6 Questions to Ask Your Veterinarian About Your Pet's Medication

Some Problems Are the Same in People and Pets

If I miss a dose or find out later that my pet spit it out, what do I do? Missing a dose is common with people and pets alike. In general, you should never double up on your next dose. Usually it’s better to wait until it’s time for the next dose, give it normally and stay on schedule from then on. But that’s not always the case, so ask your veterinarian what is recommended for this particular medication.

Are there any possible side effects? Increased thirst or other changes in behavior can be extremely concerning if you aren’t expecting them, so be sure you know what to expect as normal, or at least as possible, with the medication. Not only will knowing what to expect save you worry over things you don’t need to be concerned about, it will also help you know when you do need to be concerned — and when to call your veterinarian right away for advice.

If I can't get my pet to take the medicine, what are my options? Yes, some pets are impossible to “pill,” and some pet owners are just not able to deal with at-home nursing of any kind. If that’s you or your pet, speak up! There are almost always alternatives, from long-acting injections for antibiotics to using compounding pharmacies to render medication in more palatable formats. Some people bring their pets in to the veterinarian's office for treatments (sometimes even for treatments that other pet owners have no problem doing at home) — and that’s OK, too.

Medication Can’t Work If You Don’t Give It

The best veterinarian in the world can’t help your pet get better if you can’t or won’t follow through on his recommendations for care. “Non-compliance” is one of the most frustrating problems in medicine. Doctors want you to get better, and veterinarians want your pet to get better. That’s why we do the work we do: to help you. Let us help you. Make sure you ask questions and understand the answers before you leave with your pet’s medication.

Your pet can’t ask, and she's counting on you to make sure you know what you need to do at home.


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