Trends in the clinical use of antibiotics in a veterinary hospital in Nigeria, 2013 – 2017
This study was a retrospective survey that evaluated the trend of clinical use and misuse of antibiotics on animals
presented for veterinary care at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria, from January 2013 to
December 2017. A total of 4851 case files were evaluated and, overall, antibiotics were used in 2316 cases (47.74%). The
most frequently used antibiotics were a penicillin-streptomycin combination (36.53%), oxytetracycline (32.08%),
gentamicin (19.78%) and sulphadimidine (5.35%); the frequency of use of other antibiotics was each less than 5%. The
overall use of antibiotics increased significantly (p<0.05) across the study period, from 35.25% in 2013 to 52.38% in 2016.
There was a significant (p<0.05) increase in the frequency of use of oxytetracycline (11.55% in 2013 to 40.31% in 2016)
and sulphadimidine (0.8% in 2013 to 12.98% in 2017), but the frequency of penicillin-streptomycin use significantly
(p<0.01) decreased from 74.5% in 2013 to 23.13% in 2017. The frequency of inappropriate use of antibiotics significantly
(p<0.01) increased from 4.38% (2013) to 25.29% (2017), while that of non-compliance rose significantly (p<0.01) from
15.54% (2013) to 41.88% (2016). The frequency of use of antibiotics without definitive diagnosis/sensitivity testing was
consistently high and did not significantly (p>0.05) vary across the study period (85.49% to 91.63%), but, that of the use
of wrong antibiotic combinations significantly increased (p<0.05) from 5.58% (2013) to 23.63% (2017). It is concluded
that the overall frequency of clinical use of antibiotics on animals, their inappropriate use, non-compliance and wrong
combinations significantly increased across the study period.