A Message from the Vet - April 2012
Why Use Your Veterinary Pharmacy?

As veterinarians, we are your number one advocates for the health of your pet. We care about keeping your pet healthy and happy, and helping you build a life-long rewarding relationship together. When you bring your pet to a veterinary clinic, you are establishing a true veterinary-client-patient-relationship. Your veterinarian will take the time to learn about your pet's history, lifestyle, medical conditions, and behavioral issues. With this background, your veterinarian can give you the best recommendations for your pet's preventive health care including vaccinations, annual screening tests, and parasite prevention.

When your veterinarian provides a prescription medication for your pet, they are ensuring that your pet is receiving a legitimate, efficacious product from a reputable veterinary pharmaceutical company. While online pharmacies and human pharmacies have recently begun selling pet medications, there are real risks attached to purchasing your pet's medicine from these sources.

Major veterinary pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Merial, Novartis, and Elanco do NOT sell veterinary prescription drugs directly to these retail sources. The veterinary products you find online or in retail stores have been procured illegally through diversion of veterinary products to non-veterinarians for redistribution. The US Food and Drug Administration has already issued an official warning to consumers against purchasing these products here.

Because these drugs are being procured illegitimately, there is no regulation of proper storage, handling, or sourcing of these products. These products may or may not contain what they claim, or may be rendered ineffective through improper handling. Due to these risks, these drug companies (Pfizer, Merial, Novartis, Elanco) will not stand behind any product dispensed outside of a veterinary pharmacy that maintains an active veterinary-client-patient-relationship. When you purchase your pet's medication through your veterinarian, you ensure that you receive not only the real product, but also the backing of the drug companies, many of which provide guarantees of efficacy or support for adverse reactions to their products.

Your veterinarian and veterinary clinic staff are the most knowledgeable source for pet medications. Human pharmacists do not receive any training regarding animal pharmacology and are more likely to make an error in dispensing the proper medication to your pet. They may not even be aware that certain over the counter medications such as Advil or Tylenol can be life-threatening to your pet. Your veterinarian can best inform you of any potential side effects of the medication and help you with proper administration. If you have any questions regarding your pet's medication, please check with your veterinarian!

At Kailua Animal Clinic, we hope that you will feel like a part of our ohana and enjoy the open and supportive veterinary-client-patient-relationship that we strive to foster. If you have any questions about veterinary medications, please feel free to contact us.

For more information, please read the US FDA buyer beware brochure and a letter from Pfizer regarding this issue.

Jill Yoshicedo, DVM

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Last updated 2014 May 10.