You & Your Veterinarian

Animal Owner
FAASTsheet 02 /

Managing the health and well-being of your animals is a team effort, and starts with you and your veterinarian.

Animal Health & Veterinary Medicine

Your role: As an animal owner, you play a critical role in animal health. Your daily routines, feeding, housing, and handling play a role in the health and well-being of your animals. Your knowledge of your animals, practices, team, and facilities enable you to be an effective manager.

Your veterinarian’s role: Veterinarians are experts in animal health and are uniquely positioned to be leaders and coaches for managing animal health. They are trained in science and medicine, and are held accountable by a professional regulatory body. It is their duty to promote and protect animal, public, and environmental health.

Good communication with your animal health team members is crucial to effective prevention and control of health issues, and management of your animals during times of illness.

Antimicrobial Stewardship

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been called the global health crisis of our time. We must all use antimicrobials responsibly and practice good antimicrobial stewardship to address this issue; stewardship means:

  • Responsibility

    Everyone who uses antimicrobials is responsible for using them appropriately. This is especially true for veterinarians, who administer, prescribe, and dispense antimicrobials on a regular basis.

  • Reduction

    Reduce the use of antimicrobials in an effort to slow or reverse the development of AMR. This includes preventative practices to reduce the risk of infectious disease, such as vaccination and biosecurity.

  • Refinement

    Properly evaluate the illness, choose the right drug, and use it correctly to maximize the chances of success.

  • Replacement

    Whenever possible, seek out effective alternatives to antimicrobials.

  • Review

    Periodically review practices to make sure actions are appropriate and in line with current science and standards.

New regulations call on veterinarians to be leaders in antimicrobial stewardship, to help animal owners tackle the threat of AMR.

Work With Your Veterinarian!

It starts with a conversation

Making the right animal health decisions starts by establishing and maintaining a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) with your veterinarian.

As of December 1st 2018, a VCPR will be necessary to access medically important antimicrobials (See Animal Owner FAASTsheet #5).

Prevention is the first line of defence

Establishing and reviewing your current management practices with your veterinarian is key to ensuring you’re doing what you can to prevent disease, and reducing the need for antimicrobials in the first place.

Antimicrobials are just one of many tools in your animal health toolbox

It’s important to weigh all treatment options. When antimicrobials are needed, your veterinarian can help you to choose the one that is most appropriate.

Establish and follow treatment protocols

Work with your veterinarian to establish standard operating procedures to ensure you and your staff know when and how to treat a sick animal.

Keep the conversation going!

Science, disease, and best practices are always evolving. Talk with your veterinarian on a regular basis; these discussions will help ensure you have a tailored plan that is designed to be effective for your animals and your unique operation.

What’s Changing for Veterinarians?

While changes to the prescription status of medically important antimicrobials impact both veterinarians and animal owners, there are additional federal regulatory requirements that also impact some veterinarians. These include annual reporting of antimicrobial sales to the government and additional licensing if they import and handle Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients.

For more information visit:

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients – Veterinarian FAASTsheet #6

Sales Reporting for Veterinarians – Veterinarian FAASTsheet #10