• Tuesday, February 19, 2013 8:15 PM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)
    Oregon Veterinarians Sound Off on Human Med Pharmacists Dispensing to Pets
    Posted: Nov. 16, 2012, 4:02 p.m. EST

    More than one-third of Oregon veterinarians surveyed reported cases in which retail or online pharmacists changed the prescribed dose of a medication for an animal patient or substituted a different product without the doctor’s authorization, according to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association.

    While the altered medications tended not to harm a patient, some veterinarians described cases in which an animal died or was euthanized.

    Pills in hand
    About 115 Oregon veterinarians responded to the online survey, which the OVMA ordered in reaction to the now-stalled national Fairness to Pet Owners Act, which would require veterinarians to issue prescriptions to clients.

    “It really goes back to February, when one of our members contacted our office because she had concerns about the House resolution,” Glenn Kolb, executive director of the OVMA, said today. “We started hearing some stories [about prescription errors].”

    The good news, Kolb said, is that more than half of the survey respondents had been contacted by a pharmacist to answer questions about an order.

    “Together they work hand in hand to meet the needs of the client and the best interests of the patient,” the survey noted.

    The bad news, Kolb added, is that “When a pharmacy steps out of its scope of practice by making determinations and adjustments, the health of that pet can be jeopardized.”

    The survey documented instances in which pharmacists did not follow the doctor’s orders, including changing a prescribed insulin product to a less expensive insulin, substituting a drug with one not indicated for the species, and filling a prescription at 10 times the prescribed dose or at subtherapeutic levels.

    Examples included:

    • “A veterinarian diagnosed an older dog with epilepsy and prescribed 15 mg of phenobarbital twice daily. When the client arrived at the pharmacy to pick up the prescription, the pharmacist told her that the dosage was too high and that she should reduce it in half. With the subtherapeutic treatment, the dog continued to suffer from seizures, until several weeks later when the veterinarian discovered the problem upon a recheck. The dog was euthanized.”

    • "A veterinarian prescribed itraconazole (Sporanox) to treat ringworm in a cat. However, the retail pharmacy did not carry Sporanox but dispensed a compounded product that is unreliable and poorly absorbed in cats. The client elected to continue using the compounded product but experienced a treatment failure.”

    • "A dog with an autoimmune disease was to be treated with the chemotherapy drug azathioprene. Instead, the retail pharmacist dispensed the antibiotic azithromycin. The patient relapsed and had to be euthanized.”

    • A pharmacist suggested that a client purchase Rogaine to treat her dog’s alopecia. Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine and can cause cardiomyopathy in dogs, something the pharmacist did not know.

    • "A veterinarian diagnosed atypical mycobacterium in a cat and prescribed a liquid antibiotic for the client to have filled at a nearby pharmacy. The dilution instructions by the retail pharmacist were significantly incorrect. As a result, the patient relapsed and was euthanized.”

    The survey documented cases in which retail pharmacists changed medications even when the prescription stated “No Substitution.”

    “It also is fairly common for both online outlets and brick-and-mortar pharmacies to switch a prescribed product for another product because they happen to be out of the prescribed product,” the survey reported.

    A pharmacist should change a prescription only after a discussion with the veterinarian and after obtaining authorization, the survey concluded, adding, “It is important that retail pharmacists understand that cats and dogs are not little people.”

    The OVMA has been in contact with the Oregon Board of Pharmacy and submitted an article for the board to share with its members, Kolb said. The organization also will contact the Oregon State Pharmacy Association.

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2013 8:12 PM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)

    The VMB RVT Task Force meeting is scheduled for 9am-12pm, March 12, at 2005 Evergreen, Suite 2250, Sacramento CA 95815.

    Included in the discussion will be whether the Alternate Route should require a minimum or maximum number of hours in particular subjects.
    The current regulation, which has been in effect since 1994, requires a minimum of 300 hours or 20 semester or 30 quarter units, in specific subject areas, but does not require any minimum or maximum number of hours in any particular subject. Alternate Route candidates have been required to have at least one course in each required subject area, but it is currently left to the candidates to decide how many hours in any particular subject area are appropriate for them.

    CaRVTA needs your help! The CaRVTA Board has taken the position that there is no need to alter the Alternate Route, as it has been working as intended. In addition, AVMA accredited and California approved RVT schools do not have minimum or maximum hours requirements for their programs. The regulations for these programs require a minimum number of total hours in specific subject areas, just as the Alternate Route does.

    CaRVTA is encouraging RVTs who have successfully used the Alternate Route to:

    Attend the Task Force meeting on March 12
    Email a letter, before March 11, describing your Alternate Route experience. We will present all RVT letters to the VMB at the meeting.

    Letters should describe how the flexibility of the Alternate Route was a benefit and helped you become an RVT. Questions or letters should be emailed to You are encouraged to write your own letter, as personal letters have more impact. However, feel free to use our Sample Letter, if you choose or as a starting point for your own letter. Be sure to include your own name and contact information in the letter. Read the Sample Alternate Route Letter @
  • Friday, January 18, 2013 1:18 PM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)
    The free app, which can be used on iPad, iPhone, and Android devices, was designed to help veterinarians and veterinary technicians calculate the volume of crystalloid fluid they should give dogs and cats during fluid therapy.
  • Friday, January 11, 2013 12:52 PM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)
    Bella tops the charts of most popular pet names
    VPI announces most common monikers for dogs, cats and exotic pets.

    DVM Newsmagazine

    Bella landed in the No. 1 spot for dogs and cats and the No. 3 spot in the birds and exotics category in a recent Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) release listing the most common pet names.

    VPI found the top 10 most common pet names of 2012 by sorting its database of more than 485,000 insured pets. Following Bella in the dog category were Bailey, Max and Lucy. In the cat category, Max, Chloe and Oliver landed behind Bella and Charlie and Buddy topped the birds and exotics category.

    These names weren’t just popular among petsundefinedeach of the top five dog and cat names were also among’s 100 most popular baby names of 2012.

    “The popularity of people names doubling as pet names is a testament to the bigger trend of pet owners viewing their pets as members of the family,” says Curtis Steinhoff, director of corporate communications at VPI. “It’s now just as common for a pet to be named Oliver or Chloe as it is for a child.”

    Here's the full list:

    1. Bella
    2. Bailey
    3. Max
    4. Lucy
    5. Molly
    6. Buddy
    7. Daisy
    8. Maggie
    9. Charlie
    10. Sophie

    1. Bella
    2. Max
    3. Chloe
    4. Oliver
    5. Lucy
    6. Smokey
    7. Shadow
    8. Tiger
    9. Charlie
    10. Tigger

    Birds and exotics
    1. Charlie
    2. Buddy
    3. Bella
    4. Max
    5. Angel
    6. Baby
    7. Coco
    8. Rocky
    9. Bandit
    10. Sunny

  • Friday, January 11, 2013 12:47 PM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)
    Antifreeze manufacturers agree to add bittering agent to make products unpalatable to animals and humans
    Bittering agent will be applied to products manufactured in all 50 states.


    Antifreeze and engine coolant manufactured in the United States will now contain a bitter flavoring agent to prevent animals and children from being poisoned by the sweet-tasting liquid. Although legislation has been passed in several states, the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) and the Humane Society Legislative Fund jointly announced Dec. 13 that the industry would now voluntarily add the flavoring agent to products for sale on the consumer market in all 50 states.

    “Poisoning occurs because animals are attracted to the sweetness of antifreeze and engine coolant, which inadvertently spills in our driveways or is left in open containers in garages,” the joint release says. HSLF says estimates range from 10,000 to 90,000 animals poisoned each year from ingesting ethylene glycol, the toxic substance used in antifreeze. The release claims that one teaspoon of antifreeze or engine coolant can kill an average-sized cat.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry says ethylene glycol is rapidly absorbed following ingestion, leading to systemic toxicity beginning with effects on the central nervous system, followed by cardiopulmonary effects and, finally, renal failure. Clinical signs may be more subtle in animals than humans.

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