Antibiotics are regularly prescribed in practice and it is not uncommon for veterinary surgeons to prescribe them without having first documented an infection. As such, antibiotics are not always prescribed appropriately. In contrast to many drugs prescribed, the more frequently antibiotics are used, the less effective they become, due to the selection of resistant bacteria. It is, therefore, important that clinicians understand the implications of the overuse of antibiotics and the principles of optimal prescribing. This article aims to review the concerns regarding antibiotic resistance, the role of antibiotics in the development of resistant bacteria, and to provide guidance on how practitioners can refine their prescribing.
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