Pet Meds Online

Written by Shirley Parker
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Online purchasing of drugs destined for humans has gained more acceptance--in just the past two years--for a variety of reasons, including cost, availability and convenience. The change now also affects our ability to obtain cheaper medications for pets, or companion animals, as they are more properly called in many cases. Senior citizens especially will understand exactly what that means.

Even so, buying medicines online is a difficult decision to make. This is true even when finances are really tight. That may mean we don't know how we're going to pay the car insurance or the light bill this month. So how can we get the maintenance medicine that Ranger needs every day to keep his thyroid functioning or that Ginger needs to walk without pain?

We agonize over making the wrong decision, about getting "taken" by a fly-by-night outfit. What if they ship us junk or worse, instead of the medicine we charged to the credit card? What if the discount price is no bargain because it created more health problems? One way to minimize potential difficulties is to locate the profile of a candidate pharmacy and its rating from an independent source online. In addition to the independent ratings, there should be customer comments, and an indication of whether the pharmacy handles valid prescriptions for pets. Then visit the website. Veterinary medicine information sometimes isn't obvious. At other times, it's staring us in the face.

Discuss the Purchase with Your Veterinarian

We can't just order medications online without letting our veterinarians know we're looking into this option. Yes, it may be awkward to discuss it the first time, even touchy, and it makes no sense for medicine that's needed immediately. But for ongoing meds, an online pharmacy will need the vet's name and phone or fax number to obtain authorization and the correct prescription. It's impolite not to tell the vet ahead of time to expect such a contact. And please remember, it's the vet who does the prescribing, not the pet owners. Neither you nor I can decide we'd like to put Dimitri and Frisco on the latest drug that's been reported in the media, or even continue a medication when they haven't been in for a recent checkup.

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