November 23, 2015

(Dan) Hey folks, welcome to DocTalk, I’m Dr. Dan Thomson. I’m glad you joined me today. Today we’re gonna talk about antibiotic stewardship. We’re gonna talk about some of the issues that are being discussed out there in the media about antibiotic resistance and about what we’re doing in the beef industry for judicious antimicrobial usage. It’s gonna be a show where I’m just going to point out some things and discuss ’em with ya. It’s gonna be a little bit informal, but I hope that you enjoy today’s show cause it means a lot to me.

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(Dan) Hey folks, Dr. Dan from DocTalk here. I’m sure glad that you joined me here from the campus of Kansas State University. And it’s a great day to be here and spend some time with y’all because we’ve seen a lot of things in the media lately surrounding the use of antibiotics in food producing animals. And I thought today would be a good day to just kind of step back and let’s talk about some of the issues. And one of the first things…it’s kind of like when we talk about animal welfare, animal rights and animal abuse, there are three distinct different terms there and yet we tend to, in the media, get those jumbled up and use them interchangeably. When we talk about antibiotics. Antibiotic residues are different from antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic residues is the prevention of antibiotics when we treat an animal with an antibiotic, that we have a withdrawal time before that animal can go to slaughter so that we can be assured based on work at the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, on when that animal will be cleared and appropriately have time to be slaughtered without having residues of the antibiotic in the carcass. So residues are carcass contamination of the antibiotics being in the carcass. Resistance of antibiotics, we’re talking about the pathogens that we’re either treating or other bacteria within the animal’s body that could become resistant to it. When we talk about target pathogens, let’s say a target pathogen would be like-I treat an animal for bovine respiratory disease. When I treat that animal for respiratory disease with an antibiotic, mannheimia, histophilus, pasteurella, those different bacteria can become resistant and then our treatments become less effective for respiratory disease. When we talk about food safety in antibiotic resistance, we’re really talking about the resistance patterns that when we treat an animal for bovine respiratory disease, how could that antibiotics cause resistance in some of the food borne pathogens, such as salmonella, E.coli, and campylobacter. So, residue or the actual antibiotic residue in the carcass which we have approval from FDA before the product is ever released that this product is safe, and we have appropriate withdrawal times assigned. And the second one is we have a USDA inspection service, where FSIS, Food Safety Inspection Service, will actually monitor antibiotic residues. And we have less than a tenth of a percent of animals within the industry that go to slaughter that have any sort of microscopic antibiotic residue problem. That’s 99.9 percent of the animals that go into our system have been looked at by USDA, FSIS, and we have no issue with those animals. When we start to think about that, versus resistance, where the animals we’re looking at the bacteria, we’re looking at two places. One, how do we use antibiotics and how do we prevent resistance in the pathogens that we’re trying to treat for? And two, how do we prevent resistance from occurring in the pathogens, the food borne pathogens that maybe don’t affect the animals, but could affect us if we come across a food born pathogen in our beef patty, or someplace down the road. Really the forefront of this starts with a valid veterinary/client/ patient relationship. When we come back from the break, we’re gonna talk a little bit about what a valid VCPR does and how you can work with your veterinarian to pick out the appropriate antibiotics to make sure that we’re practicing good antibiotic stewardship and judicious use of antimicrobials so that we can keep our technology and not let someone from a restaurant that has no background in medicine take ’em away.

(Dan) Hey folks, Dr. Dan from DocTalk here and glad that you joined me and we’re talking about antibiotics. And the reason why we’re talking about antibiotics is that antibiotics are great tools that are used in a judicious manner by veterinarians working together to provide a safe, wholesome food supply. Antibiotic usage is necessary for animals that get sick, whether it’s a cow, a dog, and it’s also necessary for humans. I heard somebody say one day that you know when we see some of these restaurant groups and they go out and they say, well we’re just gonna not use antibiotics anymore in animals, that’s the easy way out. That’s the cop out. And when I start to think about this you know, this is a complex problem. And for every complex issue there’s a simple solution, and it’s wrong. We have to step back and we have to take the time and really understand the depth of the issue and understand whether or not we really have an issue or not. And I’m kind of the camp that when it comes to food borne pathogens antibiotic resistance, causing antibiotic resistance in humans, it’s a pretty microscopic issue from the surface down to the core. You know, the first thing that we have to understand with antibiotics and producers is that for us to obtain the antibiotics that we’re discussing today, whether it’s the fluoroquinolones, or the macrolides or the cephalosporins, we have to have a prescription, just like in human medicine. And that requires a veterinary/client/patient/relationship. What is a veterinary/client/patient relationship? Well the core matter of a veterinary/client/patient relationship is that a veterinarian has access to the farm, has been on the farm, is familiar with the animals and the health status of the herd and has followed up on some of the cases. The veterinarian is also available for followup or emergency calls back out to that facility or back out to that farm. So, the veterinarian is familiar with the farm, the veterinarian is familiar with the animals and the veterinarian is available for followup calls. That is half of the veterinary/client/patient relationship. There is also a producer half of the veterinary/client responsibility and that is the producer is saying that I have a veterinary/client/patient relationship with Dr. XYZ and therefore I will comply with the prescription as written. So basically the veterinarian comes on the farm, works with the animals, works with the producer, understands the facility, understands the production system, and then the producer says, “Alright, this is my doctor, this is my veterinarian, the way that they tell me to use the antibiotics is how I’m going to use those antibiotics in a judicious manner to treat the animals that get sick, whether it’s a respiratory disease or maybe a diarrheal disease in calves.” And then I’m going to use those in a manner that is appropriate and I’m going to follow the withdrawal time in which the veterinarian has established for me for these classes of compounds. You know one of the things that as we move forward and we start to think about human antibiotic resistance, first of all the biggest issue in human antibiotic resistance is being created from the medical profession in human medicine. And then you start to think about other areas where we might have resistance. When we come back we’re going to talk a little bit more about some of those areas around the globe, talk about antibiotic resistance, and we’ll talk about who should be concerned. Thanks for watching DocTalk, more right after this break.

(Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to DocTalk and we’re talking about antibiotics. I’m Dr. Dan Thomson from Kansas State University and when I start to think about the antibiotic resistance issue and the number one concern of antibiotic resistance is we want to make sure that the antibiotics we have in human medicine continue to be effective. And first of all, when we look at and hear lectures, people that describe where if there is gonna be a superbug, and a superbug is a bug that is resistant to all antibiotics, or bacteria that is resistant to all antibiotics. You know the places, the peri-urban areas or the slums of the developing countries in India or in China where people are actually living with the animals and there is no regulation over antibiotic usage, are the places that are the greatest concern of a global superbug being created, which makes sense. But going into a country like that and saying no antibiotics, where you can buy them at the corner store and there’s no regulation is difficult, impossible. The next place, if we’re talking about in a developed country that has tight regulation over antibiotics, there’s two things that come to mind in my opinion. First of all if it’s where people are living with animals, and we’re talking about the ability of antibiotic resistance in a pathogen in an animal to be transferred to a human, the place where animals are living with people in this country are our small animals. And the same classifications of drugs for dogs, cats and different animals, are right there the same types of classifications that we use for humans, that we use for dogs, cats, parakeets, fish, and cattle, pigs and sheep. And so to think that…I even read a paper where a man got an infection in his pacemaker from his German Shepard licking his incision site after surgery. So when we start to come out and do these marketing campaigns against antibiotics and say that we’re going to remove antibiotics from farms, ranches, and from food animal production, I think that we need to step back and look at the overarching picture of global transfer, global transportation, global trade and start to look at countries that don’t have veterinary infrastructure. They don’t have regulations of antibiotics, within those countries. The people are living with the animals and then we start to look at the small animals. If there’s gonna be a resistance transfer from a food animal to a human being, it’s going to be from a food borne pathogen which we have some of the best preventative strategies today of preventing salmonella, E.coli, campylobacter from being transferred with or without antibiotic resistance. And in the case of E.coli O1587, we don’t use antibiotics to treat that pathogen anyway. Getting these things put into perspective to where we can really understand where we’re going and what some of the issues are going forward, I think are imperative. We as producers, we understand the huge responsibility. Make sure that you work with your veterinarian. Make sure you have a veterinary/client/ patient relationship. Make sure that you’re doing the right things and following the withdrawals. These are tools that we need to keep and they’re tools that keep our animals healthy, and keep our food supply safe, wholesome and affordable. More after these messages.

(Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to DocTalk. Dr. Dan here. Glad that you joined me today. I’m glad that you joined us everyday and thanks for watching the show and spending some time with us. It warms my heart when somebody comes up and tugs me on the shirt sleeve and says, “Hey, I watch you on DocTalk.” And thanks for watching and thanks for being a part. Thanks for farming and ranching because when we start to think about this our industry changes. Every industry changes. And so we’re going to go through some changes when it comes to antibiotic usage and some of the regulations surrounding antibiotics and it’s a logical step forward. It’s something we embrace as an industry. With veterinary feed directives coming, it will just be the next chapter in judicious antimicrobial usage. And it will tie the veterinary/client/patient relationship with the producer even tighter. You know, one of the things that we have to continually strive for is the prevention of use of antibiotics. That means I don’t want to use an antibiotic, you don’t want to use an antibiotic on your farm because that means your animal is sick. So, what we want to do is continually work with our veterinarian, work with our nutritionists, work with our extension agents, to provide preventative medicine, preventative care, animal husbandry, cattle comfort, proper nutrition, proper number of people on the farm and just continually work to improve food safety and animal health on a day-to-day basis. That’s our goal everyday, is to just get a little bit better tomorrow than we were today. You know, I think that in the end as all of these things roll down, we’re gonna start looking at some traceability programs within our industry. And the last thing that we have to remember is that it is a one beef industry motto. OK? Whether you own cattle on the hoof at the ranch, whether you own them in a feed yard, whether you own beef in a packing plant, or whether you’re selling hamburgers at the retail, we’re all in this industry together. At the end of the day, we all have to work together. We have to communicate together and we have to have everybody’s best interest in mind. Number one, the consumer; number two, the people who raise the cattle and live with the cattle on a day-to-day basis; and number three, the cattle themselves. Thanks for watching DocTalk. Be sure to work with your local veterinarian. If you want to know more about DocTalk, you can find us on the web. I’m Dr. Dan Thomson, thanks for joining us today. And I’ll see you, down the road.

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