As a pet owner, veterinarian visits and medication dosing are common occurrences. However, while some pets are great about taking medications without much trouble, and while some owners have a knack for giving their furry family members medications, it isn't always that simple or straightforward.
If you have a pet that's challenging when it comes to taking medications, finding out that a medication is required can be stressful and anxiety-producing. Here's what you need to know about compounded pet medications to help ease the struggle.
What Are Compounded Pet Medications?
Medication compounding has just recently begun receiving some public recognition, so many people don't fully understand what it is. Additionally, many of those who do understand medication compounding think of it as something that's only provided for medications designed for human consumption. This isn't actually the case.
Medication compounding is a process in which a medication is altered to be administered in a different form that is easier to take. Sometimes it means flavoring a medication or changing the way that it's dosed, such as changing tablets to a liquid suspension. Other times, it means combining medications, such as blending two injectable medications into a single dosage.
How Can You Get Compounded Pet Medications?
You can't obtain compounded medications with the same ease as traditional prescription medications. In fact, many pet pharmacies don't offer medication compounding. Compounded medications are not a standard offering. Instead, they are crafted on a case-by-case basis as your pet needs them.
To obtain compounded pet medication, you'll need to work with your veterinarian. There are a few things that must be established in order for you to qualify for those medications. For example, you must have a veterinarian with an established care record for your pet.
That veterinarian must establish that there's a medication your pet will need, that your pet cannot take that medication in its available form for a verifiable reason, and also that there is a compounding pharmacy that can create a different form of the same medication for your pet.
What Are Valid Reasons To Obtain Compounded Pet Medications?
In most cases, your veterinarian will need to establish a valid reason for your pet to need a compounded medication. For example, if your pet has been diagnosed with a chronic disease that requires injections of more than one medication daily, there may be concerns that those injections could be traumatic and difficult since it's more than one at a time. The medications can be combined into a single injection dosage to make the process easier and less traumatic for both you and your pet.
For pets who are not good at taking pills, or for pet owners who cannot physically give their pets pills, your vet may recommend a compounded chewable treat that contains the daily medication.
Additionally, for animals that are not good eaters or that have dietary concerns, compounding medications into a topical ointment that can be applied inside the ear may be a viable solution to ensure adequate dosing.
What Kinds Of Flavoring Options Are There?
One thing that many pet owners have done is attempted to bury a pill inside of a food product that their pet particularly likes. Sometimes, this is effective. You can fold a small pill into a piece of cheese for a dog, for example.
However, this doesn't always work to mask pill flavors. If you're looking to have a medication flavored, such as turned into a chewable product, the key is the highly concentrated flavoring that compounded pharmacies have access to. Those highly concentrated flavors mask medications far better than anything you may have in the kitchen.
You can have medications combined with meat or cheese flavors for your dog, or even mixed with tuna or other seafood flavorings for your cat. When the flavoring and scent are strong enough, your pet never even knows they are getting medication.