How to determine the correct syringe for your pet’s insulin

Filed under Pharmacy Blog

It's important to use the correct syringe for your pet's insulin

A syringe is a syringe, right? Actually, syringes come in different units of measure, different sizes, different needle length, different needle width, different, different, different! Giving insulin to a pet, especially if you’ve never done that before, is stressful enough without having to worry about giving the wrong dose. Unfortunately the body of an animal (or a human) is not so willing to forgive an insulin overdose. Hypoglycemia can and frequently does become life-threatening. Read More »

Do pets have the capacity to truly love?

Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Many times in an extremely close relationship between two humans there develops a feeling of “oneness.” I have even encountered several people who have developed such a strong feeling of connection that it seems to include the whole of creation. Sometimes the question arises as to whether our pets have the ability to truly love and if they have a soul similar to that of humans. Most people who have felt or heard a cat purring when touched or a dog wagging his tail when near a certain family member would argue that animals do have the ability to love unconditionally. That being said, there are many people in the scientific community who would argue that pets only seem to love others in their “pack” simply as a survival instinct. Read More »

Childproof containers…for pet medications?

Filed under Pharmacy Blog

It's important for even pet medication to be in childproof containers

Several times a month we get a request in the pharmacy from one of our customers to “Please place my dog’s heartworm preventative or other medication in non-childproof containers.” The main reason for this request usually stems from the human caretaker having a difficult time opening the container that holds the pet medication. Many times a client may have arthritis or other joint disease and, in at least one case that I’m aware of, the pet owner had lost the use of one of his hands in an overseas operation. Generally the pharmacist taking the call will have no problem honoring that request.

There are other times however when the caller begins the conversation with a general question about our safety enclosure policy: “Why do you put this medication in a bottle with safety caps? I can assure you that my dog is not going to get into the bottle and the days of us having young children around the house are long behind us.” This week I decided to address this topic so that I can hopefully shed a little light on the subject so that people can better understand the reason behind the use of safety enclosures. Read More »

Your pet’s medication and the “therapeutic window”

Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Some medications have a narrow therapeutic window

Back when I was in school, one of my teachers wanted to explain something called “therapeutic window” to the class. My teacher explained that you could draw a graph and put one line above and call it “toxic dose above” and another line under the first line called “ineffective dose below.” The distance between those two lines is the level that any drug needs to be in to be safe and effective and is called the “therapeutic window.” This distance is different, depending upon the specific medication, essentially making some drugs safer than others in terms of dosing errors such as giving an inadvertent extra dose, or an accidental overdose by the pet. Read More »

Human Medications Can Be Toxic to Pets

Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Pets metabolize medications differently than do humans

After I graduated pharmacy school in the 90’s I spent over ten years working in a hospital for humans. For many years I prepared medication for patients on the obstetrics floor, in labor and delivery, in pediatrics, in neonatal intensive care units, and for many other critical care patients that required extremely precise doses due to their fragility and the seriousness of their illnesses. All medications administered to any patient must be prepared with extreme care since errors anywhere in dosing and wrong drug administration can create a life-threatening medical emergency. In some patients however, any error or oversight no matter how small can have tragic consequences. That being said, many of the common medications that are dispensed regularly to some of the most fragile human patients can be deadly to pets, even in very small doses. Because of the way our pets metabolize medication, the huge variability in weight ranges, and the high level of individual sensitivities, medicating this group of patients requires an increased level of individualized attention and care. Read More »

Your Pet’s Immune System – Keep It Functioning

Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Why do some pets seem healthy while others always seem to have health problems?

Many people who have several pets in the same household at times realize that some pets always seem healthy while others are constantly battling some sort of health problem. Illnesses also appear more frequently in those pets and last longer when they do appear. These illnesses could be anything from a mild cough, infections, skin disorders, to cancer or simply anything that makes our pet feel and act out of sorts or lacking in energy. This often makes the pet owner wonder why there is such a difference from one pet to the next.

Why does one pet seem healthy while another keeps getting sick? Read More »

Cisapride Use in Cats

Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Cisapride is useful in treating may gastrointestinal problems in cats

In July 1993 a drug called cisapride was approved in human medicine for treating gastroesophageal reflux in humans. In January of 2000, cisapride was removed from the United States market by the FDA after reports of cardiac side effects such as rapid and irregular heart rate. In veterinary medicine there were never any such cardiovascular effects seen. The drug was extremely helpful in treating many gastrointestinal disorders so it continued to be used, primarily in cats. Read More »

Don’t Just Grab the Medicine Bottle… Read the Label First!

Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Before you give your pet any medication, always read what the label says.

Before you give your pet any medication, always read what the label says. Start by making sure the medicine bottle has the proper pet name on it; it is possible that someone might have made a mistake and given you medication intended for another pet. It’s also possible that you grabbed the wrong bottle from the area where you store your medication. Checking the name is the absolute first thing that should be done every time before giving anything to the pet. Read More »

Kinetosis: The Best Solution is Being Prepared!

Filed under Pharmacy Blog

It's best to prevent motion sickness before it happens

The first time I went night fishing off the coast of Long Island the skies were clear and there wasn’t much wind, the ocean was as flat as can be, and the ride out on the charter boat was refreshing. The experience was as good as it can be and, as far as I was convinced,  I had already become an expert fisherman. About 3 months later I was ready to go again and this time I was bringing my baby brother along to show him how to become a world class fisherman like I had obviously become.

From the moment we boarded the vessel I could tell that things were different than they were the previous time. The professionals on the boat including the captain seemed a bit tense and distracted. The wind was blowing quite a bit, and there was a light mist in the air making everything wet and uncomfortable. As we started heading out to sea from the Southern Coast of Long Island we encountered around 4 or 5 smaller boats racing back in. One of the people on the boats that were hurrying back looked straight at me with an expression of seriousness and concern and said “What are you guys doing? You shouldn’t go out there this evening.” Then the next boat had several possibly intoxicated people who were laughing and yelling things at us like “good luck out there, you are definitely going to need it tonight.” These guys giving us advice looked like hardcore fishermen and if they were concerned for our safety, I began to become really worried. I immediately went to find our captain to ask him if we were going to possibly turn back, he smirked and said “no, why would we?” Read More »

Your Dog Missed A Dose Of Heartworm Medicine…Now What?

Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
Most monthly heartworm medications offer coverage for heartworm prevention beyond the typical 30 days.

A common question clients often ask is what they should do if they missed a dose of heartworm medicine: Should they have their pet tested first before giving another pill?  The answer to this question is no.  Fortunately, most monthly heartworm medications do offer coverage for heartworm prevention beyond the typical 30 days. The product Sentinel,  for example, is  often effective for 45 days, while Heartgard or Iverhart may be effective for up to 2 months; therefore, animal guardians can simply often resume giving the preventative at the appropriate time the next month.

Read More »