A small percentage of Americans take their pets’ medication, according to a study published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
The study, which measured how many Americans take antibiotics without a prescription, came across the disturbing information by accident. When asked where they got the non-prescribed drugs, 4 percent of participants skipped past the family and old prescription options and wrote in that they got them from their pets.
Dr. Barbara Trautner, a co-author of the study, told CNN she understood why some would take their pets’ medicines, given the high cost of prescription drugs. But she emphasized that it’s a bad idea.
“We metabolize things differently than animals do, and these drugs are formulated for animals,” she said.
The study found that of the 400 people surveyed, 5 percent said they had taken off-prescription antibiotics in the past year, and more than 25 percent said they intended to take some in the future.