Bayer Animal Health has launched a “back to basics” guide on the use of antibiotics in veterinary practice.

The guide – which focuses on the specific concerns of vets and vet students – was launched following the completion of a survey by 465 practising vets and 40 vet students in their clinical years.

According to the company, 61% of vets said they prescribe an antibiotic product every day they see patients. Despite this, 52%, as well as 64% of vet students, are unable to confidently name, unprompted, just one specific drug licensed for use in cats and dogs from each of the major classes of antibiotics.

Furthermore, 63% of vets said they would like to better understand how antibiotics work and when to prescribe them. Half of all those surveyed wanted to feel more confident in using a wider range of antibiotics appropriately in their patients.

On antibiotic resistance, 81% of vets said it concerned them, while 87% stated they felt a responsibility to do what they can to help reduce it. However, only 42% of vets said resistance is something they frequently factor into their clinical decisions, and only 14% would feel confident discussing with a peer how likely it is a specific antibiotic will contribute to resistance.

The survey statistics also revealed the appropriate use of fluoroquinolones, specifically in practice, can be unclear among vets. Despite there being clear indications for the use of a fluoroquinolone in some clinical cases, 27% of vets admitted they struggle to know which antibiotic is the most appropriate for a specific condition.

Aiming to combat these gaps in knowledge, the guide presents each of the major classes of veterinary antibiotic in an easy to follow format, detailing how they work. The leaflet also includes an antibiotics jargon buster to help users better understand the commonly used measures of antibiotic activity.

Bayer has also developed an online self-assessment quiz where vets and students can check their knowledge.

To take the quiz, download the guide or for more information, visit Bayer’s Veraflox website.

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