Pink Prescriptions - May 2017

Your Pet's Health

Rx 0517


Q: It’s almost impossible to give my pet a pill. Is there anything that can make it easier?

A: It may be the smell, taste, or size of the pill that is unappealing to your pet. Fortunately, there are several forms of dosage alternatives that can be compounded to help. Orally administered medications can be formulated into flavored suspensions and capsules. Flavored suspensions can be concentrated so the amount to be given is less and more tolerable. Compounded flavored capsules may be given as is, or opened and sprinkled over food. Now the smell and taste—beef, chicken and fish—will make the medications more appealing for both dogs and cats.
If oral administration is not a good option, several medications can be formulated into a concentrated cream and applied topically inside your pet’s earflap, and sometimes to their paw.  This is helpful if your pet is anxious or aggressive when it comes to taking oral medications.  Also, for seizures, rectal gels are an option, when they are unable to take medications by mouth.
Lastly, sprays, adhesive powders, and shampoos are also options, depending on the type of medication.  These are good alternatives for hot spots and dermatologic conditions. Ask your pet’s doctor and see a compounding pharmacist to decipher which is best for you and your pet.
-Dr. Wilhelmina Fry, Stephens Compounding Pharmacy

Q: What is the best regime for doggie dental care?

A: Dental care in cats and dogs should begin at home with frequent brushing from the time they are young. Your veterinarian will also examine your pet's teeth and gums with every physical exam. Thorough, safe teeth cleaning can only be done with anesthesia. Brushing and dental chews will help extend the time between cleanings.
-Marikay Campbell DVM, Port Royal Veterinary Hospital

Q: Hairballs are gross! Can they be minimized?

A: Yes, there are several things that can be done to reduce hairballs. All cats should be on a veterinary recommended flea control. And yes, that applies to indoor only cats, too. Because cats are such good groomers, it can be very difficult to find fleas on them. Brushing is a great way to remove loose fur. Food can be especially important in reducing hairballs and your veterinarian can guide you in picking the best one for your cat.
-Dr. Rebecca Latham, Heritage Animal Hospital

Q: Give us the lowdown on fleas and ticks.

Fleas and ticks are present in the Lowcountry 24/7/365. Even indoor pets need to be checked frequently for signs of fleas or flea “dirt.” Fleas feed on blood from the pet and can cause anemia and allergic reactions. Fleas can get into even the cleanest home by catching a ride on a human or a pet. It takes only a few weeks for that flea’s offspring to turn into an infestation. Fleas spend 90 percent of their lives OFF the pet in the immature stages that we never see, so treating the environment with an insect growth regulator is essential in ridding your home of the intruders.
There are a number of effective, safe flea treatments and preventatives available from your veterinarian. Most are monthly. Today’s medications are much safer and more effective than even a few years ago. The Seresto collar, Nexgard and Bravecto have all gotten excellent reports against fleas and ticks. Comfortis is also effective, but only for fleas.
-Marikay Campbell DVM, Port Royal Veterinary Hospital

Q: How important is the quality of food for animal health?

A: Quality food is vital to the health of our pets, just as it is to our own bodies. There is important information to be aware of when choosing food. A food that is “formulated for all life stages,” means it must meet the nutritional needs of a young, growing puppy or kitten and is not what an adult or senior should be eating. The “formulated for” information is found in small print on the back of the bag. A food that is “grain free” is not always the best choice. Dogs and cats do not have gluten problems and grain allergies are not the most common food allergies. Grains provide important nutrients and are a great source of energy. Your veterinarian can be a wealth of knowledge in determining the best quality food for your pet.
-Dr. Rebecca Latham, Heritage Animal Hospital

Q: Do outside pets need sunscreen?

A: Outdoor pets should always have a source of shade to retreat from the heat of the sun. Pets with light colored skin are especially sensitive and need protection. If your pet develops any skin abnormality, it should be checked by your vet because they can suffer from skin cancer, too.
-Marikay Campbell DVM, Port Royal Veterinary Hospital

Q: What is the most common question you get asked as a veterinarian?

A: A daily question that is asked is “how do I get my dog to stop chewing and scratching all the time?” There are now several great options to help our dogs and cats that have allergies, while avoiding using steroids. Environmental allergy testing is a blood test and with those results, allergy therapy drops can be formulated and given by mouth, so no shots needed. This immunotherapy allows the body to become less reactive to the allergen over time. Cytopoint is a newer injectable medication that doesn’t suppress the immune system, but blocks the itch receptor. This injection lasts for about 4 to 6 weeks and is available for canine patients. Apoquel is an oral medication that blocks the itch sensation and inflammation and does not have the side effects of steroids. Using oral flea control, giving a medicated bath once a week (or more), wiping off the feet after being outside, giving fatty acid supplements to improve skin health, and using antihistamines are all helpful in reducing your dog’s itching and scratching. Talk with your veterinarian about the best options for your allergic dog.
-Dr. Rebecca Latham, Heritage Animal Hospital

Rx2 0517Dr. Latham has been practicing veterinary medicine on Hilton Head Island since 1998. Because of her passion for her patients and clients, she opened Heritage Animal Hospital, on the south end of Hilton Head Island in 2004 to better serve the community. 843-842-8331 | | 130 Arrow Rd. #101, HHI

Marikay Campbell, DVM of Port Royal Veterinary Hospital has been practicing veterinary medicine for 26 years, including 8 years in Port Royal. She is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Veterinary Forensic Sciences. 843-379-PETS (7387) | | 1502 Paris Avenue, Port Royal

Dr. Wilhemina Fry, PharmD of Stephens Compounding Pharmacy serves both human and veterinary health. Her veterinary experience includes many prescriptions for dogs, cats, birds, pocket pets and horses. 843-686-3040 | 55 Mathews Drive, Suite 215, HHI |

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.