Prescription Diets are also Available in the Online Pharmacy
It seems the notion of pet medications is a hot topic these days. Some medications are showing up in Fleet Farm, others are at PetCo, and there are even TV ads offering internet sources. Yet, most veterinarians will still recommend getting your medications through their hospital.
While it is true, some of these medications are exactly the same as you would get from your veterinarian (and likewise, there are some reputable online pharmacies), others can be devastatingly dangerous (for example, some flea and tick meds sold at warehouse stores are actually toxic to cats and can result in life threatening seizures and neurologic disorders). So, what is the real scoop? Are internet pharmacies really that bad or are veterinarians just feeling vengeful at the loss of revenue? Where should you get your pet’s medications?
Often, the draw to internet pharmacies and pet stores is the convenience factor. We agree! It sure is handy to have your pet’s medications sent directly to your home. However, did you know that the medications sent from internet pharmacies are not guaranteed? In many cases, if there is an adverse reaction (aka unwanted side effect) with a medication, the pharmaceutical company will investigate the concern and often pay for all or part of the treatments that are a consequence of that reaction? For example, if you buy heartworm medication from your veterinarian and provide it as prescribed and for some unfortunate reason, your dog develops a heartworm infection, many drug companies will pay for treatment. However, this is not so if purchased from an internet company.
In cases of some of the warehouse stores, drugs used for large animals like horses and cattle are purchased for the use of the family dog. Ivermectin, for example, a common dewormer for both dogs and cattle, is available at Fleet Farm. It would make sense that since it is the same drug, you could provide your dog with a “doggie sized” dose. However, the correct dose for a boxer dog can be lethal to a border collie.
Here are the points to ponder when considering purchasing pet medications not through your veterinarian (we know it sounds like a sales pitch, but we have seen so many mistakes we genuinely want to do our best to ensure the safety of your pet):
- Medications are not always handled/shipped appropriately when not handled by the veterinary community which can make them inactive (i.e. not keeping vaccines properly refrigerated).
- Medications not acquired from your veterinarian are often from other countries and are not produced with the same methods.
- Some pharmacies have been illegally operating without veterinary prescriptions which can be dangerous for your pet’s health.
- Online prices can be misleading and can often cost more by the time you “check-out.”
At Rice Creek Animal Hospital, we want to make your pet’s prescription needs as convenient, affordable, and easy as possible. Here are two ways to acquire your pets’ meds:
1) Stop on in! As always, most of the medications we prescribe are available right here in the hospital. Please call at least 24-48 hours in advance of any prescription refills so that we can either be sure we have it in our pharmacy or order it for you. (Call: 651-483-6128)
2) Online! Order through www.yourvetspharmacyonline.com and it will come directly to your door! This on-line pharmacy is supported by veterinarians and requires Dr. Hansen’s approval prior to shipping. This way, you get the convenience of easy delivery all while knowing the product is guaranteed. Again, please order approximately one week in advance so that it can be approved by Dr. Hansen and shipped before your medications run out.
The bottomline: Get your recommendations and prescription from your veterinarian, then consult with them to see where it can be safely and conveniently purchased.