Written by Tania Perálvarez Puerta
Lack of data
There is little information on the use of antibiotics in sheep and goats compared to other species. This may be because of the characteristics of the sector, which in general is very heterogeneous and not very high-tech (in some countries), which can make data collection and communication difficult.
The collection of data on the use of antibiotics in small ruminants must be encouraged.
This lack of data is a problem as in order to be able to determine the best antibiotic reduction strategy, we need to know details of antibiotic use in the sector: quantities, routes of administration, seasonality, variability between farms etc.
Cattle, pigs, sheep and goats
In 1998 the Swedish Veterinary Association decided to adopt a general policy for the use of antibiotics in animals. Since then specific policies for the use of antibiotics in dogs and cats have been adopted and in 2011 Guidelines for the use of Antibiotics in Production animals – Cattle and Pigs, were accepted. By decision of the board of the Swedish Veterinary Society (SVS) these guidelines have been updated.
The over-arching goal of SVS is to achieve a low and controlled use of antibiotics in Swedish animal production so that the first-hand choices of treatment remain efficient and that the spread of antimicrobial resistance – among animals and herds as well as in the food chain – is kept at a minimum. Keeping antimicrobial resistance in animals low is important also for human health, since we are all part of the same ecosystem. The authors of these guidelines hope that they may be useful for veterinarians in clinical practice when deciding on treatments for common diseases and ailments caused by bacteria. Sometimes the decision may even be to refrain from use of antibiotics and chose other ways of improving herd health.
To read more of the introduction, download a copy here.
Diseases in goats
Ylva Persson, DVM, PhD
In Sweden only one antimicrobial is registered for use in goats – benzyl penicillin procaine (BPP) (Penovet®, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, FASS VET. Sweden 2015). All other drugs for therapy need to conform to the EU cascade principle. Since goats might react with strong pain to injections with tetracycline other antimicrobials should be preferred if BPP cannot be expected to be effective.
Mastitis is the most important production disease in goat milk herds. Good udder health is important for animal welfare as well as from food safety aspects. The most frequently isolated udder pathogens in dairy goats in Sweden are Staphylo coccus (S.) aureus and coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS). Subclinical mastitis is seen more often than clinical.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.