Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Pet Medications Issues, Project No. P121201
I have had several situations arise when sending a client to a human pharmacy to fill a pet's prescription. I will only note two of these situations here. In one case I had a pharmacist tell the pet's owner that the dose was too high for the medication prescribed. The owner returned to me, confused. I explained that the dose for humans is different from the dose for animals and since they are pharmacists who typically only deal with human medications this is why they may have been misled to think the dose was too high. In another situation I had sent a patient to a pharmacy for vitamin K. I was treating the patient for a mouse bait poisoning. After going to the pharmacy, the pharmacist warned the owner about giving the vitamin K supplement because of the dose and duration. Again, I had to explain the differences between people and pets and the dangerous consequences of mouse bait. I am very concerned that the pharmacists who will be dispensing more and more medications to our patients will not have the knowledge needed to give advice about veterinary pharmaceuticals. We studied pharmacology in school and have the unique knowledge needed to prescribe medications and give medical advice to our patients. In regards to internet pharmacies I am concerned about the reliability of these websites and the safety of medications. I would never purchase heart medication for my mother online because I would never trust where it came from. I think we should have the same standards of care for our pets. I will never know if it is directly related but I have had 2 patients come up heartworm positive after being on an online pharmacy heartworm preventative. We have since switched both to our products sold at the hospital and they have never had another issue. I am concerned about the lack of pharmacists knowledge in veterinary products and dosages to be giving out advice and I am also concerned about the safety and efficacy of the internet pharmacies.