We have a guest post today from a friend in the UK. This article has some very useful information about common pet issues and conferring with your veterinarian before medicating your dog with prescribed drugs or over-the-counter meds.
In 2012, the FDA investigated more than 4,000 online pharmacies and seized counterfeit and expired drugs worth more than $10 million. Experts say online vendors of popular pet medications work the same scams and frauds as Internet purveyors of human medications, and they warn pet owners to purchase their prescription pet medications only from real world pharmacies they know and trust. Experts also very strongly caution dog owners to administer pet medication for dogs exactly according to the doctor’s instructions, because uses and doses absolutely depend on a dog’s size, weight, age, breed and overall health. Just as you should not self-medicate for serious health conditions, so you should not experiment with over-the-counter and home remedies for your dog except with your vet’s knowledge and permission and then you can take help of reputable online vet stores for ordering vet products.
Most commonly prescribed pet meds
Perhaps not surprisingly, antibiotics now top the list of most commonly prescribed canine medications. Because bacterial infections prompt well over half of all dogs’ visits to vets’ offices, doctors prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics like Amoxicillin, Clindmycin, and Cephalosporins for hundreds of canine complaints. These powerful medications have proven especially effective against oral infection, dental diseases, and treatment of serious wounds. Many vets will prescribe one of these anti-bacterial agents while they wait for lab results to determine other therapeutic options.
As your dog gets older, he naturally becomes susceptible to more congenital and chronic diseases. German shepherds, for example, frequently develop hip dysplasia, and many veterinarians refer to pedigreed boxers as cancer machines. Golden retrievers similarly suffer inflammation and soreness in their joints, and they frequently develop hot spots or chronic skin irritations. Doctors most often prescribe Rimadyl, an NSAID much like ibuprofen and Celebrex, to relieve joint pain and restore some freedom of motion. For hip dysplasia, most vets recommend Deramaxx which relieves swelling and provides excellent pain relief. Both these medications are steroid-free and FDA approved for veterinary use.
Other common canine remedies
If your adult dog suffers from phobias or anxiety, your veterinarian may prescribe mood- or behavior-altering medication. Adapted from formula for psychoactive drugs that treat anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders in humans, these drugs require some time to build-up to effective levels in your dog’s system, and you may need to try several different meds before you find the magic bullet that treats your dog’s specific condition. Just as clinicians will not prescribe psycho-active drugs for people until they carefully have observed and diagnosed their conditions, so vets take great care to assess your dog’s behavior and moods before they recommend treatment. Even after careful scrutiny, vets usually prescribe minimum does of anti-depressants and mood regulators, because they sometimes aggravate pets’ problems instead of relieving them. As you request mood-altering medications for your dog, make sure you tell your vet about all the other prescription and over-the-counter drugs you give your dog, because dogs are just as vulnerable to drug interactions as humans.
Many pet owners very strongly recommend Rescue Remedy as a safe, effective, inexpensive alternative to prescription medications for behavioral and mood disorders. In the 1930s, British homeopath Dr. Edward Bach first formulated Rescue Remedy as one of his thirty-eight all-natural remedies for the full range of human ailments. In the last few years, Bach’s formula have gained widespread acceptance among American naturopaths and aromatherapists. Cautious vets often suggest Rescue Remedy before they resort to stronger medications. Available in pills, drops or spray, Rescue Remedy blends five different floral essences to support calm, compliant behavior in dogs, cats and horses. The formula includes helianthemum, clematis, and impatiens, ingredients many naturopaths recommend for treatment of human anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive and mood disorders.
As they celebrate their second birthdays and mature from adolescents to full-fledged adults, many dogs develop adult onset food allergies. They most often develop sensitivity to corn and wheat derivatives, the ingredients in most inexpensive dog foods. You easily will recognize the symptoms of food allergies diarrhea and urgent need for frequent relief plus scratching and licking to relieve dry and itchy skin. If your dog has suffered from loose bowel movements for more than two or three days, he may be severely dehydrated, and your vet may ask you to come in for an injection of lactated Ringer’s solution; it’s the same remedy ER Doctors use for their patients suffering dehydration or heat stroke.
Food allergy symptoms often disappear within just a day after introducing grain-free dog food into your dog’s regular diet. Your veterinarian may, however, recommend dietary supplements, now known as nutraceuticals, to compensate for poor nutrition and diarrhea’s after-effects. Canine caregivers frequently prescribe omega fatty acids, potassium supplements, Vitamin B complex, and Vitamin K1. These supplements may look familiar, because many people also use them to supplement their diets.
Experts note that housebound dogs are far more prone to physical and behavioral problems than dogs that spend most of their time outdoors. Outdoor exercise helps maintain dogs’ immune systems, keep their joints and bones healthy, and prevents obesity. San Diego County, California, veterinary technician Diane Hutchins advises, For complete health and happiness, your dog needs the same things you do lots of exercise, proper portions of healthy foods, and tons of love and affection.