment. By identifying infections at an early stage, veterinarians can start appropriate antimicrobial therapy sooner. This approach helps prevent the progression of infections, reducing the likelihood of severe infections that may require stronger antibiotics and longer treatment durations.

  4. Client Education: QSM Diagnostics' mail-in urinalysis kits empower pet owners to take an active role in their pet's healthcare. The kits are designed to be user-friendly, enabling clients to collect urine samples at home and mail them to the laboratory for analysis. The results and subsequent treatment recommendations can then be communicated to the clients by their veterinarians. This process promotes client education and awareness about the importance of proper diagnosis, targeted treatment, and responsible use of antibiotics in companion animals.

  5. Data Collection and Surveillance: The widespread use of QSM Diagnostics mail-in urinalysis kits can contribute to data collection and surveillance efforts. By analyzing the collected data, trends in antimicrobial resistance patterns and emerging resistance can be identified. This information is invaluable in monitoring AMR trends and adapting treatment protocols accordingly.

Overall, mail-in urine kits from QSM Diagnostics offer a comprehensive solution that combines accurate diagnosis, optimized treatment plans, early intervention, client education, and data collection. By implementing these kits in veterinary practices, veterinarians can make informed decisions, minimize unnecessary antibiotic use, and contribute to the global efforts in combating antimicrobial resistance in companion animals.


Reference:

Trevejo, DVM, MVPM, PhD, DACVPM, Rosalie, et al. “Are We Doing Our Part to Prevent Superbugs? Antimicrobial Usage Patterns among Companion Animal Veterinarians.” Jan. 2017.

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