When animal guardians are given a new prescription for their animal, it is important to be aware of certain facts regarding the prescription drug, just as in human medicine. Of course, each veterinary prescription should come with a complete label that includes the date of the prescription, name, amount and strength of the medication, as well as how often and how long a medication should be continued. I usually like an expiration date also to appear on the label as well.
In addition, it is also important for veterinarians to communicate whether there are any side effects of the medication, as well as what to do if doses are missed or if a pet should vomit the medication. Many medications are more safely given with food, and if a medication such as a steroid or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication is used, it is often preferable to have blood work done before use, as well as periodically should these medications be continued long term. With more expensive medications, it is also helpful for an animal guardian to know if there are any generic equivalent medications that may be more economically feasible for the pet.
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