Most pharmacy schools do not have any courses on veterinary pharmacy so most of the graduating pharmacists know very little if anything about the differences in drug metabolism and dosing in non-human patients. A survey conducted by five state VMA’s (Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Iowa, and Southern California) regarding pet prescription errors [revealed] in 2014.
• ~1/3 of respondents knew of occasions when pharmacies changed drug or dosage without consulting the veterinarian
• Showed “an alarming trend in recurring problems by pharmacists unfamiliar with veterinary pharmacology & physiology”
• 24-38% of veterinarians had at least one incident involving a drug or dosage change without knowledge or authorization
• ~9% reported an adverse health reaction related to a drug or dosage change by a retail or online pharmacy
• Overall, comments indicated that veterinarians are happy to talk to pharmacists if they are unfamiliar with dosages in non-human species
• Several comments regarding pharmacists telling pet parents that the prescribed dose is too high and will hurt their pet
• Many reports of pharmacies changing flea/tick medications or dosages without calling
We have had one local pharmacist “recommend” a drug for a patient that was contraindicated for the pet’s medical condition and other medications. (Aug 2015) Fortunately, the client knew better, and the patient was unharmed.
We have had another pharmacist tell a client the dose of the medication was too high. (July 2014). And fortunately in this case client did not change dose and the patient was unharmed.
Please, please if you have any concerns about recommendations from us or suggestions by a pharmacist – please consult with us first.