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Infections can generally be treated successfully with a single course of antibiotics, which may come in the form of creams or ointments, injections, or tablets, and many infections will even resolve themselves , but there have been increasing numbers of bacteria that are much more difficult to treat because they are able to resist different types of antibiotics. Therefore, when an infection is suspected it is important to identify the risk it poses and, if significant, the nature of the infection and its sensitivity.

Whilst it may be convenient to use the first broad-spectrum antibiotic (one that is effective against a wide range of bacteria) that comes to hand, there is real benefit to giving proper consideration to the specific characteristics of the bacteria involved as well as the health status of the people around a pet. It is recommended that infections are analyzed by a laboratory to ensure that the correct antibiotic is given.

The vast majority of infections affecting companion animals occur after operations, especially orthopedic surgery which can be quite long and require that pins, screws and other materials be left inside the body.


This higher risk is caused by the fact that bacteria find it easier to hide in the tiny gaps that are present between plates and screws.

In the first instance it may be unnecessary, or even impossible, to test the bacteria for sensitivity, but if a first course of antibiotics is not successful then culture and sensitivity become crucial.

Always talk to your vet about when is the best time to culture for suspected infections.

Did you know...

Bacteria move from the environment to people, from person to person, person to animal, or animal to person or environment – this is why cleanliness is important.

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