One of the most common questions we get about prescription drugs is, “Why do I need to bring my pet in to see a doctor to get a prescription or to refill it this time?” The reality is that prescription drugs and prescription foods are regulated by the US Government and require a Doctor to prescribe them. The doctor writing the prescription for the medicine or prescription food must be the same doctor that examined the pet. One of the most important reasons that all drugs are not simply over-the-counter drugs is some of them require doctors to determine if they are needed and appropriate for the specific pet and situation. Doctors use different tools, such as examinations, lab work, bloodwork and rechecks to do their best to prescribe what is needed and monitor the affects over time.
When it comes to refills, some prescriptions are short term and may have no or just a few refills that don’t require a recheck. Some prescriptions may also be used for longer times and even years to help with an ongoing situation. These longer term prescriptions do require annual rechecks where the Doctor will examine and retest your pet to make sure how your pet is interacting with the prescription drugs/food, if it is still needed, and if it might be time to change to something else or continue on the same course.
I know it might seem weird when you have a pet that has been on the same prescription for years to still need an annual recheck. “After all, fluffy has been taking this prescription for 6 years now and does just fine.” This is a statement that at first and on the surface actually makes sense to most everyone. The problem with life is, things change! Our bodies, as well as, our pets bodies change all the time, both inside and out. Things that didn’t hurt before might hurt now. Drugs that use to help before might lose their effect or even cause rebound problems over time. By retesting and rechecking we are able to see what is going on inside and determine the best course of action over the life of our pets. We can make adjustments as and when needed so “fluffy” will receive the best care and only be taking what is needed when it is needed.
One f the common question we get is why do I need to see the Doctor to get a prescription for my pet. Prescription Drugs low is an explanation straight from the US Food and Drug Administration: