For the most part, no. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) sets the standards for the quality, purity, strength and consistency of all prescription and OTC medications in the U.S. – the goal is to make sure that the product you purchase meets these standards. If you look closely at the drug labels, you’ll see “USP” printed after the drug name in the ingredients list – and sometimes it’s printed clearly on the front label of the bottle/box. Based on USP standards, for example, generic ibuprofen is the same drug as the brand name-versions of ibuprofen (of the same strength) as far as the quality, purity, and consistency are concerned.
However, we have heard some anecdotal and unconfirmed reports of pets that had been receiving a brand name medication, but did not do as well when given a generic version of the same medication. Although all USP versions of a drug meet the purity standards for that drug, all of the ingredients and the processes involved in making the trade name versions are often protected by patent or other intellectual property laws, and there may be differences in the minor ingredients that could produce slightly different results between the versions, while still providing the main drug that meets USP standards. Think of it as following a recipe – even if you have the same ingredients and follow the instructions, the end result might vary a little bit. This is not a common problem with medications, and is often resolved by switching back to the effective version of the medication.
If your doctor recommends a prescription that is not commercially available, or a form, taste or dose of a product that is not made that particular way, then The Pet Apothecary can compound, or custom make the prescription to the specifications your doctor requests. As stated above, compounding is done to provide a method to make a treatment available in a way that will be tolerated by the patient, in this case, your pet.
Yes: we are open Monday through Thursday from 10am to 5:30pm and Friday from 9am to 4pm. We are also available by appointment before hours, after hours and on Sunday.
Remove the cap from the syringe. Cover a finger with a glove, or plastic bag. Then gently push the barrel of the syringe so the the dose (typically 0.1ml or 0.05ml as indicated on the prescription label) is extruded. Put the small bead of gel on your covered finger and apply the medication to the pinnea of the ear (tip of the ear with less hair on it). At the same time your applying the dose to the ear, take a dab of water(again on a covered finger) and apply the water to the opposite ear so that any excess gel previously applied is removed. Click here to learn more about applying a transdermal gel.
The medication you were sent came in a bottle in one of two ways. 1) When you remove the cap, there is a plug underneath 2) Attached to the bottle is a blue replacement cap.
In the first case where there is a plug underneath the cap, insert the syringe, and turn the bottle upside down. Withdraw the liquid into the syringe to the correct dose (usually marked with a line put onto the syringe). Turn the bottle right side up, and withdraw the syringe. The medication can be administered to the pet.
In the second case, unscrew the cap of the bottle and replace the cap with the blue cap. The syringe fits into the new blue cap: and when inserted, tip the bottle/syringe upside down. Fill the syringe to the correct dose (usually marked with a line put onto the syringe). Turn the bottle right side up, and withdraw the syringe. The medication can be administered to the pet.
When you are given a prescription for a medication for your pet, it means that your veterinarian has made a decision that the medication is recommended or necessary to treat your pet’s health problem. Many prescription drugs are only effective for specific problems, and may actually be harmful to your pet if used without that critical veterinary examination and diagnosis. Having these drugs available as prescription-only medications ensures that they are used appropriately.
Let’s take heartworm preventives as an example. Heartworm preventives are labeled as “prescription-only” because it’s critical that your veterinarian makes sure the medication is the right one based on your pet’s health status. The preventives target the microfilaria, which are the larvae of heartworms that circulate in the blood and eventually become adult heartworms. If your dog (or cat) has heartworms, giving the preventive medication will not effectively treat the disease because the preventives don’t readily kill adult heartworms, and it could potentially cause a life-threatening reaction if your pet has a large number of microfilaria circulating in its bloodstream.
There are drugs, called “over the counter” (OTC) drugs, that don’t require prescriptions. Drugs can be bought OTC when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines that the directions for the drug’s use aren’t overly complicated and are adequate for the public to follow. In some cases, such as the common headache medications for people, the OTC version is just a weaker strength than the prescription form. However, in many cases, a medication is only available with a prescription for the reasons we mention above.
Don’t do it! Although these products are approved for use in people, many of them are not safe for pets. For example, acetaminophen (Tylenol® is the most common example) can cause severe illness, and even death, in pets. Talk to your veterinarian before you give ANY medication to your pet.
There are several reasons you should consider getting your pet’s medications from your veterinarian:
If your veterinarian has the medication in stock, you immediately have it and you don’t have to wait to get it from a pharmacy;
Your veterinarian or a veterinary technician can answer your questions, provide you with instructions for use, and maybe even demonstrate how to give your pet the medication; If you order from a pharmacy and the medication isn’t properly shipped (for example, it is allowed to get too hot or too cold) or isn’t properly packaged, it could be ineffective or damaged and unusable; whereas if you get it from your veterinarian, you know it has been properly handled until it reaches you and they can inform you how to make sure you handle the medication properly.
Your veterinarian might strongly recommend that you get the medication directly from them, but some states actually require veterinarians to write prescriptions for clients to have filled elsewhere if requested by the client. Some states do not require this of veterinarians.
There are certainly situations where it is in your pet’s best interest to get the medication directly from your veterinarian, and we encourage you to discuss your options with your veterinarian. The AVMA’s Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics recommends that veterinarians comply with their client’s wishes and provide written prescriptions if the client prefers having the prescription filled elsewhere.
There is no federal law preventing your veterinarian from charging you a fee for their services and time invested in writing a prescription. Some veterinarians charge a nominal fee for writing prescriptions, but others don’t. Individual states might have specific guidance for veterinarians on prescription fees.
Meet Morris. If you look at the last picture. It is his left eye that always gives him problems. I rescued him off my porch. He was very thin and his eye lashes on the bottom were growing inwards. Had surgery 2x and has been on the eye drops ever since.
An extremely proud Mother
I can’t say enough good things about your company. Your employees are all first class and customer focused! Michael via LinkedIn
Thanks so much for supporting our annual rummage sale. Thanks to your generosity in covering our costs we were able to raise over $8,000 for the shelter’s expenses. 100% of that money goes to the cats’ care. Thank from all the kitties and volunteers at Second Hand Purrs.
Second Hand Purrs
Butters (a kitty) is a success story from the Neurology department of WVRC Emergency and Specialty Pet Care. She had seizures that are now being managed. Owner Tracy says: “I’m so happy she’s in my life. The initial estimate on her lifespan was that she may live to 1 year old. She is 2 years and 5 months now. She brings me quite a bit of joy. The Pet Apothecary has been very helpful with her prescriptions.”
Hi Guys: What a joy to give this medication, we really think she looks forward to it. We apply it to her ear and Bella never moves. The person who thought of this should be given free cats for life!
Thank you for preparing my pet’s gabapentin and overnighting it on Friday afternoon. She was in such pain on Friday and you made the weekend more tolerable. She’s feeling much better. 🙂
Thank you for providing all of the medicines necessary to keep me comfortable. At this time, I am in my twentieth year of life. I could not have achieved this without your help. Marky
Marky the cat
I appreciate the service and help you have given me concerning the medication that is required for my cat for his hyperthyroidism. So far it is working well and I hope it will add many more years for my beloved pet. I do enjoy the little “riddles” that someone adds to my bill. It sort of makes it a little fun when I receive the medication…I too love trivia.
Your potion is like “magic”, not a cure but noticeable improvement in scratching ears. We are grateful.
Thank you so much for the liquid medicine. This is the first time in 8 years my stubborn basset hound took medicine without spitting it out. Thanks again, Kim
Stubborn basset hound
The purpose of the brief letter is sent out of courtesy to explain why-after numerous years of our ordering medicine for our cat, my monthly letter ordering more medicine abruptly ended…..Cat had been rapidly going downhill for at least the last two months…..I could not watch as she went to sleep for the last time….In conclusion, the monthly medicine we received from The Pet Apothecary added many happy years to her life-and for that I thank you. Gilbert
I want you to know how much I appreciate that you go above and beyond to help me with my “special needs” cat. I have told MANY people – The Pet Apothecary is THE only place they should get their meds. I can tell you have a sincere love of animal, and for that I am grateful.
We just wanted to send you our special thanks for the warm and caring service that you provided us these past months. Our “baby girl” Emily was laid too peaceful rest on Monday, February 20th following her battle with cancer. It was and is a tearful time for us. But thanks to the wonderful caring service of Stoughton Vet Clinic and you, she had seven months longer with us than was expected. You always greeted us with your warm caring way whenever we called for refills. And your cute little jokes on the invoice brought a smile during a difficult time. You guys are the best. We will certainly remember you and recommend you in the future. Many, many thanks!
Bob, Sue, & Bill
To everyone at the Pet Apothecary, thank you so much for all your help with my cat Redmond. You have been in his life for many years and he lived a good life with all your help in what you do.
Jeff and Staff, I’m so thankful that you were able to help me and my “little girl”, Pywacket. The medicine is like a miracle in controlling her I.B.S. Thank you so much.
Compounding Customized Medications to Solve Dosage & Administration Problems.