How a Veterinary Pharmacy Can Help With Pet Medications

A veterinary pharmacy provides over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals for animal patients from sterile injectables and ophthalmics to nonsterile oral, topical, and transdermal medications. Commercially available pharmaceuticals often fit the needs of veterinary patients, but sometimes issues arise that impede an animal from taking the drug of choice. A veterinary pharmacy might specialize in individualized pharmaceutical therapies to address such dosing problems. Such facilities are called compounding pharmacies and are operated per state and federal regulations by specially trained pharmacists and technicians.

Compounding is the extemporaneous preparation of a customized pharmaceutical by prescription order from a licensed practitioner. Compounders work in a triad relationship between patient, practitioner, and pharmacist to troubleshoot medication problems and provide individualized therapy to promote the desired health care outcome. In the veterinary realm, compounders can tailor-make drugs for many animals, except for food and food-producing animals per state and federal regulations. What kinds of animals might benefit from compounding? Pets, performance animals, work animals, rescued wildlife, exotics, and more.

Several factors, working singularly or in combination, can contribute to patient noncompliance with the preferred pharmaceutical. A medication might have an unpalatable taste, texture, or scent. The route of administration might need tweaking (such as changing from a tablet to an oral liquid) or rerouting altogether (such as switching from a tablet to a transdermal gel). The preferred therapy might be on temporary back-order or manufacturer discontinued, or the commercially available drug might be too strong for smaller patients (available only in an unscored tablet that cannot be split accurately, for example). Last but not least, the commercially available pharmaceutical might contain irritants or allergens that could be eliminated.

Some of the most frequently requested veterinary compounds include transdermal gels and palatable liquid medications containing active ingredients like methimazole and metronidazole, prescribed often for hard-to-dose cats. Pergolide capsules for horses are also in high demand. Potassium bromide capsules and solutions are also frequently requested. Since the economic downturn, specialty pharmacies have been busy compounding pharmaceuticals that are FDA approved but on temporary back-order or manufacturer discontinued.

When choosing a veterinary compounding pharmacy, one should ask several questions. How long has the pharmacy been in business? Does it charge for shipping? Is the facility licensed to dispense in your state? Does the pharmacy offer compound price matching? Does the pharmacy have a sterile clean room for compounding injectables and ophthalmics?

A veterinary compounding pharmacy can be a helpful partner for practitioners and patients in promoting desired health care outcomes through individualized pharmaceutical therapy.

The Date Rape Drugs

Given the recent spate of sexual assaults and the seizure of a large quantity of the Date Rape drug GBH by the RCMP I thought it was time to pen an article about the Date Rape drugs. I spoke with a mother on the phone recently who was interested in a Self Defence course for herself and her daughter. She was concerned as the young lady is now of legal age to go to the clubs and she was asking questions about Personal Safety and the Date Rape drugs. This article will provide women with some basic education and training in this area. Thus armed, they will be able to significantly reduce their risk of being targeted for sexual assault via chemical warfare.

The Date Rape drugs fall into a category of recreational drugs known as “Club Drugs” due to the fact that they are often used, bought and sold at bars, raves and parties. They cover a wide spectrum of substances including the Date Rape drugs. By definition a “Date Rape” drug is any substance that is used in as a tool to place the intended victim in a suggestible or helpless stated through the administration of a mind altering substance. I think it’s important to note that any drug has the potential to be utilized in the commission of a sexual assault. People often forget that “Alcohol” is most commonly employed drug in sexual assaults, not Rohypnol, Ketamine or GHB.

Rohypnol (Roofies, Ruffies, Rib, Rope, Forget Pill, R2, Roche, Lunch Money, Mexican Valium, Mind Erasers, Poor Man’s Qualude, Trip-and-Fall, Whitey’s)
This is one of the “Big Three” drugs we commonly associate with Date Rape. It is an extremely powerful sedative and prescribed as a sleep aid. It is colorless, odorless and tasteless when mixed with food, water or alcohol. Rohypnol also goes by the brand name of flunitrazepam, and is available in North America. Rohypnol takes effect relatively quickly and effects are usually noted within 20-30 minutes of ingestion of the drug. Its effects can last anywhere from 6-8 hours dependent upon the dose and the victims weight and other factors such as alcohol consumption. The effects of Rohypnol are extreme drowsiness, lowered blood pressure, visual disturbances, dizziness, and confusion, loss of muscle control, slurred speech and unconsciousness. Rohypnol produces effects that appear as extreme intoxication after very little to drink. It also often leaves the victim with little or no memory of what occurred while under the drugs influence. The drug now has an additive that causes a precipitate (blue flakes) to form when it is mixed with a liquid. This should make a drink laced with this drug easy to spot.

GHB (Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid X, Scoop, Liquid Ecstasy, Easy Lay, Cherry Meth, Energy Drink, G, Gamma 10, Georgia Home Boy, Goop, Gook, G-Juice, Liquid E, Salt Water, Soap, Somatomax, Vita-G)
GHB or gamma hydroxybutyric is the second of the “Big Three” drugs utilized for sexual assaults. This drug was banned in 1991 but has since made resurgence as a legal muscle enhancer and fat reducer. The drug is easily available and instructions for its use and manufacturing are available on the internet. This drug is available in liquid, powder and tablet. GHB gives drinks a slightly salty taste, so it is often mixed with sweet tasting drinks such as fruit juice to mask the saltiness. GHB can be extremely dangerous especially when mixed with alcohol. It takes effect within 10-15 minutes of ingestion and can produce effects varying from relaxation and euphoria at low doses, to extreme fatigue, unconsciousness, and seizures and vomiting. Overdoses of GHB often require emergency medical treatment to combat coma and the depression of the victim’s respiration.

Ketamine (Special K, Calvin Klein, Vitamin K, Ket, Black Hole, Cat Valium, Green, Jet, K-Hole, Kit Kat, Psychedelic Heroin, Super Acid, Purple)
Ketamine was originally designed and used as a field anesthetic in Vietnam. It was discovered that it had some terrible side effects on humans and is now used as a veterinary drug. Ketamine comes in liquid or powdered form and is commonly snorted, injected or ingested. It is water soluble as well as tasteless, colorless and odorless. The drug generally takes effect within 10-15 minutes of ingestion and are short lived. Victims experience a profound change in the level of consciousness as well as memory impairment and difficulty organizing and understanding the environment. Higher doses cause unconsciousness.

Perhaps more valuable than a lesson on the types of drugs used and the methods in which they are employed it would be more valuable to look at how you can avoid becoming a victim through some very simple Personal Safety practices.

o Never accept a drink that you have not ordered, or seen mixed/opened for yourself.
o Never leave your drink unattended.
o Don’t drink anything that looks or tastes “Off”. If you are unsure don’t drink it.
o Never drink anything that has a precipitate (residue) on the glass or in the drink.
o If you start to feel funny, or more intoxicated than can be accounted for by the amount you’ve consumed, call 911.
o Never accept drinks or drugs from strangers.
o Don’t assume that this can only happen at raves, bars and big house parties. More and more often I am hearing about these drugs being employed at sporting events, High School/Junior High dances, college campuses, workplace parties etc.
o Always go out/party with a group of friends.
o Plan to go home as a group or with someone you trust.

By incorporating some basic knowledge of these substances and how they can be used to facilitate a sexual assault, women can protect themselves through proactive planning and preventative practices. We may never completely eliminate the use of chemical warfare in the commission of sexual assaults, but we can start reducing the statistics one women at a time through knowledge, preparation, training and practice.

Kerry Sauve
StreetSense Safety and Security Inc

Alternatives to A Veterinary Emergency

If you have a pet, there will probably come a time when you are faced with a veterinary emergency. This can come in a variety of ways, from a sudden digestive poisoning, a poisonous bite, to a flare-up of a chronic condition.

Most people, even those who use holistic health themselves, will race straight to the closest veterinary emergency clinic. It’s hard wired into most people. Most people think that vets are the best people to help in every situation.

Certainly there are some wonderful vets around and some offer great care. And sometimes that care is the best for the situation. But mainstream veterinary care is limited. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t find holistic vets deviating from the mainstream path.

Adrienne recently told me about her dog. He had suddenly become hot and started to shake. She raced him off to the vet, who tried a variety of different drugs, all to no avail. Several hours and $2,000 later, the dog was euthanised.

Could she have tried a different approach? As we can never have a re-run of any scenario, it is impossible to say. However, as she uses natural therapies for herself and her human family, here are my thoughts on what she could have done.

First and foremost you, as the carer must be calm, be able to assess the situation and to think clearly. Maybe this is too hard for some people, but you need to try. Even if you do end up taking your pet to the vet, you can enormously help them if you have had a quick check around the environment for possible causes. Otherwise, they will be in the dark as much as you, losing valuable time. And your added stress won’t help them.

To regain calm, to help you think clearly, the best thing you can do is to take the Bach flower essence Rescue Remedy, yourself. This has a calming influence in any stressful situation. You may need a few doses, but you can’t overdo this wonderful remedy.

Giving your pet a few doses too, will only help the problem. There are no contra-indications for the use of this beautifully acting, broad spectrum remedy.

Next, check the environment. For example, did you leave anything lying around that would cause a problem if ingested?

Do you have any garden pesticides or household chemicals? Are they secure or has your pet found them?

Have you recently used any chemicals on the garden or in the house?

Have you recently changed the brand of food they eat?

And so on.

If that is the sum total of your actions, that will have helped the situation, perhaps immeasurably. It could make the difference between your pet surviving or not.

However, had you also taken a home prescribing course in using the common homeopathic remedies, and had purchased a kit to use in such eventualities, then you may be able to treat your pet yourself. I believe pets are always much happier at home. They feel secure and don’t suffer the same stress that is inherent at every veterinary emergency clinic, even the best ones.

And, of course, veterinary drugs are toxic, so often exacerbate the situation, especially if inappropriately used, as often happens when the cause is unknown.

One day, one of my cats came home and collapsed. I quickly dosed both myself and her with Rescue Remedy while I assessed the situation. It was unlikely to have been a snake bit, as it was winter at the time. She was in the habit of visiting my neighbour, who used rat poison. She was also looking a little anxiously at her stomach. So I thought she had probably ingested the poison, perhaps eaten a poisoned mouse.

I used two remedies, one for the shock to her system and one that works well for ingesting poison, that leads to haemorrhaging. I initially alternated them several minutes apart, then less often until I could see she was heartily fed up with me and my bl… y remedies!

I monitored her and her breathing, without disturbing her. After a couple of hours of peaceful sleep, she got up and was perfectly normal. She suffered no noticeable ill effects.

The remedies I used are common and any good homeopathic home prescriber will know them.

Another time, I saw a cat walking around with a baby dugite (a local poisonous snake) in her mouth. I didn’t interfere as I thought I would make matters worse. When she came in a few hours later, she was behaving in a very strange way, so I knew the dugite had bitten her.

This time, I went straight to the remedy for snake bites, as well as one for shock. Again, I alternated them, until she was heartily fed up with me. She slept well that night and was back to normal the next day.

These remedies are also well known to any good homeopathic home prescriber.

What are the veterinary alternatives? They need to know the exact animal if bitten, or the exact poison, if ingested. Even then the odds are not good. With homeopathy, you don’t need such exact information. A bite is good enough. Ingested poison is good enough. And the odds are far better.

And the cost? The cost of the course I offer is less than $300. The cost of a box of remedies varies depending on who’s you get, but a good one will not cost more than $120 (current at time of going to press). So for less than a quarter of the vet’s cost, minus the great stress and anxiety that accompanies it, Adrienne may have been able to save her dog herself.

And go on to use her knowledge and the remedies in countless other situations.

Learn to avoid a veterinary emergency by being prepared. Take my year long, on-course and learn at your own pace. Empower yourself!