antibiotics

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

  

Indiana has a shortage of farm veterinarians -- and that strain could get worse in January when new rules for food animal antibiotics use take effect.

The change will mean more demand for veterinarians in rural Indiana.

One of those vets is Tom Troxel. He takes care of dairy cows, and he and his wife Luann also run a small dairy farm in LaPorte County.

By just before 8 a.m., the first part of their day is already over: the cows have been milked, and Luann is feeding the last of the calves.

A set of standards about when antibiotics should be prescribed has been developed for doctors in the Lafayette area.

Indiana University Health Arnett, Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health, the Tippecanoe County Health Department and Unity Healthcare are working together on the “Get Smart About Antibiotics” campaign.

IU Health Internal Medicine doctor Sarah Hallberg says often patients think they need an antibiotic to feel better.

Researchers have nailed down something scientists, government officials and agribusiness proponents have argued about for years: whether antibiotics in livestock feed give rise to antibiotic-resistant germs that can threaten humans.

The Food and Drug Administration is moving to stop the use of some antibiotics on animals. The agency wants to prevent overuse of these drugs so that bacteria don't develop resistance to them.

The announcement affects antibiotics called cephalosporins, drugs used widely to treat things like pneumonia or skin infections in people.