The Small Animal Veterinary Association of Nigeria (SAVAN), has cautioned against the administration of antibiotics on pet animals unless recommended by a veterinary healthcare provider.
Dr Kunle Abiade, the president of SAVAN, gave this warning in a statement on Friday to mark the World Antibiotic Awareness Week.
Abiade said antibiotic resistance had become an increasing challenge among animals and the human population recently.
“The reason being that we have all contributed to resistance through the abuse of antibiotics in one way or the other,’’ he said.
According to the president of SAVAN, antibiotics are drugs produced to treat specific bacterial infections only and not other unrelated ailments.
He said resistance occurs when such drugs are no longer able to perform this role because the bacteria had circumvented the effectiveness of the antibiotics through genetic mutation leading to resistance.
“In our pet animals, the scourge is real, antibiotics are no longer effective in managing even the simple bacterial infections being encountered,’’ Abiade said.
“As a result of this, the association advises pet owners not to use antibiotics below the days recommended by their veterinary clinicians.
SAVAN also said antibiotics should not be used as a prophylactic drug and should not be used as “all-purpose drug’’ for every ailment in pets.
The veterinarians also advocate that pet owners should stop patronising quacks, who are not professionally trained to manage their pets.
“There should be concerted efforts between pet owners and their caregiving veterinarians, to curtail further abuse of antibiotics and to give the future generations a safer and more sustainable environment,’’ he said.