Part of being a responsible pet owner is overseeing your pet’s health at all stages of their lives. Just like humans, pets may need medication to manage, treat or even cure medical disorders. While many of the drugs given to pets are the same as those used in people, there are also veterinary specific drugs that are flavored to make them more palatable for the animals. Medication can be as simple as OTC flea and tick prevention or a necessary prescription for relieving pain.
Below is a list of the most common types of medication used in dogs and cats. Keep in mind this is not a complete list of all the medications that are used in veterinary medicine.
While medicine can keep your pet healthy and comfortable, there can be side effects or adverse reactions. It is very important to read all information your veterinarian gives you about any medication and follow dosing instructions exactly. You should also ask your veterinarian what side effects/adverse reactions to look for. Some common side effects/adverse reactions include vomiting and diarrhea especially if it includes blood, lumps, skin irritations, trouble breathing, problems urinating, lethargy and weakness. If you suspect your animal is having a negative reaction to any medicine, call your veterinarian immediately.
At some point in your pet’s life, a veterinarian may prescribe medicine that needs to be taken for an extended period of time or for the rest of a pet’s life. If that is the case your pet will need to be monitored to make sure the drug is working and that there are no harmful side effects. Monitoring may include regular veterinary checkups, blood tests, urine tests or other tests your veterinarian deems necessary.
Keeping your pet healthy is one of the most essential jobs of a pet owner. During a pet’s life, it may require medication to treat a medical condition. It is important to make sure you understand why your pet needs the medication, how to give the medication, the duration of the medication and the side effects/adverse reactions of the medication. Animals are wonderful companions and they deserve the best care possible.