The prescription and use of veterinary drugs is regulated by a series of legal obligations that govern the actions of professionals when prescribing or using them. But the responsibility should not fall exclusively on the veterinarian, but also on the owners of the animals, who must follow their guidelines to the letter.
Prescription of veterinary drugs in pets
There is no doubt that the veterinary professional is the main link between the veterinary medicinal product and the animal. The success of the treatment and the satisfaction of the owner depend largely on his criteria, experience and good work.
The regulation of authorization of a drug for pets is usually set, depending on the characteristics of the drug:
- The need for an accurate diagnosis.
- The risks associated with its administration.
- The obligatory nature of a veterinary prescription prior to dispensing. In Spain the regulations establish that veterinary professionals are the only ones trained to prescribe veterinary drugs.
The advice of veterinarians is an additional guarantee that will guide the owner to make an appropriate choice of products, as well as proper and responsible use.
The pet veterinarian is required to prescribe medications specifically registered for that animal and for that particular therapy. And based on the European recommendations, it will prescribe “as little as possible, but as much as necessary”. This gives us the idea of how bad it is to use more drugs than necessary, how to use less. In fact, it is one of the reasons for the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, one of the most serious problems today.
Only in exceptional cases in which the specific drug does not exist can an exceptional prescription regime known as a cascade be used.. This method establishes that, in the absence of the authorized optimal medication, the veterinarian can treat the animal based on an established orderly pattern.
As a first alternative, an authorized drug should be used in the member state where the case is treated, although its authorization is for another species or for another disease of the same species. In case this is not possible, the second option would be:
- Opt for an authorized medication for that species and disease, but in another member state.
- Opt for a medicine for human use. It is the least recommended option.
Only in cases where none of the three options above were possible, the latter alternative would be possible. It consists of resorting to a veterinary medicine prepared at that time for its exclusive use with that animal – of course, always by authorized personnel –.
This alternative is more important because the veterinarian absorbs all responsibility for the choice of treatment. And more so if the result of the therapy has negative effects on the animal.
Responsible use of veterinary drugs in pets
To ensure the safety of the animals and the success of the treatment, veterinary medicinal products should always be used according to the recommendations of the leaflet. Any deviation from these recommendations may involve entering unknown territory, and therefore, in undesirable consequences.
Although all medications must be used in this way, the case of antimicrobials should be noted, in whose correct use lies the safeguard of their future efficacy. Thus we contribute not only to animal health, but to public health.
Rational use of veterinary drugs
It allows to minimize the incidence of pathologies and, therefore, their treatment and the possible associated repercussions. Elements such as stress reduction, responsible feeding, the use of vaccines and dewormers can reduce the incidence and severity of diseases.
The diagnosis and treatment
Performing laboratory tests always helps reduce the likelihood of diagnostic error and brings us closer to the causative agent, so that we can treat it specifically. However, the time available to the veterinarian is limited. And, on many occasions, the financial resources of the owner are also. Therefore, the treatment is so trusted.
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