Enough, already! How much medicine is too much?

Updated: Apr 13

With the medical field getting increasingly sophisticated with time, it may seem that there are more recommendations now than ever for preventive and sickness care for people and p

ets. While every drug company says that (you or) your pet must have the newest wonder drug, there are some political groups that are suspicious of any injections or pills. Here are some guidelines to help you to make the best decision for your dog or cat.

Annual vaccines: Every town requires your dog to be current on rabies vaccination, and some towns require your cat to be current on rabies vaccinations. We recommend rabies vaccines for all dogs and cats age three months and older. Rabies is a preventable virus that can kill people and pets. Furthermore, Rabies can have zero signs in cats - your cat may have rabies and you may not know. Occasionally, someone may ask if this is really needed, since their pet is mostly inside, and there is no wildlife in the house. Although it is possible but unlikely that a rabid bat may sneak into your house and bite your pet, it would be tragic to have a person die of a preventable virus, so current rabies vaccine is mandatory.

Distemper is another annual vaccine that all cats and dogs should get. This vaccine is different for dogs and cats, and actually protects against an assortment of diseases. FVRCP vaccine for cats protects cats from head colds. These head colds are highly contagious - even cats that never leave the house are at risk. And a cat with a head cold can stop eating. DHLPP vaccine for dogs protects them from deadly parvo virus, and reduces dogs elimination of leptospira bacteria in urine. Leptospira can damage kidneys in people and dogs, so prevention is an easy answer.

There are other vaccines that are important for your pets based on lifestyle choices. We will customize your pet's vaccine plan at annual exam time.

Herbs and Supplements: With so much discussion in the news about dispensaries for people, we are also getting questions about use of herbs and supplements for pets. Here are some important things to know...

The soil where your herb is grown can determine the effectiveness of the treatment. So trying to grow you own medicinal herbs is not recommended. This is also the reason to be very selective about the source of your herbal medicines. We recommend Dr Xie's Jing Tang Herbal Pharmacy's website -

Herbal medicines are often combine the active ingredient with others that prevent the active ingredient from being toxic. So please don't search for a non-prescription substitute that contains just the desired amount of the medicinal herb.

Herbs and supplements may be safe in the recommended amount, but more is not necessarily better. If you are thinking that the glucosamine in Dasuquin was prescribed to prevent joint pain, so adding glucosamine treated food and glucosamine treats is also a good idea, this may not be helpful. Pets using herbs and supplements should have periodic blood tests to check internal organ function. At annual exam time, please be prepared to tell us about any herbal medicines, supplements, and prescriptions that your pet uses.

Daily medicines for chronically ill pets. It can be easy to look at a pill box like this and to think, 'Is all of this necessary?' We know that it can be frustrating when your role switches from being pet mom or dad to pet's nurse. Also, your pet may not be cooperating if you must give a fist full of yucky tasting pills each morning. And the cost for some families becomes an obstacle to care.

Let's look more closely at the box for some answers. Each medicine has a different purpose for managing your pet's disease. If you experiment and see what will happen if you stop one or more of these medicines, tragedy may occur. So if you are having trouble, please call us with the details and we may be able to offer some solutions. If your pet is refusing to take one or all of these pills, possibly switching to a custom made medicine or a topical or injection may be easier. If retail costs of these medicines are not in the budget, we may be able to suggest a less expensive option.

Lets work together to have your pet experience the best life!

Maureen Kubisz, DVM

Total Pet Hospital LLC

1100 US Highway 9

Howell, NJ 07731

(732) 780-4499

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