The Pet Clinic on Main Street
Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
As a veterinarian I frequently come in contact with patients that have already received multiple treatments with anti-biotics or dewormers that their owner's were able to purchase over the counter at the local feed store or box store. I can not see the logic behind giving a rancher/farmer the ability to self treat their animals without having consulted a veterinarian or obtaining a prescription. If I as a veterinarian prescribe one of the antibiotics, like tetracyline that is sold OTC in the local feed stores, without having a valid veterinary-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) I can be fined by the state examining board or worse have my license revoked. So it's ok for a feed store clerk with a high school education to hand out antibiotics on a whim but if a veterinarian educated on disease and treatment dispenses without a VCPR, they can lose their ability to practice We have constant evidence about the amount of resistance to antibiotics and dewormers and are told repeatedly to never treat without an accurate diagnosis, but the feed store clerk can attribute to the resistance problem without consequence. Opponents of my argument would say that this is saving the farmer/rancher money and that veterinarians "cost" too much. My response is how much will it cost the American consumer to purchase a steak at the grocery store when the cost of producing that animal goes up significantly due to resistance in antibiotics and dewormers Some farmers/ranchers are very educated on their trade and are able to diagnose, treat and prevent, thru proper vaccine protocols, but the vast majority are not educated on the subject at all. They are taking the advice of the feed store clerk or the local group at the coffee shop. If a parent were getting antibiotics from a non-credible source and self diagnosing and medicating their child there would be outrage and criminal charges sought. But the feed store clerk can prescribe medications to the cattle, pigs and chickens that the American consumer puts on their table on a daily basis and nothing is said. I beleive that should change.