Adventures in Veterinary Pharmacies
at South Town Animal Hospital
The Difference Between Online & In-house Pharmacies. There’s so much to know.
The way we shop has changed so much over the past few decades. Most of us are looking for products to purchase that are not only convenient to buy, but at the best deal. Online shopping has taken the world by storm! We can literally purchase anything we would like, anywhere we want, with the touch a button, even our pet’s prescription drugs! Something that many people do not know is that purchasing your medications online may come with a deeper cost than we thought……
At South Town Safety is #1!
As your pet’s doctor provider, one of the biggest concerns is SAFETY. South Town Animal Hospital purchases medications and supplies, through vendors, that have been inspected and approved by the FDA and manufactured and packaged according to U.S. regulations. Striving to provide safe medicine is a vital part of our practice. The following are some concerns regarding alternative online pet sources –
- Medications purchased through alternative online pet sources may have been purchased outside the United States and have different strengths and labeling than U.S. products (www.fda.gov).
- Some alternative online pet sources may not be aware that their products may have issues with the following: manufacturing, dating, labeling, shipping, storage and guarantee (www.fda.gov).
Possible substandard medicines would keep your pet from getting better or could even make them sick. So, we recommend when purchasing products look for the FDA approval “Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to be used by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian” (www.fda.gov). With all these concerns in mind we have decide to launch an online pharmacy through VetSource (a veterinary pharmacy) as a safer choice.
Where are my pets medications coming from?
Our doctors and staff know exactly who our vendors are and where the products are manufactured. Many alternative online pet sources purchase their medications from secondary places. Our trusted vendors, who assure quality, sell only to licensed veterinarians for their in house use and for their online practice pharmacy. This is the most important part of our vendor relationship because it provides a 100% product guarantee that is passed on to you and that cannot be provided otherwise.
Price Checking & Insurance Reimbursement
Would you be surprised to know that alternative online pet sources do not always have the lowest price for medication? Both South Town Animal Hospital’s inhouse pharmacy and online VetSource pharmacy are priced competitively to outside sources. Our practice also passes on manufacturers promotions and/or rebates which result in greater savings. These rebates we offer are not usually available from alternative online pet sources. Something else to keep in mind is that pet insurance companies require all prescriptions be FDA approved. If you have pet insurance with medication reimbursement, submission and approval will be easier with purchases from either South Town Animal Hospital’s inhouse pharmacy or online VetSource pharmacy.
Ordering from other online sources may not guarantee confidentiality
Some questionable alternative online pet sources lack the right safeguards to protect personal and financial information. These alternative sites could infect your computer with viruses or sell your personal information to other websites and internet scams. https://www.guthriepet.net/blog/online-pet-pharmacies/
When using alternative online pet sources to order your prescription drugs remember to be A.W.A.R.E
- Ask your doctor. Who better the tell you about what trusted sites to use.
- Watch for red flags. If it doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription, it is not a safe source to get your medications from.
- Accreditation. Check your non-veterinary online source website for accreditations.
- Report it. If a situation arises where you find a faulty online pharmacy, report it to the the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) by calling 1-888-332-8387) or AskCVM@fds. Lets make our cyber world a safer place.
- Educate yourself. Protect yourself and your pet from faulty pharmacies.
The world of cyber shopping is a big place, if you are looking for a safe, reliable online pet pharmacy, start with our convenient online pharmacy, VetSource. VetSource not only has rebates, product guarantees and weekly/monthly coupons, it is a place South Town Animal Hospital staff knows you can trust. If your interested in online shopping, be safe. You can reach VetSource by going to our website at www.southtownanimalhospital.com. Simply click on the ‘Vetsource Online Pharmacy’ tab and while shopping make sure to look for the weekly/monthly specials and savings!
For more information on safe online purchasing of your pet’s prescriptions click on the following:
Also Google – “BeSafeRX Know your online pharmacy: FDA”
The Story of Bad Breath…..
When my eldest son was very little we read every day together. Being in the animal field and an animal lover, always enjoyed reading dog related stories to him before bed. One of our favorite books was a story of a dog named Hally Tosis. This book made us crack up! Hally Tosis was about a dog that saved her family from burglars by knocking them out with her bad breath. It was a cute story, but little did I realize.
Speed forward about ten years. As of today I have been in the animal field for a total of 17 years. I have seen the field grow and flourish in ways that I have never even thought of. We now do surgeries of all sorts, offer life saving drugs to our animals, and have specialty doctors for all different kinds of ailments. One particular field that has grown leaps and bounds is dentistry. Right along side with human dentistry, animal doctors are now seeing the great importance of dental health. Dental health effects all different kinds of areas in the body. Signs and symptoms of oral problems, like the bad breath of Hally Tosis, should not be overlooked.
On that note, I finally decided to perform a dental on my very old friend and family member, my 16 year old pitbull, Coco. Coco is very special to my family. In the past year I noticed that she had been doing a lot of drooling. I had overlooked it due to the fact that she’s always been kind of a drooler. She always ate great and showed no signs of oral discomfort. Even so, the smell coming from her mouth was literally horrendous. When the family stopped wanting to cuddle her as much, I knew something needed to be done.
I brought Coco in to see Dr Crittenden As usual her bloodwork looked great and despite her old lady ailments, like her arthritis, she was overall healthy and we got the green light for a dental. She also had a localized mass on her arm so the plan was to remove it at that time as well. Why not, knock two birds with one stone. We scheduled her a few short days later for surgery with Dr Cody.
The morning I brought her in I was nervous, yet ready to get rid of some of that tarter that was causing all the funky smell. Alison (my trusty sister, and technician) helped Dr Cody get her settled under anesthesia. Dr Cody removed the lump first with no issues. Her heart rate was solid, her temperature was great, and fluids were administered to keep her hydrated through the whole procedure. I got the go ahead from both Alison and Dr. Cody to do the dental cleaning myself.
The tartar was awful, even though I failed to mention this is not her first dental. She had the procedure done two years ago but she’s not much of a chewer anymore, so I knew this was going to be the case. I also have not had success with brushing my dog’s teeth. Sheesh! I tell you I should have tried a little harder on that one! Anyway, I cleaned up one side of her teeth no real issues. When I got to the other side and I began to clean and the tater came clean with no problems as well. I got to the back of her mouth and had to hold her cheek open to reach far back and noticed a thickened area inside. Sure enough, Dr Cody took a look and it appeared to be some sort of mass. We took a biopsy of the lump and finished up her dental and got her into recovery.
The next few days in recovery the entire staff was there for us. All three doctors were checking on us and answering any questions that I had. The technicians and receptionists were all there by my side rooting us along for a speedy recovery. I can’t believe how blessed animals are to have three amazing doctors and a slew of technicians and animal professionals to look after them!
Long story short, Coco has made a decent recovery. The teeth are cleaner and my girl loves eating canned food. The mass we found in her mouth is a pretty aggressive type of cancer. I’m not sure of what the future holds. What I do know is that if I never did the dental procedure, I would have never found the cancer. I’m not sure how we will proceed with treatments in the future, but the importance of dental health really hit home this time. As for the story of Hally Tosis, maybe she should have had a dental cleaning too.
Designed by Carolann Crittenden
Welcome Dr. Cody!
We are welcoming Dr.Cody to the South Town Animal Hospital team! Dr. Cody graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She lives locally with her husband, 3 children, and four cats. The beautiful kitty above is Triscuit, and she was ready to pose! Dr. Cody loves reading and movie night with her family. We are super excited to have her see our amazing patients!
Videos of surprise puppies or kittens on Christmas morning are flooding the internet. People open the box that meows and break into tears of joy. While this seems like a unique and fun gift, one must ultimately consider the responsibilities that comes with owning a pet.
- Time – With a new pet comes many responsibilities including the need to train your pet. Your new family member will need to be potty trained, learn basic commands, and get used to a new daily schedule. All of this takes a lot of time to accomplish.
- Space – Breeds matter, depending on location. If you’re getting a pet for an apartment dweller, perhaps a herding dog isn’t the best choice due to their need for space to run.
- Funds – Pets overall can be a costly responsibility. Even if the pet is “free” this doesn’t cover veterinary costs, training costs, food costs, and cost of toys and accessories.
- Rules and restrictions– Unless the person who is receiving the gift is a homeowner, there are typically rules to which types, if any that are allowed. One must also be knowledgeable of other potential restrictions, such as allergies.
Before surprising a loved one with a pet, be sure it is thoroughly discussed and the responsibilities are understood. Never ever make an impulse decision with an animal – they’re a serious commitment. Instead of giving a pet as a surprise, agree to pay the adoption fee for a pet that has been considered and visited. Most important if you are choosing to get the pet for a child, consider the age and responsibilities of the child. Is the child old enough to care for this pet? In addition, be aware that responsibilities may fall back on you as the gift giver, if the receiver not be prepared to be a pet owner.
Overall, it is best to be prepared before giving a pet as a gift. Pets give us unconditional love and joy, but in return we must have the ability to properly care for them.
At South Town Animal Hospital, we have professional and personal standards on how we care for your pet. Oftentimes, these actions happen behind the scenes and are not witnessed by pet owners. This is your opportunity to learn about the special little things that make a big difference for your pet.
- We change our needles after each poke: With each use, a needle gets duller and therefore becomes more painful. Here at South Town Animal Hospital, when we draw a vaccine from a vial, we change the needle after, so your pet gets a fresh needle. This costs the clinic, but is less painful for your pet.
- We’re often on the floor: Your pets are in an unfamiliar environment and are often scared. We get onto the floor with your pet to make them more comfortable.
- We talk to your pet and comfort them: We can only imagine how scared your pet might be, so we talk to them and sooth them, hold them and hug them. Often a pet is scared coming out of anesthesia and a doctor or a technician will stay with your pet while they wake up.
- We use Dr. Sophia Yin’s handling guide to minimize stress: Dr. Sophia Yin was famous for her animal behavior and body language guides and revolutionized the veterinary industry with low-stress handling techniques.
- Every day is a working lunch for the DVM’s.
- We pick eye boogers: Often, we do things that aren’t required of us. Sometimes we clean up a pets face if they have eye discharge, comb out matted fur, or clean ears.
- Extra phone time: A lot of a doctors and staff time is spent on the phone. This time is spent on the phone with clients – reassuring them about their sick pet, or with a pharmacy – finding the best prices for our clients, or consulting with veterinary specialists to find the best treatment options.
- High-quality Products: The quality of supplies matters. At South Town Animal Hospital, we provide high quality medication and supplies to care for your pet.
- The veterinary field is multifaceted in the skills that we are trained in: Unlike the human medical field, veterinarians, vet techs, and customer service must learn a slew of skills for multiple types of animals. We care for your pet in every aspect including but not limited to bloodwork, x-rays, filling medication, surgery and dentistry.
- We are with you from start to finish: From pediatric to geriatric care, we are here for you and your pet. We will be here to listen to your worries and share in your triumphs. When it is time to say goodbye, we will be there sharing your pain.
We do these things because we truly care. The love that we have for animals and our profession is a lifelong passion for many of us. Thank you for allowing us to care for your family and trusting us to do what we love.
Since our pets are not able to tell us when they are uncomfortable or in pain, knowing how to recognize the signs of discomfort in our furry companions is one of the many responsibilities we have as pet owners. Another important responsibility we have to our pets is knowing our options in aiding their pain relief.
Recognizing pain or discomfort in your pet is the key. Keep in mind that, they can sometimes be good at hiding or masking their pain. Some of the indicators of discomfort are changes in behavior, bodily functions and your pet’s breathing. If breathing becomes rapid, panting, or short this can be an indicator of pain issues. Also, a more general sign may be a change in your pets general demeanor including a lack of desire to socialize. With any of these changes there can be irregular patterns occurring in activity level, eating, drinking or bathroom use which may be signs that your pet is in pain.
Cats are more likely to hide when in pain and will seek out spaces they don’t normally use, such as under beds or in closets. In dogs, you may see their ears or tail back or down. Both cats and dogs can become unusually irritable and may want to play less. These can all be signs that your pet is in discomfort and needs visit to the veterinarian.
Bringing any information you think that may have contributed to your pet’s discomfort to the appointment can be helpful. There are an infinite number of reasons your pet may be uncomfortable and this information may help the doctor better identify what may be causing the pain. Anything from normal aging to a bee sting or a sprained paw could be the cause of discomfort.
Diagnosing may include lab work and/or digital radiography. After which options for pain management can be provided. There are a variety of routes to explore in managing pain, and it will differ if it is short-term acute pain or chronic pain. Treatment options fall under the following: medications, supplements, laser therapy, other therapies and possibly surgery.
At South Town Animal Hospital, the Veterinarian can prescribe medications and/or supplements. South Town carries Standard Process which are “.. supplements made with whole food and other ingredients to provide the body with nutrients that are found in nature but aren’t always found in the average pet diet. These formulas supply vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and phytonutrients in forms as close as possible to how nature intended – providing whole food nutrient solutions that support the body’s amazing ability to heal itself.”
In addition, South Town provides laser therapy which promotes healing in the body and is performed by trained veterinary professionals over a period of multiple short sessions. Laser therapy speeds up cellular healing to help with numerous conditions such as wounds, allergies, sprains, strains and fractures, post-surgical healing and pain relief, ear infections, geriatric care, and arthritis.
Other therapies include water therapy and physical therapy. ‘The Puddle Pet Aqua Fitness and Nutrition’ facility is conveniently located next to South Town Animal Hospital. At The Puddle, certified swim instructors aid your pet in supervised swims in an indoor heated pool. The warm water helps promote circulation and relaxes tired muscles. Swim therapy aids in pre- and post- surgical management support, relieves pressure on the joints, strengthens and retrains muscles, exercises the cardiovascular system, aids in weight loss, increases range of motion, and improves confidence, relieves anxiety, and reduces stress.
If your pet requires more physical stimulation than swimming can provide, there are certified pet physical therapists. Using a variety of different methods, physical therapy can help with pre- or post- operative support, as well as a number of other conditions. Speak with your Veterinarian if you think this is what your pet needs. They can provide you with a referral to a specialist.
Surgery may be an option, but surgical pain management is typically done as a last resort in the veterinary field. Usually surgical pain relief will be done after supplements or prescription drugs or other therapies aren’t quite managing the pain and more is needed in aiding your pet.
Overall, there are many routes to pain relief for your pet. Seeking advice and/or treatment from your Veterinarian will help guide you to the best options for your pets health and comfort level.
At South Town Animal Hospital, we monitor your pet’s health annually through regular lab work. This basically includes blood work and testing of a fecal sample. Early detection is our goal since most animals typically do not show signs of illness. It is best to catch any potential issues early with healthy prevention.
For all dogs is usually a heartworm test. It is important to test for heartworm yearly. If a pet is positive it can be dangerous to give preventative medication. At South Town Animal Hospital, we provide a discount to your annual blood test when you purchase a year of heartworm prevention from us.For cats viral testing for FIV and Feline Leukemia is important. These tests are especially recommended for outdoor cats.
As pets age, we practice the “senior at seven” rule, which means once a pet reaches seven years of age they are considered a senior. More in-depth monitoring panels will be suggested to help provide an ‘overall’ picture of your pet’s health and are recommended yearly or semi annually. These panels check values such as liver, kidney, pancreas, calcium levels, muscle enzymes, thyroid, glucose, platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells. Bloodwork can help indicate or detect infections, anemia, organ disorders, and immune system health issues. In addition, blood work can be required to monitor the effects that certain prescription drugs may have on your pets vital organs.
As important as blood work is, there is another type of testing that can be crucial to your pet’s well being which is checking a fecal sample for parasites your pet may have picked up. Having internal parasites can cause your pet to feel unwell and have symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea. Since parasites can be transmissible to humans as well – it is all that more important to check.
Considering pets are unable to physically tell us what is happening, finding clues and getting a closer look with further diagnostics is critical to diagnosis and the longevity of our pets lives. At South Town Animal Hospital we are big proponents of preventative care versus reactive care. This helps aid our mission of healthy pets longer lives.
Spring is upon us and with it comes allergy season. Humans aren’t the only ones who get allergies. Our pets can too. As our environment has changed and foods are processed, luckily allergies can be managed a few different ways. We can walk you through how to manage your pet allergies and how to choose the right treatment for your and your pet.
What are the signs of allergies?
- Ear inflammation
- Stomach upsets
- Red eyes
- Paw chewing/licking
- Hair loss
What could my pet be allergic to?
Some common allergens include, but are not limited to:
- Mold, dust, dander
- Perfumes, dyes
- Household cleaners
What should I do if I think my dog is allergic to something?
The first step is to consult your veterinarian for treatment. They will help you determine if it’s an allergy or another condition such as fleas, mites, or some type of infection. Determining if it is an allergy helps to know whether or not medication or a lifestyle change is needed. There is a possibility it can be something as simple as a examining your pets diet. Managing the itch can be a case by case scenario. When you bring your pet in for an exam diagnostics may be needed. Treatment options can range from antihistamines, injections, prescription medication and/or specialty food.
What should I do if I think my cat is allergic to something?
Cats too can develop allergies just like dogs and people. Our feline friends metabolize medications different than dogs, but there are treatment options which range anywhere from non allergen food to antihistamines and/or medications. Our veterinarians are here for you to discuss safe treatments. Cats can also develop symptoms such as gum disease and bladder infections that can be linked to allergies.
Treatment options –
South Town Animal Hospital provides multiple allergy treatment options:
Cytopoint is an allergy treatment in the form of an injection. It typically offers 4-8 weeks of relief from allergy symptoms, and offers a chance for the skin to heal from any sores developed due to allergies.
Apoquel is an allergy treatment in the form of a oral tablet. It can relieve itching within 4 hours and effectively controls itching within 24 hours. The oral tablet is taken daily to control allergy symptoms.
Standard Process has a supplement that boosts the immune system. This all natural product is an oral tablet given daily to aid the immune system and the body’s normal detoxification mechanisms.
Atarax (Hydroxyzine) is an antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms such as skin issues. It is an oral tablet that helps relieve skin lesions.
These are just a few options that we have to treat allergy issues. There are other treatment options depending on the diagnosis. Allergies can be a frustrating condition. At times managing the itching and medicals conditions can be difficult. Let South Town Animal Hospital help ease your pets discomfort so you and your family can get a good night sleep.