Animal Antibiotics

For several years, preppers and survivalists have turned to veterinary supply houses to purchase antibiotics for use if standard medical care becomes unattainable due to societal collapse or some other major disaster. Unless you really and truly know what you’re doing, I cannot stress enough the danger of going this route.

First of all, with the fish antibiotics (which seem to be the most popular for purchase amongst survivalists), I recently learned that many times the medications being sold are actually expired. What happens is they are manufactured for human consumption. If they are not sold prior to their expiration, they are ok to use on animals for one year. Like anything else, the expiration date may turn out to be somewhat arbitrary but suffice to say that if you’re buying these meds from a vet supply store, odds are good they are past their prime already. Then, they’ll sit in your first aid supply closet for how long before they might need to be used? They do get less effective over time.

Some of these meds, like the tetracycline, don’t degrade over time but actually get more potent and consuming them could damage your kidneys.

Using the wrong antibiotic can result in not only killing off the infection you wish to fight but also negatively impact other bacteria and organisms in your body. Some of those things are actually good for you and killing them off will not help the patient recover.

Plus, misuse of these medications can result in actually strengthening resistant strains of bacteria, making it all that much harder to fight off next time. I’m told that the DEA is starting to clamp down on purchases of animal antibiotics for this reason.

If you are fully trained in the use of these medications and know what you’re doing, more power to you. If you aren’t though, please think twice about it.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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