With all the advances in modern medicine and surgery it’s easy to think that most ills can be cured with a course of pills, an injection or two or through surgery.
Unfortunately this is not always the case.
Some illnesses are chronic which means they can’t be cured. They can only be managed through regular and ongoing medications and / or treatment.
The purpose of the medications could include alleviating any pain or discomfort, slowing down the deterioration process, normalising physiological functions and minimising associated side effects.
Some common examples of chronic illnesses include:
- Kidney or liver disease
- Heart disease
- Diabetes Mellitus …… to name a few!
So if your pet is diagnosed with a chronic illness you’ll find yourself commiting to regular and ongoing trips to your vet. The purpose of these visits are to enable your vet to assess your pet’s condition and her response to the prescribed medication and / or treatment. If the condition has changed or she’s not responding to the medication as expected, the plan may need to change.
In some cases, blood or other tests may be needed to make sure the medications are working as planned.
Your vet will prescribe enough medication to see you through until the next scheduled visit OR depending on the time elapsed between visits a repeat prescription may be authorised.
As a general rule however: if you run out of medication – it’s time to make another appointment.
Please understand, your vet can’t authorise repeat prescriptions without examining your pet first or conducting the relevant tests. Regular examination of your pet is critical to providing your pet with the best possible care. Plus it’s against the law to dispense prescription meds without regular examination of the patient.
Time between recommended visits for most ongoing conditions vary depending on the condition and your pet’s response to treatment. It could be weekly (to begin with), monthly, quarterly or longer.
But – at the very least, expect to schedule a checkup every 6 months for any chronic condition.
Do’s and Don’ts of ongoing care:
- Do – take your pet back for all the recommended revisits. They’re organised for good reasons.
- Do – give all the medications as directed
- Do – contact your vet if your pet is unwell between visits
- Don’t – stop medications unless instructed by your vet
- Don’t – play around with dose rates to make them last longer – changes to medications can cause serious setbacks!
- Do – keep a diary to record your pet’s behaviours so you can report her progress at each visit
- Don’t – pressure the clinic staff for repeat prescriptions in lieu of having your pet examined. You know we can’t do this.