Blog: Lessons from the Field
More than a million pets in the U.S. have heartworm disease. Here in south Texas, because of our climate, consistent heartworm preventive is vital to your pet’s health. We are a hot spot for mosquitos. All it takes is one mosquito’s bite to infect your cat or dog with heartworms. Yes, you heard that correctly, both dogs and cats get heartworm disease. In dogs, mosquitos deposit the heartworm larvae into the bloodstream during a bite. Cats can also harbor adult heartworms, but it is more common in cats for heartworms to die before reaching maturity. Once the heartworm dies, the dead heartworm migrates to the lungs, causing acute respiratory distress and possibly death. However, even immature worms can cause respiratory disease in cats.
Since many medications and over the counter products are available for purchase through online pharmacies, we would like to take this opportunity to make you aware of some of the precautions you should take when purchasing your pet’s medications. Unfortunately, there are several disadvantages to purchasing these products through sources other than a veterinarian or their veterinary pharmacy.
Our products are shipped directly from the manufacturer to us/you. They are shipped overnight in a temperature-controlled environment. When products are bought from other online pharmacies, the goods are second, third, or fourth hand products. Often, these products are manufactured in foreign countries, and there is a chance they could be counterfeit. There is no temperature control and no State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to test the product.
All major veterinary drug companies maintain a strict policy of sales exclusively through licensed veterinarians. All other pharmacy sales are through non-approved channels. Because our products are purchased directly from the manufacturers, they are guaranteed by the manufacturer. If there is a product failure or a drug reaction, the drug manufacturer will pay for the treatment (which could amount to thousands of dollars) of your pet. The other online pharmacies cannot guarantee service like this. We have a working relationship with the drug manufacturers and will coordinate treatment. With other online pharmacies you will have to pay for treatment up front and hope that they will guarantee their product 100%.
The State Pharmacy Board requires doctors to have a relationship with the client in order to write prescriptions. This means that your pet must have a recent examination by a doctor and be current on certain vaccinations, heartworm testing and blood work, when applicable. Our products come with a person to explain the most appropriate medication for your pet, how to use them, and honor the guarantee if they fail to meet your expectations.
You will find that our prices are comparable with those of the major online pharmacies. If you still choose to purchase a product from another online pharmacy, we will write a prescription and you can pick it up at our office, with the following guidelines.
- All state and federal prescribing laws apply the same as if you purchased the medication at our hospital.
- We will write one prescription per pet per year per medication at no charge. You must pick this prescription up in person.
- To avoid any potential doctor-patient confidentiality issues, we will not communicate with the online pharmacy in any form or fashion.
- It is your responsibility to ensure that the prescription is sent, filled, labeled, shipped, and used correctly. We will not be expected to take the time to oversee these operations.
- We will not become involved in any product failure issues for products purchased through these discount houses. This includes flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention, and intestinal parasite control.
Thank you very much for allowing us to continue to serve you and your pets.
Sincerely, Your Pet Health Care Team at Comal Pet Hospital
Thanksgiving is a holiday meant for gathering around the dinner table with family and friends to share in your thanks for all that you have and all that you’re about to consume! For many pet owners, Fido and Mittens are valued members of the family and saying ‘no’ to their pleading eyes may be something you skimp on given the special occasion.