The Beginning Of Love
I was sitting in my room watching Family Matters when my mother called my brother and I to help with the groceries. With the expected pace of a snail, I slowly made my way out the door and to the parked truck. When I opened the back hatch, prepared to carry my body weight in groceries to avoid the dreaded second trip, I was greeted by the cutest pair of groceries I had ever seen. No, it wasn’t a box of krispy kreme donuts but two St. Bernard puppies; Sonny and Sebastian.
I don’t know if you have ever seen two Saint Bernard puppies but they are these balls of fur and curiosity. There is a quiet softness to them even as you recognize that eventually they will weigh over 150lbs They both looked up at me as I screamed to the top of my lungs for my older brother and younger sister to join me in this heavenly love. And yes it was love at first sight, Sebastian stayed back playing it cool, but Sonny rushed me and jumped into my arms licking my face and whining in excitement. He leaped out of may arms and darted around in his new backyard seemingly plotting out the mischievous adventures that lied ahead for him and his brother. He rolled around in the grass, jumped into the bushes, and snapped at the various flowers and weeds.
When The Allergies Started
When we finally got the big little guys in the house, Sebastian found a corner that would become his own and Sonny began scratching away. After a couple of days it was clear our baby boy had a pesky allergy. Pet allergies are pretty common with WebMd listing the common symptoms of food and seasonal allergies that afflicts a sizable amount of house pets effected every year.
The Struggle With Giving Pets Their Medicine
Our local vet prescribed a basic antihistamine but the once playful now stubborn pup wouldn’t take the medication. And boy was he clever, after fighting with us for a good three minutes, he learned to hold the pill in his mouth and run away with it and spit it out. He would bury it, throw it up, or bark until he tired.
That’s when we learned about compounding pharmacies. Think of it like the Flintstone gummies parents give to their children, and sneak for themselves, to help ease the tension of using oral medications. The same is true for our house pets. We began compounding Sonny’s medication with a chicken dog food and it worked great. I’ve seen tuna for cats, fruit flavored treats for birds, and other great alternatives to basic medications.
The best part of compounding pharmacies was we could get the dosage just right for this bigger than average pup. We avoided the risk of using too many or too few pills all then while providing it in a way that made Sonny happiest.
He was going to fight us no matter what we did so we had to evolve. If your furry friend is still weary of the medical snacks than you can always opt for topical gels, a one time or annual sterile shot, or in an ophthalmic medication or eye drop solution.
These last few options aren’t specially flavored and are often scarier choices for owners as they remind us of our own fears of needles and complex topical creams. However, for pets with sensitive stomachs they may be the only options and deserve some researching. While we went with a food based compound for Sonny’s allergies, when he began having constant joint pain from a birth defect in his hip we opted for a shot and topical cream.
The Answer Is Found In Pet-Approved Compounding Medications
These varied results are not just for concerned owners but for individualizing treatment for pets in the same ways we do for humans. According to Sandra Diaz, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, “About 10 percent of dogs have allergies.” This number is only increasing as dog owners learn more about seasonal and environmental allergies and when you include other species this number balloons even further.
Compounding medications so that our animals get the treatment they need and comfort they deserve should be a foundational principle for pet owners. Allowing our little furry brothers to play freely outside and not worry about being uncomfortable in their own space was all that mattered to my family.
Chief Operating Officer, The Compounding Pharmacy of America
Matthew Poteet, Pharm.D. graduated with Honors from Lee University with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Science. After his undergraduate training, he completed the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, graduating in 2004. Dr. Poteet has spent much of his pharmacy career on staff at two of the most prestigious academic teaching hospitals in the Southeast; Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. At these institutions he received extensive experience and training in sterile products compounding.
He returned home to East Tennessee in 2010, where he has held the position of Pharmacy Director at two sterile products pharmacies in Knoxville. Matthew lives in Knoxville with his wife, Chris. Dr. Poteet is Tennessee’s first Board Certified Anti-Aging Pharmacist by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.