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Antibiotic Resistance May Be Harming Your Pets

With recent reports of exposure to antibiotics nearly tripling an infant's asthma risks, it's not so surprising to learn the other small loved ones in our families -- our pets -- may be harmed by them too. But not for the reasons you might expect. Fact is, humans may be spreading their resistance to antibiotics to their pets.

The problem attracted the attention of the CDC after 38 cases of common staph infections were reported at Ryan Veterinary Hospital (the world's largest pet hospital that's connected with the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia) among dogs, cats, parrots and a rabbit over a three-year period.

In fact, one researcher estimates almost half of the pets they treated for skin, ear and urinary tract problems were probably infected at that same hospital, making me wonder if animals are suffering from some of the same medical errors I discuss often in this space.

That's why it's advisable to wash your hands with plain soap and water before and after playing with your pet.

New York Times March 22, 2006 Registration Required

ABC News March 22, 2006

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