Category Archives: Pharmacy Blog

How you can make this your pet’s best summer

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Keep your pet happy and healthy through the hot summer months

Summertime in Florida is brutal at times and summer weather has already arrived here well in advance of the summer solstice. The heat is unbearable and just when it starts cooling down in the evening, mosquitoes show up and start biting. A good part of my day seems to be spent putting protective chemicals on my skin for one reason or another. Although I don’t particularly like heat that makes you feel as though your skin is melting off your body, I still prefer it to shoveling snow or having to bundle up in puffy layers just to get out of the house. Truthfully, the bottom line for me is this: when I’m feeling happy and relaxed I can tolerate heat, cold, wet, dry, or pretty much anything that comes my way. When I’m not feeling so great, even the smallest irritation can translate to something huge in my mind.

Happiness is an “inside job” and one of the best ways for me to remain happy and healthy is to surround myself with happy and positive people, eat right, and get enough sleep. Falling passionately in love with another is probably the absolute best way to keep most anyone smiling regardless of the season, geographical location, or temperature extremes, especially when that love is reciprocated. How do I know this? Let’s just say I recently met someone whom I love very much. Just the thought of her throughout the day immediately lifts the stress off my neck, instills peace to my chest, and fills my heart with love. But how do we help our pets cope with summer health hazards?  Read More »

Surprising ways pets are affected by relationship troubles

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Moving can be hard on pets as well

Moving into a new home and a new neighborhood is for most people a very stressful event. My recent move was prompted by a few changes in my family dynamic. No matter how much my wife and I tried, we were not able to make it work. After many discussions and tears, we both agreed it would be best to part ways. Our children are grown up now and are pretty independent, we quickly came to an agreement about splitting our assets, and it seemed that everything was going to be easy and amicable until a monkey wrench was thrown into the negotiations: What do we do with our pets?

We have two dogs and three cats that we both love equally, and now the custody battle was not over our human children but over our pet children. After many days of going back and forth, we were able to make the decision based on the preferences of the pets. Duke and Midnight seemed to follow my wife everywhere she went while Daisy was clearly “my dog.” I could almost see Daisy smiling at me when I would enter the room. So as strange as it sounds, we let the pets pretty much decide who lives with whom. Read More »

What you should know about “superbugs” and your pet

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We must all be responsible to help prevent the development of superbugs

Ever stopped taking a medication early? After all, the only one who gets hurt if a medication is not taken exactly as prescribed is the patient themselves, right? The answer to that question is actually an emphatic NO. A decision taken by one person can in fact hurt many. The topic of antibiotic resistance is something that affects every single person living on this planet.

There exists something called “superbugs” which are bacteria that are resistant to all kinds of antibiotics. Over half a century has passed since penicillin was discovered by Doctor Fleming; that one drug, in a variety of different forms, has saved the lives of millions of people. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics, however, has created a staph bacteria known as MRSA which can cause very serious illness and even death in a short period of time. These superbugs are extremely difficult to eradicate and are becoming an epidemic that is infecting the old, the young, the healthy, the sick, people, and animals. These bacteria have to be taken very seriously or we may shortly return to the “dark” age before the invention of antibiotics, a situation that we would not wish on our worst enemy. Read More »

Is it a mistake to “humanize” our pets?

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Play Time

In our society today, fewer people actually interact face-to-face with each other and are now more likely to communicate online. Because our social connections are becoming more impersonal, perhaps it’s only natural that people may look to their pets to fill this void, often treating them more like little people. The truth is, I’m not totally sure how I feel about this. There is a part of me that really enjoys seeing a dog dressed in a sweater or raincoat, or a cat with her own weekly blog. PetMeds employee, Abby, writes a blog for her Devon Rex cat, Daisy, which has many readers that get pleasure each week from reading about Daisy’s interactions with her troublemaker roommate, Harley (“the maniac.”) Our pets are part of the family, and there is nothing more entertaining than a beloved pet exhibiting human-like traits that we can ourselves identify with. Counting, reading, dressing up, obeying complex commands, flushing the toilet, and so many other human traits that we get our pets to “perform” do bring us great joy because it taps into something in our soul that finds humor when an animal acts like a human. There are times, however, when it’s important for a pet to be treated like the animal he or she truly is. Read More »

Don’t expose your pet to this hidden danger

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You could unknowingly expose your pet to dangerous medications

I was surprised to wake up a few days ago to an FDA Alert that a human medication called Flurbiprofen has caused serious illness in some pets. I’ve heard of this medication being used in human eye drops and some doctors prescribe a topical formulation to apply on the skin, but I have not heard of this non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication being ever prescribed for dogs and cats. Upon further reading, it became clear that this drug had in fact been prescribed to humans to be used on the skin but somehow it ended up getting on the family cat, almost causing kidney failure. This didn’t just happen once, but enough times to warrant this urgent FDA warning.

This FDA warning should alert us to the dangers of human medication becoming somehow dangerous to pets who live in the same household. The FDA Alert goes on to advise healthcare providers and pet owners to become alert to the dangers of this drug, and other topical drugs, to our pets. Even though the medication is being applied topically on the shoulder or the neck of the human, pets can get enough exposure to cause harm and possible death. Human medication can be extremely dangerous to pets even in very small doses. Pets do not metabolize all medication in a similar fashion as humans do, and a drug that is relieving your shoulder pain can be toxic to your dog or cat. Let’s look at just a few specific examples of the dangers of pets getting into human medication, keeping in mind that this list is nowhere near a complete listing of all the potential dangers.  Read More »

Have a dog and a cat? Don’t make this mistake!

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Cats and dogs have many physiological differences

Cats and dogs often live in the same household like brother and sister. One is usually big and the other one small, one barks and the other meows. Many times we use the same veterinarian for both, and in certain instances, the same medication may be prescribed for both. This makes some of us sometimes incorrectly assume that cats are just little versions of dogs. Although there are some superficial similarities, cats and dogs are very different physiologically and from a medical treatment point of view. Read More »

What you need to know about your pet’s medication dosage

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Medication dosages can vary in surprising ways between humans and animals

Humans and dogs have been friends for at least fifteen thousand years. It may be possible that living so close to each other for so long has caused similarities in certain traits and even in certain diseases. Obesity, hypothyroidism, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorders, and even certain cancers have been seen in both dogs and humans at a higher rate than those seen in the wolf that runs wild and has no human contact. Although some of these similar conditions may also have similar solutions in pets and humans, it is important to note that the doses of medication used in humans and in dogs could vary greatly. This week Melissa Selinger, our pharmacist student from Nova Southeastern University, will give an example of the difference in dosing for one of the most popular medications used in both human and veterinary medicine. Read More »

Pet safety is no April Fool’s Day joke

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runaway-dog

The first day of April is known by many as a day for practical jokes. April Fool’s Day gives some a green light or excuse to say something or do something that isn’t based in truth. These jokes more often than not result in laughter, and the person who has been the victim of the prank often says something like “I didn’t even pay attention to the date” or “I should have known!” This whole day of pranks makes me wonder something about my own pets: do pets understand the concept of a practical joke? Do animals have the capacity to mislead each other or do something that isn’t based in truth? Jokes can be fun and the source of laughter and joy if planned properly; if not, they can create an atmosphere of danger. When my neighbor told his wife a few years ago that their dog ran away (as an April Fool’s day joke), she rushed home and in so doing got a speeding ticket. It would have been a lot worse had she gotten into an accident on the way home. After giving it some thought, I’m not sure how I feel about April Fool’s Day as a holiday or as a day for celebration. Call me a party pooper but I would probably prefer not to become a victim of someone’s practical joke, and I have no interest in playing a practical joke on another person. Read More »

The importance of the expiration date

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Pay attention to drug expiration dates

Many pet owners would choose to skip their vacation or the purchase of a new television set if it was a choice between those things and the health of their pet. Everything seems so costly these days: dinner out, movies, clothes, even water which should really be free is on the shelves everywhere for sale in plastic bottles. Those of us with pets quickly come to realize that pet ownership is very costly under ordinary circumstances, and an unexpected illness could easily lay ruin to the most carefully planned out budget. Shopping around to decrease some of the costs associated with healthcare is generally not a bad idea, but sometimes I get calls from pet owners who want to cut costs in ways that are potentially harmful, such as trying to avoid bringing the pet to the veterinarian when the pet is not well. Another example of a bad idea is to use medication that is past its expiration date. While having a sick pet and not bringing him or her to the veterinarian for proper examination is obviously a very bad idea, many might not so easily recognize other dangers such as using expired medication. Read More »

Learn from the past to prevent a modern pet poison tragedy

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If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, immediately contact your veterinarian or poison control center for guidance

It seems like almost every day or week of the year is devoted to recognizing a person, event or special cause. Since this week it’s National Poison Prevention Week, I began writing this blog on the topic of pet poisonings. Halfway through, I realized that although the information is certainly useful, it would be more interesting to connect it to a famous person who might have firsthand knowledge on the topic. Socrates, one of the world’s most famous philosophers, was not a chemist but since he did himself die from poisoning I will credit him with being an expert whether or not he deserves this distinction. First let’s find out what kind of poison was responsible for killing Socrates, and what information such a genius philosopher might shed on the topic of pet poisoning if he were alive today. Read More »