Veterinary drugs – What you should know
Medicine cabinet for animals
Usually you get veterinary drugs from your vet. Vets can not only prescribe medicines but their expertise also entitles them to dispense ready-made veterinary preparations and to prepare medicines at their surgery. This makes sense as special preparations are immediately available when needed.
Prescription only drugs
Most veterinary drugs are only available on prescription and may not be dispensed in pharmacies without a veterinary prescription. The prescription requirement is put in place to ensure proper use of the sometimes highly effective substances and to prevent harmful effects on health caused by possible side effects. If you procure prescription medicines without having a valid prescription, you not only act against the best interests of your pet but also in a gross negligent manner.
Proper use of medicines for animals
Having diagnosed the ailment, the vet initiates the appropriate drug treatment. The vet must specify the treatment individually, depending on the type of animal, its age, weight and general state of health. The smaller the animal, the faster its metabolism and the shorter the drug’s dwelling time in the body. This rule determines dose and frequency of application of the drug. In addition, the vet must take into account species and breed related issues when assessing efficacy and tolerance of the medicines.
The use of medicines without veterinary diagnosis and prescription is gross negligence and may have unpredictable consequences :
- if the pet owner wrongly interprets symptoms
- if the owner treats an illness deemed harmless with insufficiently strong drugs and thereby protracts the illness
- if the pet owner treats a harmless condition with drugs which are way too strong
- if the pet owner uses preparations for human use which are not tolerated by the animal
- if the pet owner uses the same dose for the animal as indicated for human use
- if the veterinary drugs are not used as indicated for the particular species
An improperly used drug causes more harm than good.
Drug intolerance / Signs of potential drug intolerance:
- Secretion of mucus or foam at the mouth and/or nose
- Respiratory distress
- Swelling of head area and the mucous membranes