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Can a Vet Write a Prescription For Their own pet?

Once in a while, our pets suffer ailments that require short term or long-term treatment. Either way, we should seek guidance on how to administer medicine from a certified veterinary. Some stores also argue that you have a written subscription from the veterinary when buying over the counter drugs. However, not all ailments require subscriptions. An example is flea medicine FRONTLINE’’ that you can purchase easily and go treat your pet.

You might have also, at one time, thought of using human medicine on your pets. Some, like ibuprofen, can harm your pets’ health. In this article, you will learn about the ideal ways to prescribe drugs for your pet. Some remedies allow pharmacists to prescribe veterinary medications.

But to the question at hand: No, a vet is not allowed to write a prescription to their own pet. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there should be a doctor-patient relationship for a prescription to be written. In this case, the veterinary is disqualified because he/she cannot be his/her own client. Vets going against this law attract license suspension, among other punishments.

 

GUIDELINES FOR VET PRESCRIPTIONS

Prescription drugs should be distributed strictly by a licensed veterinary. The federal law restricts the use of some drugs. This law also states that; such medications must have a caution stating that the drug you are purchasing is of restricted use. Below are some of the prescription guidelines: –

  • Treatment records should be well maintained
  • The prescription drugs should be distributed in the correct quantities as per the animals’ requirements. This is to avoid the misuse of drugs.
  • Drugs that do not adhere to the usage as per the labeled contents should be strictly supervised.
  • The prescription drugs should be well labeled before dispensing to pet owners.
  • Veterinarians should make sound judgments. These clinical judgments should comply with the laws and regulations of either state.

 

VETERINARY PRESCRIPTION REQUIREMENTS

For a prescription to be considered professional, it must meet some requirements. Vets should provide an animal only prescription in emergency cases. These requirements include:

  • Must be written and signed by a registered veterinary officer. Any incidence of drug sale or use without a prescription should be reported to the FDA or any other state authority.
  • State the dosage rate to be administered
  • Must have a serial number
  • Specification of date and the period the prescription can last
  • Amount of medication to be administered
  • State the method of administering the drug
  • A detailed special instruction menu on risks and precautions
  • Should have the name and address of the vet in capital letters
  • Have the name and address of the person that has been allowed to administer prescription
  • A declaration that the medication is administered under vets’ care.
  • Should contain veterinary product authorization number.

You should also ensure that the prescription is distributed to a pet owner not later than 12 months from the date it was issued.

For the proper prescription and treatment of pets, there exists the need for a VCPR (Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship). This relationship is basically the same for both small animal medicine and large animal medicine. Under the relationship, the vet doctor assumes responsibility for all health-related issues with the animal.

In the case that a VCPR doesn’t exist, any, or all of the following may happen;

  • A wrong prescription medication may be administered.
  • Wrong doses of animal medicine may be administered.
  • Evidence-based medication does not take place
  • Meat quality assurance is not adhered to.
  • Animals may be slaughtered with drug residue.

 

Among the most considered factors when establishing a valid VCPR are:

  • If the client is a small animal or large animal owner
  • If the client has a stocker cattle operation
  • If the animal is commercial or recreational, as in the case of horses

 

DO VETS WRITE PRESCRIPTIONS?

Yes! But only on drugs that himself or herself would administer to the pet. The veterinary can directly administer the drugs to the animal patient or write a prescription for over the counter drugs. Veterinaries are also required to write a prescription upon request from their clients.

Different states have different regulations on how prescriptions should be written and the information that should not be excluded from the prescription.

 

CAN A VET WRITE A PRESCRIPTION FOR THEIR OWN PET?

No!

However good it may look, a vet should never prescribe drugs to his or her own pet. Different states have different regulations on how a veterinary pet owner should write a prescription to their pets. In Illinois, for example, the law forbids veterinaries to write prescriptions to their individual pets. The law also states that veterinarian pets are not considered patients to the veterinary.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there should be a doctor-patient relationship for a prescription to be written. In this case, the veterinary is disqualified because he/she cannot be his/her own client. Vets going against this law attract license suspension, among other punishments.

 

CAN AN MD PRESCRIBE FOR A DOG?

Although medical doctors have the same responsibility as veterinarians, they have very little knowledge of animal patients. They may specialize in the same field as surgery or dermatology, but it is quite different. This means that a medical doctor can write a prescription for your pet dog. He/she should be careful about the dosage and adverse effects of the prescribed meds.

 

CAN HUMANS TAKE PET MEDICATIONS?

Most pet medications do start as human drugs. This is because a lot of energy has been invested in researching human drugs. Some companies come up with drug formulations side by side. This is especially for those companies that work on both human and veterinary products.

The drugs, both animal and human have different formulations that suit the metabolism of either of them. Some animal medications contain animal-friendly additives that might not be good for humans.

This means that it is not advised to take any pet medication for any ailment whatsoever. The meloxicam drug is a good example. Humans usually take it in tablet form while dogs’ meloxicam is in liquid form. Animal meloxicam comes with honey flavor that is specific for animals only.

 

DO VETS CHARGE TO WRITE A PRESCRIPTION?

Pretty much like a doctor would charge you consultation; vets also charge an amount for every prescription.

Prescription charges depend on the breed, species, and the medical history of a pet, among many others. Any two vets may charge varying costs on prescription, but the difference is usually shallow.

 

DO VET DOCTORS CHARGE TO AVAIL COPIES OF MEDICAL EXAMINATION?

Yes. Veterinary doctors are allowed to charge for copies of medical records. The charges are usually for covering paperwork involved, staff time, and such things as postage.

Some veterinary doctors won’t charge you a dime. Such veterinarians usually have a mailing service through which they can push your pet’s medical records.

 

CAN A VETERINARIAN REFUSE TO WRITE A PRESCRIPTION?

Even though there is no law compelling a veterinarian to dispense or write a prescription, the Board maintains that it is unprofessional to refuse to write a prescription. If a client really needs a prescription, the veterinarian can dispense the drugs or write a prescription so that the client’s request is filled by another pharmacy.

However, veterinarians should know that it is unprofessional to write prescriptions, administer, and/or dispense drugs for such intentions as training or racing. Drugs should only be dispensed for medical purposes.

 

CAN YOU BUY PET ANTIBIOTICS OVER THE COUNTER?

The professional and safe rule is that you take your pet to the vet clinic for a thorough examination. Do not attempt to treat infections on your own. OTC antibiotics and other treatment drugs bought online or from non-certified compounding pharmacies must not be used on pets. This does not limit how much you should know about such antibiotics. We look at the various antibiotics next.

 

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON ANTIBIOTICS FOR PETS (CATS AND DOGS)?

CATS

AmoxicillinJust as in humans, this drug is vet-prescribed for bacterial infections in cats. It’s one of the most effective antibacterial drugs, able to treat skin infections and gastrointestinal infections.

  • Cephalexin

This a broad-spectrum antibiotic, known for mild side effects in cats.

  • Clindamycin

Known for efficacy in treating toxoplasmosis, this antibiotic is also good for infections on the skin, mouth, and bones in cats. It is very common in treating kittens due to its high tolerability.

  • Enrofloxacin

This drug is mostly used against urinary tract infections.

 

DOGS

  • Amoxicillin

As in the case with cats, the drug is used to treat a range of infections, both internal and external.

  • Gentamycin

If your dog has eye and ear infections or pneumonia, there is a high likelihood that this drug is listed in your prescription. It also doubles as an anti-inflammatory drug.

  • Tetracycline

Tetracycline can be seen as the drug of last resort. Due to its ability to block protein synthesis, it is applied where other antibiotics have proven ineffective. This way, it can penetrate the bacteria cell membrane.

  • Chloramphenicol

Bacterial infections in your dog’s internal organs are best treated with this drug. It has a pH value that doesn’t harm your dog.

 

DISCLAIMER!

While this information puts you in a good position to tell what your pet might be receiving treatment for, never administer any medication to your pet without a prescription.

 

WRAPPING IT UP

Administering medication to pets is a delicate thing that requires professional qualification. Before deciding on treating your pet on your own, you need to understand the risks involved and possible lawsuits. Follow the guidelines give here, and you could save yourself and your pet a lot of pain and inconvenience.

Treat your pet nicely!

 

SOURCES

  1. https://www.avma.org/prescriptions-and-pharmacies-veterinarians-faq
  2. https://www.massvet.org/page/FAQs/Frequently-Asked-Questions.htm#Prescriptions
  3. https://www.okvetboard.com/client-information
  4. https://www.petcarerx.com/article/can-you-buy-pet-meds-without-a-prescription/1536
  5. https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/safety-health/frequently-asked-questions-about-animal-drugs
  6. https://www.thepsi.ie/gns/inspection-enforcement/inspections/InspectorsAdvice/AdviceAnimalRemedies.aspx
  7. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2011/04/is-it-safe-for-humans-to-take-animal-drugs.html#:~:text=Absolutely.,for%20other%20species%20as%20well
  8. https://www.wedgewoodpharmacy.com/blog/posts/common-antibiotics-for-dogs-and-cats.html
  9. https://www.wellnesspetfood.com/our-community/wellness-blog/health-nutrition/general-care/average-cost-taking-your-pet-veterinarian
  10. https://cvo.org/Public/Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx
  11. https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/pets/902419-Vets-Fees-Prescription-Charges

 

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