Responsible use of parasiticides in pets

Hany Elsheikha
Saturday, September 2, 2023

Parasiticides are an integral part of parasite treatment and prevention in pets. Despite their importance as life-saving medications and a major contributor to better health and quality of life, widespread and inappropriate use of parasiticides could have important consequences. Concerns over parasite control practices involving ‘blanket-treatment’ have caused key organisations to call for more responsible use of parasiticides to minimise the risk of environmental contamination and limit the development of antiparasitic drug resistance. Veterinary professionals are encouraged to follow a more targeted and individualised risk-based approach to parasite control. However, successful adoption and effective implementation of this new approach requires the veterinary profession to overcome many barriers and contextual differences in the way effective parasite control is perceived by the various stakeholders. Recently, evidence-based diagnosis (treatment based on confirmed diagnosis) together with antiparasitic drug stewardship (avoiding unnecessary antiparasitic use in pets which do not benefit from treatment) have been suggested to reconcile the trade-offs between avoiding parasiticide overuse and achieving effective parasite control. Although these new approaches cannot yet fully address the challenges of attaining optimal parasite control, they have the potential to improve the outcomes of parasite treatment and preserve the efficacy of parasiticides, the most essential component of any parasite control regimen.

 A tick on a dog.
A tick on a dog.

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