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Common Medicine Mishaps
By Deb Eldredge, DVM

1) Always give the full prescription unless told otherwise. Using only part of an antibiotic prescription can lead to drug resistant bacteria.

2) Always make sure you understand the directions, especially if the label is hand written not typed. One pill twice daily is NOT the same as two pills once daily.

3) Some medications may have specific directions such as to give with food or to avoid giving with food. For example, tetracycline type antibiotics should not be given with dairy products like cheese. Most of your nonsteroidal antiinflammatories such as Rimadyl, aspirin or Deramaxx should be given with some food.

4) Make sure your veterinarian knows ALL the other medications and supplements your dog is taking. This includes herbal supplements and ANY other things including the normal food. Some combinations could be deadly.

5) If your dog starts to show symptoms that might be a side effect of the medication, such as vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, etc, call your veterinarian right away.

6) Even if your other dog starts to show similar symptoms, do not simply give that dog the same medication. Dosages need to be adjusted for age and other health problems, especially chronic ones such as liver or kidney damage. Check with your veterinarian.

7) Don’t give your medicine to your dog. Dosages may be off, your medication may not be safe for your dog, etc.

8) Store medication properly – some may need to be refrigerated, some kept in a dark cupboard.

9) Do not use medications after their “out date”. This should be on the label.

10) Keep a chart for senior dogs or any dog with multiple medications so that the whole family knows when to dose and if a dose has been given.

Deb M. Eldredge, DVM

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