Small animal advances

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Analyses of Antimicrobial Use and Prescription Patterns in a Companion Animal Practice in Accra, Ghana, from 2015 to 2021

Paa Kobina Turkson*

School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana



Introduction:The overuse, misuse, or abuse of antimicrobials in pets has the potential to result in antimicrobial resistancein pathogens of animal origin. There is a need for prudent use of antimicrobials to prevent this issue. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the trend of antimicrobial use in small animals at a veterinary practice in Accra, Ghana, over the period of 2015 to 2021.Materialsandmethods:Clinical records of 4324 animal patients presented to a veterinary hospitalin Ghanathat were given antimicrobials from September 2015 to December 2021 were analyzed for frequencies, proportions, and statistical differences. The gender of animals involved in this study were 53.1% males, 43.4% females,and 3.4% did not have the sex stated. The perceptions of antimicrobials by veterinarians and prescription patterns (to understand the basis for the prescription patterns) were considered in this study. Results:Antimicrobial useincreased significantly from 56% in the first period (September 2015 to December 2017) to 75% in 2020, dropping to 59% in 2021. The prescription diversity was calculated to be 0.82. The most common indicator for antimicrobial usewas a complex of symptoms and signs of anorexia-vomiting-diarrhea (27%). The number of antimicrobials prescribed per visit ranged from 1 to 5. The penicillin type (34%), tetracyclines (26.4%), sulphonamides (18.9%), and nitroimidazoles (10.6%) werethe most used antimicrobial group. The routes and dosages administered were recorded in 70.3% and 92% of cases, respectively. The intramuscular route (54.5%) was the most preferred administration methodby the clinicians. Notably, 95%of the veterinarians were neither aware of nor used any prescription guidance protocol in the small animal veterinary facility.Conclusion:Antimicrobials were used in high proportions in pets (mainly dogs) from 2015 to 2021. Penicillin, tetracyclines, and sulphonamides were more commonly used. Detailed information on antimicrobial prescriptions and use in a small animal veterinary practice setting in Ghana could provide valuable data for providing guidelines in antibacterial usage.

1. Introduction

Antimicrobials are used in veterinary medicine for the prevention, control, and treatment of diseases mainly of bacterial origin in animals, to manage secondary bacterial infections, and to serve as vital tools in the maintenance of health, well-being, and productivity of animals1-3. Good antimicrobial stewardship requires the judicious use of antimicrobial agents to prevent and control the development of antimicrobial resistance in microorganisms affecting humans, animals, and the environment. The options for effective antimicrobials to control emerging, difficult-to-treat and multidrug-resistant bacteria are dwindling, making good and proper antibiotic stewardship a necessity to help preserve the efficacy of available antimicrobials4. The information gathered from studies that identify the most frequently used antibiotics, patterns,and reasons for use could provide targets for developing guidelines for prudent antibiotic use in veterinary practices and assist in policy formulation processes for informed decisions to promote antimicrobial stewardship5.

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