Will Vets Still be Able to Use Antibiotics to Treat Your Pet?


In order to help preserve the effectiveness of certain antibiotics, cephalosporins, the FDA had to make a decision regarding their use in livestock.  Cephalosporins are antibiotics used to treat so many things in dogs and cats, such as kennel cough and bites from snakes for example, and are also the least expensive antibiotic treatment you can get at your vets office.  After careful consideration, the FDA ruled yesterday that their use is to be limited in livestock, meanwhile preserving their use for cats and dogs when treatment is necessary.

Since these antibiotics are no longer able to be used in livestock, their effectiveness at treating ailments in your pets should remain intact.  The problem is that with widespread use, the drug starts to lose its effectiveness, creating a drug resistant strain of the bacteria the antibiotic is supposed to treat.

What does this mean for your pet?  It means that your veterinarian will still be able be to use antibiotics such as Cephalaxin, Simplecef, or Convenia, which are all cephalosporins.  It means that your veterinarian will still be able to treat your pet effectively with the least expensive antibiotic.

The reason behind the FDA having to make this kind of a decision is the increase in the use of these drugs intended for humans and pets.  Farmers and livestock veterinarians are using cephalosporins to prevent disease in livestock, the problem being that overuse might promote the development of drug-resistant bacteria that can infect people.

The FDA said it was taking action to “preserve the effectiveness of cephalosporin drugs for treating disease in humans.”  The agency also noted that preventing overuse of the antibiotics is intended to slow microbes’ development of resistance to the drugs.  “If cephalosporins are not effective in treating these diseases, doctors may have to use drugs that are not as effective or that have greater side effects,” it added.

Overall what you can expect going forward is that your dogs and cats will still be able to be treated with the least expensive and most effective form of antibiotics.