Recently there has been increasing awareness and press about the use of horse antibiotics (antimicrobials), and more importantly resistance. Resistance is when bacteria mutate their genetic make-up so that the antibiotics are no longer effective at killing it. Bacteria can pass this resistance to other bacteria, which can lead to issues treating bacterial infections in any animal, or even humans. Unfortunately the rate that resistance develops far outstrips the rate of new antibiotics being discovered, with this in mind we all need to act responsibly to ensure that we only use antibiotics where they are required and at suitable levels.



The following examples explain why horse antibiotics may not be needed in the treatment of some common diseases.


The abscesses caused by strangles represent your horses effective immune response and antibiotics are rarely needed, and will not improve recovery.


Foot abscess

As with strangles, the abscess is an effective response, once drained your horse will improve following advice from your vet, without the need for antibiotics in the majority of cases.



The majority of wounds will heal without the requirement for antibiotics so long as they are kept clean and free from contamination. Your vet will be able to advise you as to the best management for a particular wound however should deeper structures be involved, especially joints, intensive antibiotics may be required.



The majority of cases in horses are not caused by bacteria, in fact antibiotics can upset the ‘friendly bacteria’ in your horses gut and can themselves cause diarrhoea.



Provided a foal is born healthy, from a normal pregnancy and receives adequate colostrum (mares first milk) no antibiotics are required.


Viral diseases

A temperature, coughing and or a nasal discharge can often be caused by viruses. Like in humans, using antibiotics in these cases will not speed up recovery so it is important to seek advice from your vet.



Parkside Probiotic Paste


A horses’ digestive tract relies upon the ‘friendly bacteria’ present to keep it in tip-top condition. If your horse becomes stressed, has a digestive upset or requires antibiotics the use of a probiotic can help to support these friendly bacteria. We advise all horses who have a course of antibiotics to have a probiotic course. Our paste is in an easy to use 6-day supply tube, which is perfect for this application.