Thursday, September 13, 2012

Does Louise Know About This?

Hog farmers use government-approved antibiotics under the strict supervision of their veterinarians, much to the chagrin of Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y. Meanwhile, popular antibiotics like amoxicillin are purchased routinely in pet stores or over the Internet without a prescription or any other controls on their use.

These are supposed to be used in fish tanks, but a pet health blog out of Canada notes they are also misused to treat dogs and even humans.

The blog, called Worms and Germs, is written by two veterinarians. It highlighted the problem with fish antibiotics in a post on easy-to-correct loopholes in antibiotic laws and regulations. “Various antibiotics can be purchased over the counter in pet stores that are marketed for treatment of fish,” it said, “but are the same as antibiotics used in other pets (and people). Unfortunately the internet also abounds with descriptions of how to treat your dog (or you) with fish drugs.”

Sure enough, a quick check of the Internet uncovered multiple sites selling “Fish Mox,” including, and at least one explaining that there is basically no difference between amoxicillin marketed for fish and that for humans.
All of which brings to mind the livestock industry’s frequent admonishment that antibiotic resistance results from many factors and that policy decisions on antibiotics use in food animals should be made on the basis of science and not myths.

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