Your standard antibiotic, aka penicillin is made by a "fungus, along with streptomycin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline, which are produced by soil bacteria" (Read more on that here).
According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, "as much as 50% of antibiotic use is unnecessary" (Read more here). The same is true for our dogs. Further, it is not just about the money you spend at the vet, it is the possible long-term side-effects that your dog can suffer from.
When a dog, or any organism for that matter consumes antibiotics too many times, the antibiotics become less and less effective as the germs and bacteria that caused the illness mutate and develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. Even the CDC says that resistance infections can be difficult, and sometimes "impossible to treat."
Unfortunately, antibiotic resistance is quite common, especially if your dog has been to the vet a bunch of times for typical ailments, like an ear infection or runny nose. Common antibiotics include Amoxicillin, Clavamox, Penicillin etc and consuming too much of it results in s a super-charged bug, like staph infections, that becomes even harder for the immune system to fight off.
Additionally, antibiotics kill bacteria, both good and bad. Good bacteria is crucial to a high-functioning immune system and digestive system, which essentially keeps your dog healthy and happy. When took many antibiotics are given, their gut microbiomes become compromised and less able to fight off infections.
Lastly, excessive antibiotic use will cause nutrient deficiencies including depletion of vitamins "B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, K, Inositol and Magnesium" and has been linked to a host of health problems including:
- Behavioral changes
- Poor wound healing
- Weakened immune health
- Oxidative stress
- Nerve degeneration
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Leaky gut
(Source: Dogs Naturally)
According to the same meta-analysis, this is particularly important because antibiotic resistance is "a global public health threat for both human and veterinary medicine. Increasing evidence suggests that animals are important sources of AMR (antimicrobial resistance aka antibiotic resistance) to humans."
Despite side effects, antibiotics should absolutely be used in life-threatening situations, but not the common ailments they are over-prescribed for today.
So what can you do instead?
You can use homeopathy instead. According to Professor Dr. Michael Fross, President of the Umbrella Organization of Austrian Doctors and Chairman of Scientific Society for Homeopathy, homeopathy is far more effective in terms of health and cost as compared to allopathic medication.
He conducted a study comparing homeopathy and pharmaceuticals in terms of medical effectiveness, quality of life, and cost in treatment of recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis sickness impacting children. The use of the homeopathic treatment yielded lower direct medical costs, less sick leave for parents and improved health outcomes for children faster compared to the use of allopathic medicine (aka antibiotics). You can read the study here.
The same is absolutely true for our dogs. The use of homeopathy to treat a sick dog will create balance in the body and the optimization of health, naturally. You just have to find the right remedy to match the specific symptoms and personality of your dog. If your dog has been sick often, please check out Bobzilla's Happy, Healthy Life Made Simple quiz to help you figure out how to best help your dog.