When I take my lunch break I usually come home to let the dogs out, grab a quick hug from each of them, and of course grab a quick bite to eat and then race back to work before afternoon appointments start.
The only time I stay at work to eat lunch is when my husband is working nights and I don’t want to come home and disturb him, because I’m “considerate” like that.
Such has been the case for the past few weeks so I’ve been joining my fellow co-workers in the lunchroom where we chat and catch up on what is happening around the world in all the hot magazines.
I’m not one to grab the most recent People Magazine or US Magazine, instead I dig through to the bottom of the pile and grab the most recent veterinarian magazine to get caught up in what is happening in the “modern world of veterinarian technology.”
Most of the time my magazine of choice is DVM360, a great magazine that serves the veterinary community, including veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary practice managers, veterinary assistants, receptionists, and more.
As I was looking through the January edition there were several stories that caught my eye: A Rising Risk of Ehrlichia Exposure, After Sandy:Dogs in the Midst of Disaster, 10 Pages to Like on Facebook, The Rise of the Almighty Pet Owner, and the one that really caught my attention, Oregon Veterinarians Tally Retail Pharmacists’ Mistakes.
The article was about about how the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association recently conducted a survey to determine how often mistakes are happening when retail pharmacies fill veterinarian prescriptions. The alarming results show that these mistakes are not isolated incidents and have been observed by more than a third of veterinarians in the state.
Below is a list of some areas that were listed where veterinarians in Oregon are seeing problems:
- Insulin substitutions
- Thyroid drug dosage changes
- Phenobarbital dosage changes
- Ringworm treatment substitutions
- Propylene glycol misinformation
- Wrong drug dispensed
- Incorrect dosages
- Disregard for veterinarians’ instructions- no substitution means NO substitution for a reason!
- Inappropriate client counseling. (some side effects that people experience in human medicine does not apply to animals)
In the case of the propylene glycol misinformation a vet prescribed propylene glycol for a dog with a hyperkeratotic nose problem.
The pharmacist told the owner of the dog that the vet prescribed ethylene glycol (anitfreeze) and that it would kill her dog.
Obviously the owner didn’t get the medication and the dog went untreated until the vet called to check up on the dog.
The key to this post is not to knock retail pharmacists but to provide education to pet owners as more and more of them choose to have their pets medication filled at retail stores over their veterinarian offices for various reasons.
Educate yourself on your pets medication.
Be aware of what your pets prescription is.
If the vet hand writes a prescription, write it down or make a copy of it so that you can compare it to the prescription of what was filled by the pharmacist. If the vet calls it in for you ask them what the prescription is and write it down.
When you pick up your pets medication, always double check it. Is it the same brand name of medication? Is it the same dose that the vet prescribed?
And if you ever doubt anything, have questions, or the pharmacist wants to change your pets prescription, please call your vet and ask.