The discovery of penicillin in 1928 and its large scale use in US military personnel during World War II revolutionized medicine and human animal health worldwide. Since then large pharmaceutical companies have discovered and developed nearly 150 antibiotics drugs.
Now, the overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals has created worldwide growth of “super bugs” or bacteria that are resistant to antibiotic therapy. World health of humans and animals is now threatened by these same “miracle drugs.” Despite the enormity of the problem there are things you can do to protect your dog.
The Scope of Antibiotic Resistance
This year the World Health Organization published a report that surveyed 114 countries’ medical data about bacterial resistance. Here is a summary of the major findings:
50% of bacteria in many countries were resistant to antibiotics commonly used to treat such infectionsLife threatening bacteria like E. coli, Staphylococcus and Klebsiella are now resistant to the last drug of resort20% of countries report E. coli bacteria resistant to the most commonly used drug for treatmentAccelerated use of antibiotics in animals:
“In many countries, the total amount of antibiotics used in animals (both food-producing and companion animals), measured as gross weight, exceeds the quantity used in the treatment of disease in humans.”
The use of the same drugs for human disease also used to treat animal disease, especially food- producing animals, contributes to cross species drug resistanceFood animals share common bacteria with humans and pets so resistant strains can be transferred through food
Present Solutions to Antibiotic Resistance
Presently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have asked pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily withdraw approval of antibiotics used to promote growth and feed efficiency in livestock. 24 companies have agreed. The FDA threatens further regulation against non-compliance.
What You Can Do
1. Ask your veterinarian if and why antibiotics are essential for your dog’s medical treatment
2. Purchase dog foods that use antibiotic-free meat sources
3. Use antibiotic-free meat in your homemade dog food
4. Feed your dog a complete and balanced diet to promote maximum health and reduce illness needing treatment. Include:
a. Antioxidants vitamin C and E for maximum cell health
b. Anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats for optimal immune function
5. Promote a healthy lifestyle for your dog to also reduce illness needing treatment
a. Feed to avoid weight gain and maintain an ideal fit body condition
b. Provide 40-60 minutes of daily, vigorous exercise
Dr. Ken Tudor,
THE DOG DIETITIAN