Antibiotic Prescribing Behaviors within AniCura, a European Group of Animal Hospitals and Clinics - How Do We Use Diagnostic Tools?
When antimicrobial resistant bacteria are dramatically increasing in numbers and are spreading between humans and animals, everyone has to do their share. Veterinarians have to use antibiotics wisely. Diagnostic tools like cytology and/or bacteriology guide veterinarians in choosing the correct substance. However data on antibiotic prescribing behavior are limited.
To be able to change our prescribing behavior we have to monitor how we use antibiotics. Therefore, a survey on antibiotic use versus indication for treatment including use of diagnostic tools was performed as part of AniCura’s quality program focusing on patient safety.
Systemic antibiotic use in dogs was measured during 24 hours including hospitalized patients; type of substance together with indication, duration, diagnostic tool and total number of dogs on that day.
In total, 58 AniCura clinics from six countries participated, 273 of 1902 dogs received antibiotics during that day. The incidence of antibiotic use varied among hospitals and countries from 0 dogs treated to 38%.
Surgical prophylaxis was the most common indication for dogs receiving antibiotics (21%) followed by wound infection, gastro-intestinal disorder, skin infection and urinary tract infection. When excluding the cases of surgical prophylaxis, a majority of the dogs were treated empirically and 17% of the patients the veterinarian had a result from cytology or bacteriology to guide the substance choice.
Diagnostic tools are scarcely used when veterinarians prescribe antibiotics to dogs which is a pronounced concern in the work on wiser use of antibiotics. Best practices in antibiotic treatment have to involve bacteriology and/or cytology.