This is a guest post, I don’t necessarily agree with every guest author’s ideas, but I welcome their thoughts.
For me I think common sense is important. Modern Medicine is a business, and many remedies and cures are not used because they can’t make a patented therefore aren’t financially worth taking through the FDA compliance process. I also think the total disregard of modern medicine for homeopathic remedies can cause death also. I go to the doctor when appropriate and I use herbal remedies when appropriate. Both have a place on the homestead.
Good Sense in Responsible Antibiotic use on the Homestead
In the midst of all this revolution, are we scaring off good sense?
This is a question I ask myself often. What with the direction that things have been going lately. Its seems every corner of our world is seeking out some sort of improvement. Whether its food production, political discourse, American basic rights or any other issue of the day, people are rowdy.
Its fun to be rowdy.
Its also very easy to lose your way in a revolution. I hope that we aren’t closing the door on good science at a time when our planet needs it most. While the atrocities of factory farming and imported meats have pushed many into homesteading and sourcing better food, the affects may be felt in areas we wouldn’t expect.
One of the big culprits in this food revolution are antibiotics. The fear of antibiotic resistant bacteria has changed the way we treat humans. When I was growing up a virus or a bacterial infection got you a bottle of antibiotics. Today the doctors are much smarter and push you to allow your immune system to fight off a virus.
On the homestead I think there is a popular myth that antibiotics should not be used or should be replaced with natural modalities like essential oils. I understand the idea that overuse of these drugs is an ugly situation. I understand the risks, but I think we may have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
Antibiotics in Humans
I am a huge proponent of essential oils. I have personally experience them and how they work their magic. To say the least, its impressive. I love that they can be used on and by children without much concern.
Still, there are times when we need more. I cannot imagine there are too many parents who would withhold antibiotics from their young ones when they were in need. Its also hard to imagine a parent that would pump their kids full of antibiotics to promote faster growth.
All across the nation, in doctors offices and in households we are becoming more responsible in our use of antibiotics.
The number of children taking antibiotics has decreased over the past decade but has leveled off in recent years in certain age groups and geographic locations. In a study in the March 2014 Pediatrics, “Recent Trends in Outpatient Antibiotic Use in Children,” (published online Feb. 3) study authors reviewed pharmacy and outpatient claims over a 10-year period (2000-2010) in three health plans located in three different geographic locations to determine the number of antibiotics dispensed each year for children aged 3 months to 18 years.
Antibiotics in Animals
This same common sense approach should be adopted by homesteaders with their livestock as well. We do not want our animals to suffer or be subject to treatments that are less than effective. The cost of a dead animal and replacement affects more than just our wallets. Its an added and unnecessary strain on our environment.
Disease can spread quickly on farms. Groups of chickens are called flocks for a reason; they like to be close to each other. Cattle lick one another and pigs lay on top of each other. If licensed veterinarians can’t responsibly treat the animals that are at high risk or exposed to disease, there is no question more animals will die unnecessarily.
For those who are considering a homestead or have already started down that path, this topic is important. At the end of the day we are left to wonder what the right decisions are. In most cases we look to science for what’s right. We are now seeing a swell of scientific data on antibiotic use and not all of it apocalyptic.
Veterinarians are trained to make clinical judgments when there is a threat that disease will spread, and no two situations are the same. Vaccines, proper nutrition, good ventilation and proper housing are all important factors to consider in the disease prevention battle. But, there are times when using antibiotics is the responsible choice. Period.
The website http://animalantibiotics.org/ is full of valuable information about the state of antibiotics, not just on the homestead but on the world stage. There are concerns and there is hard science involved in these decisions.
We want safe and healthy animals and there should be nothing on our homestead to get in the way of that.