About This Study

How will participation benefit my practice?

How can my dermatology referral practice be a study site?

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why should we conduct an antibiotic use (AU) study for small animal dermatology referral practices?

Currently, no national estimates of AU exist in small animal dermatology referral practices. A national AU study in small animal dermatology practices will allow identification of situations in which antibiotics are used that may be contributing to antibiotic-resistant infections in cats and dogs. The International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases has published AU guidelines for canine superficial bacterial folliculitis. Without AU data, we cannot determine how well the profession is adhering to these guidelines and what additional studies are needed to inform guideline revisions. This study may also highlight opportunities to improve care.

What are the goals of this study?

The goal of this study is to establish an estimate of AU in U.S. small animal dermatology referral practices and to describe how and why antibiotics are prescribed to small animal dermatology patients. This information will be used to identify antibiotic stewardship (AS) objectives, define interventions to improve prescribing, and track progress.

What will be required of me if I participate in the study?

Each participating practice should identify a primary point of contact (facility coordinator) for this study. This person, or a designated team, will be responsible for:

  • Obtaining clinic leadership/owner approval or local ethics approval (Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)), if applicable
  • Completing a facility survey (e.g., AS, infection control, AU)
  • Attending an online training session
  • Entering data about the first 25 patients on the appointment schedule, beginning on August 1, into an online data collection tool
  • Completing a short evaluation of the study process
  • Communicating with the research team for data validation and other study coordination

The time commitment for participation is expected to be 1 hour for an online training, 2–4 hours for data entry, 30 minutes for pre- and post-surveys, and follow-up communication with the research team for data validation.

Exactly what data do we want to collect?

We do NOT want any information regarding your clients and you will NOT be giving us any direct access to your medical record system. Rather, your designated Facility Coordinator will collect data from your records system regarding the first 25 patients seen for a dermatologic consult starting on August 1 and then enter information into an electronic database (REDCap). The key information needed for each patient is patient signalment, primary problem, diagnostic tests, and any antibiotics, antifungals, and antiseptics prescribed.

Rest assured that the data you share with us will remain completely confidential, and any published summary of the study results will contain no information that will make it possible to identify any patient, client, or practice.

How is this project funded?

Funding for this project is being made possible by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through grant number 1U01FD007061-01. Individual participating facility data are not shared with FDA.

Can I see results of similar studies?

In 2020, a national antibiotic use point-prevalence survey in 14 U.S. veterinary teaching hospitals was conducted. Learn about those results in this one-page infographic. This study was repeated in 2022 with 31 U.S. and Canadian veterinary teaching hospitals participating. Learn about those results in this one-page infographic.

In 2021, a national antibiotic use point-prevalence survey in 52 U.S. general and non-academic referral practices was conducted. Learn about those results in this one-page infographic.