- A medication monitoring program can assist you in ensuring that your pet does not experience any unwanted side effects from their medication. It can also help your veterinarian decide whether the medication they’ve prescribed to your pet may need to be adjusted.
- All medications have potential side effects - it’s your job as their pet parent to monitor them and make sure they are brought in to see us if they are experiencing anything outside of normal behavior.
- Multiple medications may interfere with each other, causing side effects in your pet. An interaction between two drugs is known as a drug interaction.
- Keeping your veterinarian informed about all medications and unprescribed supplements you give your pet can help prevent future drug interactions. You may want to bring your pet’s medications and supplements with you to the office.
(For example: calming supplements, CBD treats, vitamins, dental chews, etc.)
- Immediately contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet is experiencing any side effects from a new medication. We’d be happy to schedule an exam with our veterinarian to help give you peace of mind and provide any further information we can to help them feel their best.
What Is Medication Monitoring?
Medication monitoring can have many elements. The goal is to ensure the level of a drug in your pet's blood is high enough to provide the desired effect, but not too high (which can lead to problems or side effects). During this process, it might be necessary to discuss your pet's medical history in order to ensure your pet does not experience any unwanted side effects from the medication. It will likely also involve having your veterinarian examine your pet from time to time to make certain that the treatment is responding well. Medication is typically given for a short amount of time, like being prescribed antibiotics to help treat an infection. You may need to give your pet daily medication for months or years if your pet suffers from ongoing health problems like heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, allergies, or epilepsy. The way your pet's body tolerates medication may change over time, requiring your veterinarian to adjust doses or type of medication. Medication Monitoring basically allows your veterinarian to assess all of this to make sure that your pet continues to do well after being put on any sort of medication.
It is generally true that most medications have minimal side effects when they are used properly, however, it’s important to remember that all medications can cause unwanted or harmful effects if they are not used appropriately.
The side effects of medication can be mild, such as a stomach upset, or they can be life-threatening. Side effects should be taken seriously when first noticed, by calling or texting our team directly at (845) 878-4833.
How Is Medication Monitoring Executed?
Medication monitoring begins before you even leave our office with any type of new medication. When your veterinarian prescribes medication for your pet, he or she will explain what that medication is, what it’s intended use is for, how to administer that medication to your pet, and any details relating to potential side effects. Sometimes medication monitoring involves blood testing. Blood testing allows your veterinarian to find out more information about your pet’s overall health. It allows them to see how well certain organs are functioning and will indicate any changes that may need to be addressed regarding dosage.
For long-term medications, we recommend repeating these tests periodically to help ensure that your pet’s body is continuing to tolerate the medication. This can help ensure that the dosage is within a range that can successfully control what they’re being treated for and is not too much, which could be associated with undesirable side effects.
We can’t stress this enough: Medication side effects are possible with any medication, so monitoring your pet at home for side effects is essential.
Getting information about your pet's medications from your Brook Farm veterinarian is a great idea. If you’re unable to call or text us at (845) 878-4833 here are some other sources that you may find helpful:
- The medication label
- Product inserts / information (Instructions may not always be available)
- Infographics, informational handouts, and online courses from Brook Farm Veterinary Center
Always read any printed instructions that come with the medication along with any additional handouts we may provide at your visit.
Benefits of Medication Monitoring
Monitoring your pet's medications can have many benefits, including ensuring that the medical condition is responding to treatment, ensuring that your pet is tolerating his or her medications, and reducing side effects.
If your pet was recently prescribed medication, know that we are here for you and happy to help should you notice your pet experiencing any sort of side effects. Please don’t hesitate to call our team so we can help set up an exam as soon as possible.