You should know about the medications prescribed for your cat. Your veterinarian is the best source of this information, however, sometimes it is difficult to process and remember the information given to you while you are at your veterinarian’s office.
FDA Drug Approval
For a medication to be FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) approved for use in a particular species, it must have been tested on that particular species. Its efficacy must be determined, that is, that the drug works in that particular species for a specific disease including a specific dosage. It must also be proven to be safe at the recommended dosage. This kind of testing is expensive. As a result, most of the drugs that veterinarians prescribe are used in ways not specifically FDA approved in dogs or cats. The information for the majority of drugs used is extrapolated from studies in people or other animals or from small informal studies in dogs and cats.
US federal law restricts the use of these drugs by or on the lawful written or oral order of a licensed veterinarian within the context of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship. These regulations are designed to protect your pet while allowing your veterinarian to provide the best possible care.
Your veterinarian’s responsibilities include careful medical diagnosis and ongoing patient evaluation, current knowledge of the drug, as well as thorough education of the client as to the potential risks and benefits. Your responsibilities include following your veterinarian’s instructions, understanding the possible side effects, and reporting any suspected reactions or lack of response to the drug to your veterinarian immediately.
Accidental Ingestion or Overdose
- Contact your veterinarian immediately or local emergency veterinary hospital. You can also contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center which is staffed by veterinarians and veterinary toxicologists, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A consultation fee may be required which helps pay for the Center to operate since it does not receive state or federal funding. Contact them at 1-888-426-4435 or visit their website for information.
- keep your veterinarian’s number and emergency numbers near your phone
- inform them what the substance is and how much your cat ingested
- tell them the status of your animal
- state the approximate age and weight of your cat
- identify any medical problems your pet has
- tell them what medications your cat is currently taking
- Do not make your cat vomit unless instructed to do so.
Store your cat’s medications in tightly sealed, light-resistant containers. Follow any special storage instructions on the container such as “refrigerate” or “keep in cool dry place”.
Follow the label instructions exactly. If you have any question contact your veterinarian.
- Use the entire prescription even if your pet’s symptoms are improving, unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian.
- If you miss giving a dose, contact your veterinarian for instructions.
- Contact your veterinarian if you think your cat is having a reaction to any medication.
- Make sure your veterinarian knows about all the medications your cat may be taking, including over-the-counter drugs or prescriptions.
- Do not use medications prescribed for one pet on another. It could prove deadly.
Compounding of Drugs
Pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies may be able to compound certain medications for your cat in dosages that aren’t available from the company that supplies the drug. They can also take tablets and compound them into capsules or powder form to put on your cat’s food to make it easier to administer the medications. If your cat takes several different medications a day, the pharmacist may also be able to compound those medications into a single capsule or powder or make it into a liquid form. Talk to your veterinarian or pharmacist about compounding. If you don’t have a local pharmacist that can compound your prescriptions, check out the Compounding Pharmacy of America.
Some medications may be less expensive if filled by prescription in a pharmacy than if provided by your veterinarian. Some drugs may have generic equivalents that are also less costly. Discuss costs with your veterinarian or pharmacist.
A pharmacist has developed a system where veterinarians or pharmacists can add a particular flavoring directly to liquid medications or convert pills and capsules into a flavorful liquid. Initially designed to help him administer medications to his daughter, Kenneth Kramm, developed Flavorx which can be added to any medication for children, adults, or the elderly. When the medication became such a hit, Kramm designed new flavors to help dogs and cats stomach their medications as well. Your veterinarian can order the system from the Flavorx website. Flavorx is also found in over 7,000 pharmacies and several hospitals in the United States and is currently available in Canada, the Bahamas, New Zealand, Australia, and in the United Kingdom. Some of the flavors produced for animals are: angus beef, crispy bacon, chicken pot pie, fish chowder, roasted lamb, and grilled tuna.
If you move to another area or change veterinarians, request copies of your cat’s medical records be sent to your new veterinarian.
Information on this site is for general information purposes only and is provided without warranty or guarantee of any kind. This site is not intended to replace professional advice from your own veterinarian and nothing on this site is intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Any questions about your animal’s health or diet should be directed to your veterinarian.