Understanding Your Pet's Needs
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Understanding Your Pet's Needs

After my pet had a long, drawn-out battle with cancer, I realized that I needed to do a better job with understanding my pet's needs. I wanted to be there for them no matter what, so I started focusing on my other animals. They needed more love, attention, and medical care, so I focused on those things. I started taking them in for regular checkups and working on their physical appearance. I was able to spot a few other potentially catastrophic health conditions with my animals because of my actions. This blog is all about understanding your pet's needs.


Understanding Your Pet's Needs

What's Involved In Veterinary Compounding

Gisele Pereira

Giving animals their needed medications can often be challenging. What's more, sometimes medicines that work well for one pet, don't have the required dosage, strength or taste for another animal. But thanks to animal compounding, administering pet medications doesn't have to be a major ordeal. If you have pets, here's what you need to know about veterinary compounding.

What is a Veterinarian Compounding?

Veterinarians usually begin giving standard medications to their patients who have allergies, diabetes, thyroid disorders or arthritis. However, when these medicines fail to work, vets can give their patients compounding drugs.

In simple language, veterinarian compounding is adjusting an animal's medication beyond that which is fixed on a drug label. This is done so that a specific patient's medical needs are met. Manipulating a drug may involve diluting, mixing, flavoring, concentrating or adjusting the dosage of an animal's medication.  

Advantages of Veterinary Compounding

Besides making animal drugs more tasty and appealing, there are several other benefits of compounding an animal's medication:

  • Medications can be adapted for animals who suffer from food allergies or sensitivities.
  • The way a drug is delivered can be customized so that there's less stress on owners giving their pets' prescribed drugs.
  • Animals can continue to receive medications that have been in short supply or have been discontinued.
  • Medication dosages are tailed for a wide range of animal species and sizes. In addition to dogs and cats, other animals, such as ferrets, rabbits, pigs and chinchillas can receive compounded medicines. Even reptiles and wildlife living in zoos, aquariums and rescue organizations can be helped.

Peculiarities of Particular Pets

Different species have various dislikes and preferences when taking their medicines.

  • While most dogs resist traditional medications squirted into their mouths, they willingly accept poultry or meat-flavored medicines.
  • Cats usually fight taking regular pills, but they don't have a problem when their medications have a tuna taste.
  • Although birds are unable to swallow large amounts of liquid medicine, they can gladly take them in small, fruit-flavored dosages.

Considerations and Warnings

  • Compounding can only be done on an individual basis for each patient. Thus, veterinarians cannot compound large quantities of medications and then resell them to other vets or pet owners. 
  • Veterinarians don't choose a compound medication just because it may be cheaper than traditional drugs.
  • Sometimes you may want to use a compounded drug for another pet. Before doing so, check with the pharmacy regulations of your particular state.
  • If you need to order refills, you'll also need to consult your state's pharmacy and medical regulations. Because of short BUDS (beyond-use dates) on some particular compounds, some medications may be more frequently refilled. 

Never assume a medicine is safe for an animal. For all questions about giving any type of medication to pets, always consult your veterinarian.