I once spent a few weeks working as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic. One of the ‘tools’ available in the pet boutique portion of the lobby was something known as a ‘pill gun.’ You may have seen one. Its resemblance to an actual gun is minimal at best—unless you’re a three-year-old child. But the function is much the same: to fire a projectile through the air at high velocity—only in the case of this gun, we’re talking about pills rather than bullets.
Inevitably, just about every day, a pet owner—usually a cat owner carting a wailing, deranged feline in a carrier—would ask us how the contraption worked. We would then demonstrate the pill gun’s use on the clinic’s accommodating rescue cat, Spanx. The pet owner would then leave—sans gadget, of course.
The pill gun really didn’t work that well. However, here are a few tips that will help you medicate an ailing pet safely.
1. Only use approved medications. The Food and Drug Administration approves pet medications using a similar process to that of human drugs—this means testing them for overall safety and possible adverse reactions.
2. Don’t give your pet human medications. Some are toxic to pets. For example, Tylenol (and its generic sister acetaminophen) is lethal to cats. Advil (or ibuprofen) is lethal to dogs.
3. Only use accredited Internet pharmacies. The prices may be unbeatable, but sacrificing quality may cost you more in the long run. Some online pet pharmacies distribute counterfeit products, so only buy from those accredited by the Veterinary Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites.
4. Don’t ask your vet to prescribe a drug without seeing your pet. Fido’s rash may look like the same thing he treated last year, but the doctor needs to examine your dog to be certain. This is vital to prescribing the best medication with the least risk of adverse reactions.
Do you have any tips for pet meds? Share with us in the comments!