The Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines in companion animals are designed to aid practicing veterinarians in choosing appropriate antimicrobial therapy to best serve their patients and minimize the development of antimicrobial resistance and other adverse effects. The Guidelines presented below were developed by an expert task force and provide a recommended framework for judicious antimicrobial use in companion animals.

Antimicrobial stewardship, as defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), refers to the actions veterinarians take individually and as a profession to preserve the effectiveness and availability of antimicrobial drugs through conscientious oversight and responsible medical decision-making, while safeguarding animal, public, and environmental health. Stewardship involves:

  • Preventing common diseases through preventive and management strategies.

  • Using evidence-based approaches to make decisions about antimicrobial drugs.

  • Using antimicrobial drugs judiciously and sparingly while evaluating therapeutic outcomes.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) endorse this definition and...

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