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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Dr. Michael Dym
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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
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What Is Compounded Pet Medication?

Compounding refers to the making of an individualized medication by a licensed pharmacist by mixing different ingredients together. Medication is compounded when a particular dose or form of a medication is not being manufactured already, is not commercially available, or has been discontinued. When it comes to pet medications, compounding often includes adding flavoring to make the resulting medication palatable to pets, essentially making the medication into a treat for your pet.
There are a wide variety of pet medications used to maintain your pet's good health, or treat a chronic or acute illness or injury. However, when it comes to medications, pets present us with a unique challenge: we can't explain to our furry friends how important it is that they take their medicine. If a medication doesn't taste good, most dogs or cats simply won't cooperate. This is why many pet medications are formulated in flavors and textures that are appealing to pets. But what if a particular medication is not available in a pet-friendly formulation? This is where compounded pet medications could be, literally, a lifesaver.

What are the benefits of compounding my pet's medications?
There are a number of reasons your pet might benefit from a compounded pet medication, besides simply adding flavoring to an unpalatable medication. A medication can be compounded into a dosage form that's easier for your pet to take, or for you to administer. For example, a medication can be compounded from a pill form to a liquid, the strength of a medication can be customized, or the medication can be changed from an oral form to a transdermal medication that is absorbed through the skin.
An example of this would be methimazole, which is used to treat hyperthyroidism in cats. Anyone who has tried to pill a cat knows that it can be extremely difficult to get them to swallow a medication — and they have sharp teeth and claws to make sure you understand their point of view! Currently there is no company which manufactures a topical form of this very commonly prescribed cat medication. Since it is not available commercially, a specialty pharmacy can therefore compound methimazole into a topical gel or liquid to be applied on the skin of the cat to achieve the desired pharmaceutical action.

How can I compound my pet's medications?
To order a compounded medication from a pet pharmacy, you will need a prescription from your veterinarian. If your veterinarian decides that a compounded medication would be best for your pet, the pharmacist can dispense it in the form that was prescribed. A compound pharmacy has a team to create a pet-friendly, customized version of the medication for your pet. Many times you can even choose the particular flavor that your pet would enjoy!

Which pet medications can be compounded?
It is important to note that if a medication is ordered in a particular form or dose that is available commercially, it would be a violation to compound it since that would be violating patents and other legal rights of the manufacturer of the product.

Some of the most common compounded pet medications are:

Where can I get my pet's medication compounded?
Not every pharmacy has the equipment, supplies or experience to compound medication. One convenient way to get your pet's compounded medication is through a pet pharmacy online. You can order many common compounded pet medications from PetMeds®. We don't compound medication in-house, but use a licensed and accredited specialty pharmacy to make the compounds for your pets which are then delivered directly to you. As with every product we carry, compounded medications are backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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