We love our pets and want to make sure they stay healthy and happy at all times. That means feeding them well, ensuring they get exercise, and taking them to the veterinarian for check-ups. Unfortunately, when it comes to providing medicine, most people believe there are no options outside of purchasing over-the-counter medications at the store. However, compounding pharmacies can create medication to meet your pet’s specific health needs in a way that’s safe and effective to preserve your beloved pet’s quality of life.
What Is Veterinary Compounding?
Veterinary compounding creates custom medications for your pet. A veterinary technician starts with a prepared sterile base called the “excipient” and mixes it with approved medicinal substances. The compounded product may also contain inactive ingredients that are necessary for preparing or preserving the drug. Compounding pharmacy medicines treat animals that might not otherwise be able to take manufactured commercial products because their conditions mean they cannot swallow conventional tablets, capsules, or liquids due to inflammatory bowel disease, neurological disorders, organ failure, or other issues.
Compounding is a critical part of veterinary medicine because it allows veterinarians to give pets the exact medications they need instead of giving them commercially manufactured medications that may not be right for them. Instead, compounding pharmacies create medications from
scratch, using natural ingredients to replicate the benefits of a drug without its side effects. For example, if your pet has a tumor that’s preventing them from eating normally, compounding pharmacies can create medication to stimulate their appetite without the side effect of weight gain. This advancement is especially beneficial in veterinary oncology. Another example of compounding is the creation of transdermal medication that can be absorbed through your pet’s skin rather than ingested.
What Are Veterinary Compounding Pharmacies?
Veterinary compounding pharmacies are specialized facilities that prepare tailored or modified medications (such as those containing certain flavors, colors, or inactive ingredients) for animal patients. They can also combine oral and injectable medicines to make it easier for animals under treatment to receive the appropriate dosage through a single injection. In addition to creating medication, compounding pharmacies also make medications taste better, so your pet will want to take them. You can also create flavored medication to make it easier for your pet to take.
Veterinary compounding pharmacies are regulated by the states in which they operate. They must meet specific licensing, staffing, and equipment requirements to ensure their products are safe and effective.
What Is a Compounded Medication for a Dog?
Pharmaceutical companies make manufactured medicines. They are mass-produced in factories that follow strict quality control guidelines. On the other hand, compounded medicines are made in small batches by pharmacists who measure and mix ingredients to fit the patient’s needs. This means they can be tailored for different dosages and come in different strengths, flavors, or colors than what is offered in store-bought medications.
One of the main advantages of compounded medications is that they can be made into various forms. For example, dogs who have difficulty swallowing pills may benefit from a liquid or cream preparation. They may also be mixed with flavored syrup to make the medicine more appealing and easier for them to take.
How Do You Compound Pet Medicine?
When it comes to compounding medications for pets, you have to be your pet’s advocate. The truth is that compounding medications can save a lot of time and money when it comes to caring for your pet. Although most veterinarians are very familiar with compounding medications, many people aren’t aware of this process or are afraid to ask. Compounding a medication for pets is usually done with basic ingredients commonly found in pet food or human supplements, which means they’re safe for your pet.
Some examples of pet compounded medicine include:
- Combining two different drugs within the same syringe
- Skin cream or gel that allows a drug to enter the system outside of traditional routes
- Ear drops from two different solutions
- Adding a delicious flavor that your pup would love to an already available drug
What Types of Medication Can Be Compounded for Animal Use?
Animals are often given the same types of medication that humans take. They may also be prescribed other treatments to help with their specific needs, such as pain management or antibiotics. If your pet is on more than one type of medication, you might find it challenging to keep track of which medications they have been given and when. Compounding a single pill to create a custom medication for your pet makes it much easier because only one pill will need to be taken at each dose.
Compounding can also include adding an ingredient to treat a condition that is not being addressed by the original prescription medication, such as giving milk thistle extract for liver protection when an animal takes an anti-inflammatory regularly. Some people choose to give milk thistle extract to their dogs taking other medications because it may help protect the liver.
The following list contains some of the conditions that can be treated with compounded medications for animals:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Pain management issues (pain medication)
- Skin issues
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Heart disease · And more
What Are the Benefits of Compounding My Pet’s Medications?
Compounding medications for pets is a great option to provide your little one with an individualized treatment plan with custom dosing schedules. Unfortunately, the number of prescriptions on the rise is alarming, worrying the public that dogs and cats could be overprescribed (just like people). In turn, this has led to a higher risk for side effects and drug interactions.
Compounded pet meds offer a customized treatment plan that uses the least amount needed for the animal.
Some of the top benefits include:
- Dosing schedules that separate the doses into smaller quantities for better absorption.
- Mimicking a natural diet by using ingredients like pureed fish or meat to increase the palatability of a traditional pill.
- Providing a treatment plan that is the easiest for your pet to take, even if they are picky eaters.
- Providing a nutritionally complete and balanced prescription diet for your pet.
- Providing alternatives to traditional medications with better sources of active ingredients, like natural herbal remedies or essential oils that are less likely to cause side effects.
- Using a smaller quantity of medications to prevent toxicity and reduce the risk for drug interactions.
- Saving money because your pet’s medication may be less expensive than the commercially available version.
Is Compounding Medications Saving Money?
There are a lot of pet owners who wonder whether compounding medications save money. The truth is that it really does depend on the situation. For example, some pet owners find that their pets have a severe medical condition, and they need to use certain medications for an extended period. In these cases, it makes sense to use compounded medications instead of the typical packaged medication because the price difference can be a significant factor.
However, if this is not the case and your pet needs a little extra help with something like arthritis or itchy skin, you might find that buying off-the-shelf medications is a better option for your budget. That being said, there are always additions that can be compounded and added to medication your pet already takes for extra health value. To save money and provide your pet with a “kitchen sink” of added health benefits is of considerable value to pet owners who want the best for their beloved furry friends.
What Are the Risks Associated With Compounding Pet Medications?
It is essential to know the risks associated with compounding pet medications before you make a decision. Overall, compounding medications are incredibly safe, and you should feel just as comfortable administering these to your pets as a person would be when grabbing a supplement off the shelf in a convenience store. However, for anyone who wants to get their dog’s medication compounded and has lingering questions, it is advised that you talk with a veterinarian about it before moving forward with treatment. They will help you find out if this is right for your animal and answer any questions that come up.
Compounding medications could present minor risks if you aren’t careful with your pet’s diet or go too far off the beaten path in your prescription. For example, if you use a pureed ingredient to hide medications, the color or texture may cause them to avoid the food. If you find yourself in a situation like this, try mixing it with their regular food or switching to a different option entirely. You may also want to be wary of using ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like grapes or raisins. While these aren’t common in medications, it is always best to double-check before administering something new.
Where Can I Get My Pet’s Medication Compounded?
When it comes to taking care of your pet’s health, your veterinary clinic is the best place to start. Your veterinarian will be able to guide you in starting your pet on a new medication or adjusting their current medication dosage. In addition, if you’re looking for a medication that your vet doesn’t carry, they may be able to help with the compounding process.
If they can’t compound medication, your local pharmacy or specialty compounding pharmacist can help. The experts at Compounding Pharmacy of America have a wealth of knowledge to share on the compounding process and its benefits for your pet if you want to learn more.
A Happier, Healthier Dog for Life
When it comes to your dog’s health, there are no shortcuts to take, and their happiness is a number one priority. The joy a dog brings to a home is immeasurable, and we want to make sure they live a long and happy life. That’s why our compounding pharmacist will work with you closely to make sure they can get the medication your dog needs.
We understand how important it is for a pet’s health to take their medication as prescribed and making sure your dog can obtain it is our number one priority. We’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure your dog’s medication is compounded correctly and that they get the correct dosage of their medicine.
Our staff at Compounding Pharmacy of America knows how to make your dog happier and healthier for life, whether it’s through compounding their medication or providing you with tips to make them healthier.
The Compounding Pharmacy of America is a leading compounding pharmacy for dogs and other pets. If you’re looking to get your pet started on medication or if they need adjustments, we may be able to help with the process and provide compounded medications that will keep them feeling great.
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.