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Monitoring and Recording
Reviewing the level of antimicrobials is an important step to gaining an understanding of how many antimicrobials are used on your farm. If the level of antimicrobials used is not known, there is no way to ensure that changes that are being made are truly having an impact on the antimicrobials being used. Key things that could be recorded include:
Reason for therapy
- Knowing what the antimicrobials are being used for, such as diarrhea or pneumonia, can help identify areas that require changes. Some changes could include management practices, vaccination strategies and treatments provided to prevent diseases from occurring
Date of therapy
- Recording when the animals are treated can determine specific periods of time where high levels of antimicrobials are being used. Again, this information could be used to identify areas of improvement to reduce the levels of antimicrobials used
- Recording the type of drug will allow for the determination of the category of antimicrobials that are being used. Records can also be evaluated to ensure that the appropriate drugs are being used to treat diseases
Response to therapy
- Recording whether the animals were re-treated, died, or was culled can aid in refining treatment protocols. This information could help in determining whether:
- Treatment protocols need to be re-evaluated to improve treatment success
- Animals with disease need to be identified earlier
No matter how the above information is recorded, it needs to be in an easy-to-use format that is accessible when required, and can be sorted to evaluate the different components listed above.
Depending on your operation, you and your veterinarian can sit down to discuss how to set up a program for review. It is important to consider the timing and frequency of the review. Work with your veterinarian to develop the best strategy for review of records, treatment protocols, and antimicrobial choices.