Pet Health Tip - Medication Side Effects

During the course of your animal’s lifetime chances are you have used a medication. However, have you ever given thought to the possible consequences of giving that particular drug to your animal? Being concerned with drug side-effects is a fairly recent phenomenon. This could have to do with all the information available on the internet; the television commercials that list fairly horrific potential side-effects in a light, entertaining manner; the exploding use of pharmaceutical drugs or side-effects you may have experienced yourself.

Medications can be lifesaving under certain circumstances. However, their use is becoming more of a threat to the long-term health of animals when used in a manner that replaces relatively easy diet and lifestyle choices with taking a drug. The increased pressure for pet owners to use flea, tick and heart worm products, to get repeated “booster” vaccinations, to use medications or to feed prescription diets may be related to an alarming trend in veterinary medicine which is the purchasing of independent veterinary hospitals by large corporations. These types of corporate structures often set policies that may be better for the bottom line than the health of your pet.

What should I do?

Educate yourself! Are those booster vaccinations a good idea or does your animal already have immunity? Should you titer test instead? What happens if your animals does get kennel cough? Will they die or just get symptoms similar to the common cold for a few days? In that case are the potential serious side-effects of the Bordetella vaccine worth it? Do you really need to use heart worm medication every month? Probably not! Does your animal need that NSAID along with all the potential side-effects or should you try natural joint support first? What about drugs prescribed (certain pain meds) for your pet even though they are not approved by the FDA for use in animals and can cause numerous side-effects like unsteady gate, nausea and vomiting? Is it necessary? Is there a safer alternative? Once you start to research you become better educated, and of course you are lucky to have a great resource here with us when you need it!

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