Image Credit - Staticflickr.com/
We have a steady stream of new veterinary medicine flooding the market every day, aimed at improving the efficacy and safety of veterinary prescription drugs. However, not a lot of us know everything that goes on in the hospital pharmacy. It is extremely important to understand the side effects of pet medicine before you give them to your pet.
Offline and online pet pharmacies must only use high-quality, fresh pet medication as per the directions. Moreover, not all pet medications are effective or safe for all cats and dogs across the board. You need to contact the veterinary clinic if you have any questions about your pet’s prescription medication, pet supplies, dosage, or undesirable side effects.
Understanding the Commonly Used Terms
It is just as important to understand some of the commonly used terms:
Expiration date – Vets frequently get asked about the expiry date. Simply put, the expiration date is an indicator of the date by which a doctor or pharmacist should stop selling pet medication. However, it doesn't mean that the medicine becomes useless or ineffective after that date. Drug companies must set the expiry date before the effectiveness drops so that they can factor in the time it takes for a customer to use the medicine. The expiry date is decided by factoring in the time it will usually take for the consumer to use up all of the prescription medicine.
Side effects – Side effects refer to undesired responses to medication. For instance, if the doctor prescribes an antihistamine to reduce nasal congestion that is caused by an allergy and if the medicine induces sluggishness and sleepiness, it is considered to be a side effect. Since most cats and dogs do not drive or handle heavy machinery, sleepiness is not a big problem. It might even be good as it would let the animal rest.
Strength, dosage, and dose – A medicine's strength is the weight or concentration of the given substance. For instance, if the vet prescribes an antibiotic for dogs to your pet, he may prescribe a 50-gram strength tablet. Dose, on the other hand, is the quantity of medication that should be taken at any given time. One antibiotic might have an acceptable dose of 8mg/pound, and another might have a dose of 25mg/pound. Dosage refers to the quantity of medicine prescribed for a specific period. For example, if your vet asks you to give two tablets at a time to your dog after meals till the prescribed amount is over, that amount would be the dosage.
It is common for dogs and cats to develop adverse reactions to some medication. If you're looking for an ideal world where things work as they should, you will not find it in the local pet supply stores. But it is a small consolation to know that you will not find that anywhere else either.
Resolve to Take Your Pet to the Vet
Lots of us wouldn't dream of skipping our doctor's visits. We need to see how our cholesterol is progressing, maybe, or we rely on our doctors to spot early signs of heart issues and even cancer. When it comes to your pet’s health, though, sometimes it can be less obvious what preventative care does. That may be why last year, the percentage of households who don't take their dog to the vet was 28%. The main reason is the financial problems faced by a majority of households. lt would be wise to set up a pet emergency fund and avoid skimping on vet visits.
Catch Potential Issues Early
Make taking your pet for a check-up part of your New Year's Resolutions, and there are some issues you could catch early, saving your pet from pain, yourself from heartache, and your bank account from costly emergency care. These include hypothyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, hip dysplasia, periodontal disease, cancer, liver disease, and more.
Fleas and Heartworm
What's more, incidents of flea infestations and heartworm disease are on the rise, according to the Banfield Pet Hospital State of Pet Health 2011 Report. These conditions are largely preventable with simple protection measures and medications. There are some effective flea and tick treatments for dogs, like Nexgard chewables for dogs. For heartworm in dogs, you can choose Heartgard for dogs.
But you have health insurance, you say, and your pet doesn't? You're right. That's a very important difference that can put pressure on your wallet. But did you know that many veterinarians offer preventative care packages or deals? What's more, pet insurance is becoming more and more prevalent in the United States in recent years. It might be just the solution for you and your pet.
You’re now up to date with everything you need to know about pet meds. However, if you have some concerns, don’t hesitate to visit your vet and ask questions.