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Getting Prescriptions for Your Pet: FAQ

When you take your pet to the vet because they're not feeling well, you may get a prescription for medication to address a certain illness or ailment. You will need to get the exact prescription for the medicine to be effective. It is to be expected that many pet parents have questions about the prescriptions they get. Some may not understand why their pet needs it in the first place. 

Here are some FAQ about prescriptions that many pet parents may have about animal medication:


Why Does My Pet Need a Prescription?

A prescription usually means your pet needs specific medication according to the vet’s evaluation and diagnosis. Some animal medication is only meant for a particular medical condition. Outside of treating that condition, it may be harmful to your pet. Having these medications only available on prescription ensures no harm to any one pet out of carelessness or lack of information.


An example is heartworm medication, which is always labeled prescription-only. Before giving a pet heartworm medication, the vet must ensure that the pet has heartworm at a specific stage. Heartworm preventative medicine targets heartworm larvae. 


If you give a pet heartworm preventative medication and it has adult heartworm, the pet may experience adverse reactions. Your fur baby may even suffer from a fatal anaphylactic shock because of the drug reaction. 


Is There a Difference Between Trade, Brand, and Generic Name of the Medication?

Trade and brand names are the proprietary names of the medications. They are trademarked and are what appear on the shelves and in advertisements. The generic name refers to the nonproprietary name of the version of a specific medication. 


Ibuprofen is an example of a generic name, but several brand names exist for the same drug from different companies. Some brand/trade names for the drug are Advil and Motrin, but the generic name is simply ibuprofen.


Why Are Some Tick and Flea Preventative Medications Only Given Through the Vet?

Some drug and medication manufacturers prefer to sell their products through vet clinics. It allows the pet parents and their vet to discuss the best option for the situation. The medication is not prescription-only; instead, they prefer to distribute it through veterinary clinics. It is also a way to ensure that the drugs are used correctly; flea medication for cats is not for use on dogs.


Can I Use Human Pain Relievers From the Local Drugstore on My Pet?

Do not use human medication on your pet. Some medicines like Tylenol cause severe illness and may cause death in pets. If your vet prescribes pain relievers specifically for your pet, ensure you get just that.


Where Are Pet Prescriptions Filled?

There are several options available for filling pet prescription medication:


  • If you vet has a pharmacy, as we do at Eastern Animal Hospital, you can get the prescription ordered at your vet as soon as it is written

  • Your vet can call in or write a prescription to a pharmacy close to your neighborhood that stocks the drugs

  • Your vet can give you the prescription, and you can get the drugs from an online provider


Eastern Animal Hospital is proud to offer an in-house pharmacy and Rx refill system to make pet prescription filling easy and your trip to the vet a one-stop-shop for all your pet's needs, at the same competitive prices as online retailers. Cut the time out that it takes to obtain the prescription from your vet then shop around online. Leave your pet's appointment with the peace of mind that they're receiving the right medication for them, from a trsuted source.

For more information on getting prescriptions for your pet, contact Eastern Animal Hospital at our office in Baltimore, Maryland. Call 410-633-8808 to book an appointment today.

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