Treating Disease

After diagnosing the issue and preventing the spread of infection through your animals, there may be different treatment options available, such as anti-inflammatory pain relief. Antibiotics should only be used when strictly necessary and as little as possible. Knowing the weights of animals to be treated, following the correct dosing regime, and reporting poor treatment outcomes to veterinarians are key principles to responsibly using antibiotics. Consult a veterinarian to ensure antibiotic treatments are only used when required and visit our section on targeted use of antibiotics.

Alternative Treatments

Alternatives to antibiotics include any substance that can be substituted for antibiotic therapeutic drugs. This is an emerging field, with promising novel technologies that could provide alternatives to antibiotic use under development in the areas of:

  • Phytochemicals
  • Innovative drugs, chemicals and enzymes
  • Immunoglobulins and host defence peptides
  • Microbial-derived products

Targeted Use of Antibiotics

Some antibiotics are crucial in the treatment for certain human and/or animal diseases. Misuse of these antibiotics contributes to therapy failure in humans and animals. Guidelines to help veterinarians to make prudent choices are available, but basic principles to consider are:

  • Dosage: a correct dose and therapy duration are crucial in avoiding resistance selection and spread.
  • Group administration vs individual administration: group administration causes a higher selection pressure compared to individual treatments.
  • Administration route: feed medication and water medication are more likely to cause resistance selection and spread than injections. There are different reasons for this, e.g. dosage is less precise, there is a risk of cross-contamination with the environment etc.

506 Ref²Avi by ITAVI (Farm Innovation)

Best Practice Guide: Prudent use of Antibiotics

302 – Quantifying the beliefs of key players in the UK sheep industry on the efficacy of two treatments for footrot (Research paper – Winter – 2018)

301 – Footrot and interdigital dermatitis in sheep_ farmer satisfaction with current management their ideal management and sources used to adopt new strategies (Research paper – Wassink – 2010)

292 – How Does Reviewing the Evidence Change Veterinary Surgeons Beliefs Regarding the Treatment of Ovine Footrot – A Quantitative and Qualitative Study (Research paper – Higgins – 2013)

291 – Looking after the individual to reduce disease in the flock – A binomial mixed effects model investigating the impact of individual sheep management (Research paper – Green – 2007)

276 – Interrelationships between the content of oxidative markers antioxidative status and somatic cell count in cows milk (Research paper – Andrei – 2016)

264 – Obstacles and incentives for broiler farmers to set up preventive measures against the avian colibacillosis (Research paper – Gery-Choquet – 2019)

185 Quantitative and qualitative antimicrobial usage patterns infarrow-to-finish pig herds in Belgium France Germany and Sweden (Research paper – Sjolund, 2016)

180 Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 30 European countries in 2016. Trends from 2010 to 2016 8th ESVAC report by European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimic (Industry Innovation)

Effective water vaccination: the importance of water quality

97 Selective Dry Cow by Eurodairy (Farm Innovation)

Aim for zero antibiotics by 3 step approach

91 Cola and vaccination by Dutch vet (Industry Innovation)

2 Vetorapid by Innovativefarmers (Farm Innovation)

Antibiotic use monitoring and benchmarking

Guidelines for antimicrobial resistance from the dairy sector

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 817591