Investigating interactions between UK horse owners and prescribers of anthelmintics

Easton, S., Pinchbeck, G. L., Tzelos, T., Bartley, D. J., Hotchkiss, E., Hodgkinson, J. E. and Matthews, J. B. (2016) Investigating interactions between UK horse owners and prescribers of anthelmintics. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 135, pp. 17-27. (doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.10.017) (PMID:27931925)

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Helminths are common pathogens of equids and anthelmintic resistance is a major issue in cyathostomin species and Parascaris equorum. At the heart of mitigating the impact of increasing anthelmintic resistance levels, is the responsible dissemination and use of these medicines following best practice principles. There is a paucity of information on interactions between horse owners and anthelmintic prescribers and how this shapes control. Here, a study was undertaken to determine opinions and experiences of horse owners as they relate to anthelmintics purchase and implementation of best practice control. An online survey was distributed via email and social media to explore owners’ experiences of purchasing anthelmintics from United Kingdom prescribers, these being veterinarians, suitably qualified persons (SQPs) and pharmacists. Owner responses (n = 494) were analysed statistically to compare answers of respondents grouped according to: (i) from whom they bought anthelmintics (Veterinarians n = 60; SQPs n = 256; Pharmacists n = 42; More than one channel n = 136), and (ii) by which route (Face-to-face n = 234; Telephone n = 31; Online n = 226) they purchased. Owners who purchased from veterinarians predominantly did so face-to-face (81.3%), whilst those that bought from SQPs purchased via face-to-face (48.8%) and online (46.0%) interactions. Those who purchased from pharmacists predominantly bought anthelmintics online (76.2%). Participants who bought from veterinarians were more likely to view certain factors (i.e. time to talk to the supplier, supplier knowledge) as more important than those who purchased from other prescribers. Those who purchased from veterinarians were more likely to be recommended faecal egg count (FEC) test analysis; however, there was high uptake of FEC testing across all groups. There was a low uptake of anthelmintic efficacy testing; regardless of the prescriber type from whom anthelmintics were purchased. Those who purchased from veterinarians were more likely to agree that anthelmintics should be sold as veterinary prescription-only medicines. Those who purchased online (regardless of which type of prescriber they bought from) were less likely to consider prescriber advice or knowledge when deciding which product to buy and indicated that sellers were less likely to raise use of anthelmintics for targeting parasites. Across all groups, many owners stated that they were aware of or used non-chemical control measures such as dung removal and diagnostic FEC testing to target treatments. In summary, there were some differences in the type of advice provided at the point of purchase and this was dependent upon whom anthelmintics were purchased from and by which route they were bought.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This project was funded by the UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate, an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hotchkiss, Dr Emily
Authors: Easton, S., Pinchbeck, G. L., Tzelos, T., Bartley, D. J., Hotchkiss, E., Hodgkinson, J. E., and Matthews, J. B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Preventive Veterinary Medicine
ISSN (Online):1873-1716
Published Online:21 October 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
First Published:First published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine 135: 17-27
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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