Treatment is the medical action, using appropriate drugs and apparatus, aimed at restoring the equilibrium of the organism affected by the illness or disability, i.e. the therapeutic procedure aimed at restoring health or improving the quality of life. Treatment should not be the standard, but only a last resort if the need arises.
The basic principle is to prevent any animal health problem through proper animal welfare and adequate bio-security. Treatment is a necessity associated with the risk of reduced productivity, or death of the animal and possible transmission of the disease to other animals in the herd. Treatment methods must be appropriate to the risk. Excessive, over-treatment can be detrimental because of provoking microbial resistance in the future. Therefore, the treatment process should be carried out strictly according to the veterinarian’s recommendations, using the exact recommended dosage and timing of any medication. Any other use of therapeutic agents carries the risk – especially in the case of antibiotics – of generating drug resistance, resulting in the loss of tools useful for treating animals. To make matters worse, human biology is very similar to that of many livestock animals and immunised bacteria pose a real threat to human health.