Compounded Pet Medications

Do you Know About Compounded Pet Medications?

What are Compounded Pet Medications

Compounded medications are customised medication for patients

The goal of compounding is to help the patient along with the veterinarian or Doctor achieve the most positive therapeutic outcome.

Compounding is NOT manufacturing and the products prepared don’t replace an existing commercial product. Rather, compounding provides prescribers and patients with a tailored medication solution to meet a particular patient need or replicate a discontinued or unavailable product.

Compounding can help vets work around a number of challenges such as:

  • Lack of approved medications for many species
  • Discontinuation of medications traditionally used for humans but are still needed for animals
  • Problems with the strengths of commercial medications or some of their ingredients

Compounding can also be a life saver for owners who have trouble administering medication to their pets.

If your normally docile, easy going Labrador runs a mile at medicine time – Compounding a more palatatable medication may be the answer.Compounded Pet Medications

Compounding medications can come in a variety of what are called “Dosage Forms.: i.e. Capsules, Pastes, Suspensions, Liquids.

Sometimes multiple medications can be combined into one dose which can be a great solution for pets which are on multiple medications a day for the long term.

Popular Dosage forms include:

  • Oral Pastes – one of the best options for many animals from dogs to turtles
  • Capsules – compounding can provide the right dose in the smallest possible capsule to promote acceptance by your pet
  • Treats – using familiar flavours and textures like dry dog or cat food, dried liver, fish flakes etc. Some drugs can be turned into a treat treat for your pet.

Many of our pets who need long term medication are already enjoying the benefits of compounded medications.

If you’d like to know more about compounding, talk to your veterinarian and they’ll be able to advise whether compounding may be a suitable option for your pet.

Stem Cell Therapy for Dogs

Pain Meds for Dogs and Managing Their Long Term Comfort

Could Your Dog Be in Pain and You Just don’t know it?

We know just how easily pain can be overlooked in our pets because unlike us – animals try very hard not to show it because it goes against every instinct they have.

Sadly though, it means owners often don’t pick up the subtle behaviours that indicate pain and just assume they’re slowing down or losing interest in things they used to like because of other reasons.

Please – don’t make this assumption. These signs are extremely important and should always be part of your conversation when speaking with your vet. During a routine check up, vets are not always going to pick up these signs automatically. We all know that animals show a very different face when in an unfamiliar environment which can “cover up” lots of different problems – including pain.Stem Cell Therapy for Dogs

And if you find your pet’s actions hard to describe – take whatever evidence you have to help explain what you’re seeing at home. Videos are a great example and they’re so easy to take with mobile phones.

Nobody Wants their Pet to be in Pain

For us it’s a scary thought wondering how many animals could be passing through our doors without us being alerted to possible signs of pain. At the same time, we know you’d be very upset to find out your pet is experiencing pain and you simply didn’t know. So please always raise any such concerns when you see your vet.

Still Unsure? Ask for a Pain Trial

If you or your vet has any suspicions that your pet may be experiencing pain, a Pain Trial can be a great option to remove doubts. A pain trial involves your vet prescribing suitable pain medications for a 5 – 7 day period. If your pet starts to behave differently such a being more active or alert then you’ll know conclusively that pain was an issue.

This can now help your vet plan a long term pain management strategy for your pet.

[tweet_box design=”default”]Please do NOT conduct your own Pain Trial with human medications at home. This can be fatal for your pet. Human pain medications are NOT suitable for animals.[/tweet_box]

Long term Pain Management Options

You need to be aware that there are many different long term pain management options available for animals which may include any combination of the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory pain meds
  • Potent Nutraceutical Supplements: Including Glyde for Dogs, Seaflex for Dogs and Cats, Fish Oils, Rosehip Vital Canine
  • Injectible DMOADS including Pentosan and Zydax and of course
  • Natural Therapies such as Acupuncture, Hydrotherapy, Rehabilitation Therapies, Laser Therapy

There is No Excuse for Pain

Pain management is an important part of managing any disease whether this be for acute or chronic (long term) conditions. And with all the modern therapies available nowadays – there is never any excuse for an animal having to lead a compromised life life due to pain.

So – if this is an issue you’d like to explore- give us a call. Our practice offers the full spectrum of modern pain management therapies.

Having Trouble Giving Pills to Your Pet?

How to Give Tablets to Pets

If you’re one of those people who cringes when your vet hands over your pet’s medications and says “Make sure Fluffy takes these twice a day for the next 10 days” – then don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Giving tablets to pets is not always an easy thing to do as unlike kids, they’re not exactly open to bribery nor are they easily tricked. But it doesn’t have to be hard. There are many different ways you can get the job done.

But whatever you do, stay calm and make it quick to avoid creating any unecessary stress for your pet.


The simplest way to tablet a dog is to hide the pill inside a small piece of food such as a cube of cheese, a chunk of hot dog, cooked chicken or kabana. Most dogs will gulp down a piece of food without chewing so they won’t notice there’s a pill inside. The best time to do this is before a meal, when your dog is hungry. You could also try crushing the tablet and mixing it in with a very small amount of wet or canned food however make sure you use only a small amount to ensure nothing is left behind. Experiment with different foods to see what works for you. Baby food, tinned fish, cream cheese, peanut butter – even butter are all options you can try.


Cats are a little harder to medicate than dogs because they tend to bite down on each bit of food rather than inhaling it as most dogs do. This means they’re more likely to crunch down on the tablet and spit it out. Try crushing the tablet into a fine powder then mixing it with a small amount of strong smelling favourite cat food. Tuna often works well as it has a strong smell and most cats love tuna.

To increase palatability – try warming the food to bring out the aroma. Both Dogs and cats rely heavily on smell when seeking out food.

If disguising the medication in food doesn’t work then you’ll just have to use the conventional method. This means opening your pet’s mouth, placing the tablet at the back end of the tongue, then closing the mouth and stroking the front of the throat to encourage swallowing.

Rather than using your fingers to place the tablet in the right place, you could try a Pet Piller – a handy little device that helps flick the tablet far enough into the mouth so there’s less chance of your pet spitting it out. (Most vets and pet stores stock this item and it only costs a few dollars)

This method will usually need two people, one to restrain the patient, the other to administer the meds. Cats may need to be wrapped in a towel (bit like a burrito) to avoid being clawed,

Always use the least amount of restraint necessary to do the job.

And after you’re done, reward your pet with lots of TLC to let them know eveything’s O.K and you meant them no harm.

Tablet Splitting. Yes or No?

Some tablets can be split into halves – or even quarters and if that’s the case then this is indicated by a “score” mark on the tablet.

You might have noticed with some tablets, human ones as well as pet ones they have some indented lines on them. This might be a single line running down the middle or 2 intersecting score lines forming a cross like this: +

If that’s the case, these tablets can be split along those lines to allow for half or even quarter doses.

This deliberate mark which occurs during the manufacturing process indicates that the “active ingredients” are uniformly distributed throughout the whole tablet. This means that if the tablet is split in half, the dose of the active ingredients are also halved.

On the other hand, if no such score mark is present on a tablet – this tablet is not formulated for splitting under any circumstances.

So – never split an unscored tablet unless specifically advised by a professional.

Apart from the fact that your pet may not be receiving the correct dose of the actual active ingredients, there’re other reasons too why it’s inappropriate to break an unscored tablet.

  • The tablet may be protected by a special coating to preserve the active ingredients. Some chemicals, when exposed to air or moisture can actually become inactivated or decompose. So by splitting such a tablet you may render the remaining portion ineffective.
  • The ingredients in the tablet can’t be adequately bound together to allow a clean break to occur. Not all tablets can be neatly snapped in half. And if you attempt to do so, they’ll just crumble between your fingers.
  • The contents of the tablet may just be too horrible to taste so they have to be enclosed by a special palatable coating to avoid having them spat back out at you!

Now – what about the “chewy” tablets?

Manufacturers are always trying to come up with better ways to medicate your pets and so one of these innovations is to create a more yummy “chewy style” tablet.

The benefit of these tastier versions of a tablet is that your pet thinks it’s a treat and happily takes it from your hand. (Beats fighting to force a tablet between clenched jaws for sure!)

Many of these e.g wormers come packaged in foil or “blister” packs which keeps the chew nice and moist. Just like your pet wants it.

If these are broken in half, the unused portion quickly loses its moisture and turns into something pretty useless. Once dry it loses its treat appeal so you’re stuck with something your pet won’t accept freely and it’s too large to be swallowed like a tablet.

The only place this piece usually goes is in the bin. So in this case, give the whole chew as indicated by the bodyweight range. e.g a 10kg weight chew is equally fine for a 5kg dog as it is for a 10kg dog.

There are some chewable tablets however which are scored and can be split. They are not dispensed in individual foil packs.

This means moisture content is not essential to the palatability of the chew and they can be split as prescribed by your vet.

Please note: all the information we provide on our site, it is of a general nature and not intended to be a substitute for individual veterinary advice.

Please always consult your vet for advice on medications and other health concerns.

Prescription vs Over the Counter Pet Medications

Just like in Human medicine – animal medications or “drugs” as we call them, are divided into several categories.

And each of these categories come with their own specific guidelines as to how medications listed in these categories are to be stored and sold.

These guidelines are governed by Legislation and therefore all veterinary drugs must be used and dispensed in strict accordance with these laws.

For instance – those labelled “Prescription Animal Remedy” or “Prescription Only Medication” can only be held, used or prescribed by an “Authorised person” of which a registered Vet is such a person.

They can’t simply be bought over the counter from your vet or a pharmacy without a valid prescription. Even if your pet has received the same medication in the past, in order to obtain the same medication again, a prescription will be required.

Now, for a vet to prescribe more of the medication, the animal for which the medication is required must be deemed to be “under veterinary care. This means that your pet has been examined on a regular basis to ensure that the type of medication and the dose dispensed is the most appropriate for your pet at that time.

That’s why you often need to make an appointment to have your pet re – examined by your vet on a regular basis to receive ongoing medication.

Q: What if I run out of medication and can’t get to my own vet to pick up more?

A: In this case your vet can write a prescription which allows another vet to dispense the medication for you. That’s provided your vet has examined your pet recently enough to make that decision.

Another group of medications labelled “Caution” or “Poison” can be sold over the counter – provided they are sold in the manufacturer’s original packaging.

Examples of this category of medication are Revolution, Frontline, Advantage, Advocate – and other antiparasitic medications.

These products come in “multi dose” packs such as 3, 4 or 6 months and according to the law – must be sold as a complete pack. Which means – you can’t ask to buy just a single dose.

Sometimes individual medications are “rescheduled”. This means the category under which they fall changes.

An example of this was the rescheduling of Heartworm medications quite a few years ago – from “Prescription Only” to an over the counter schedule.

Under the old classification – heartworm medications could only be obtained through veterinary clinics and only once your dog had been tested heartworm free.

So don’t think your vet is being difficult if they insist on examining your pet regularly in order to dispense more medication. It’s simply the law – and we can’t change that!