West Loop Veterinary Care Dental Health & Spay & Neuter Month
815 W. Randolph
Chicago, IL 60607
P: 312-421-2275
F: 312-829-8387
info@westloopvet.com


PARKING

Parking conveniently located in front of clinic on Randolph. There is street and metered parking on adjacent streets. We are located on the south side of Randolph St., west of Halsted St.


WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE

West Loop offers a folding ramp for easy wheelchair access. Please call ahead so we can put it in place.




HOURS BY APPOINTMENT



MONDAY:  7:30am* - 8:00pm
TUESDAY:  7:30am* - 8:00pm
WEDNESDAY:  7:30am* - 8:00pm
(Closed from 1pm - 3pm for team training)
THURSDAY:  7:30am* - 8:00pm
FRIDAY:  7:30am* - 7:00pm
SATURDAY:  8:00am - 4:00pm
SUNDAY: Closed

*Early intake appointments begin at 7:30am. By request only, please. DVM appointments begin at 8:00am.

Any critically ill or injured pet will be seen immediately


Useful Info





Canine Influenza Virus







WLVC Digital X-Rays


As part of our ongoing commitment to the highest quality of patient care and to the environment, West Loop Veterinary Care replaced its traditional x-ray system with digital radiography. This new system is an important addition to WLVC services as it:

  • Allows for quicker review of x-rays
  • Minimizes the need for retakes, thus reducing pet’s exposure to radiation
  • Lets viewers enhance images when necessary
  • Enables x-ray viewing from any hospital computer
  • Allows x-rays to be saved directly into patient records
  • Reduces the use of chemicals
  • Allows for easy transfer of x-rays to veterinary specialists as needed

“This new technology helps us maintain our ongoing commitment to providing exceptional veterinary medical care while enhancing our commitment to the environment,” said Dr. David Gonsky, Founder and Chief Veterinarian, West Loop Veterinary Care. “We’re pleased to add this state-of-the-art technology to further enhance our care of pets.”

X-rays taken with the new system will become part of the patient’s electronic medical files at WLVC.





DECEMBER, 2016

COLD WEATHER TIPS AND HOLIDAY HAZARDS


  • Minimize your pet’s time outside. If you’re cold, they’re cold. Even if your dog enjoys the weather, they don’t necessarily have good judgment about how long they should be outside. When it gets cold, our pets to rely on us to help make good decisions for them! Keep walks short.
  • Younger, older, and sickly pets will benefit from a coat on cold days. The same is true for a pet that has recently had a hair-cut or has short hair.
  • Ice melt or salt -- especially the heavy-duty, industrial types can be a real irritant to a pet’s paws and cause uncomfortable cracks and cuts. Untreated, they can even lead to infection. Cover your pets paws with booties, use “sled dog wax,” and/or wipe your pet’s paws with a warm damp cloth after a walk. There are also excellent products for cracked pads; call us for recommendations. If you use ice melt on your sidewalks, please use gentler, pet-friendly products.
  • Don’t let pets eat ice-melt. The salt, slush or water mixed with salt, can cause mouth irritation and upset stomachs. In large quantities, it can create serious health problems.
  • Even a small amount of anti-freeze can be deadly. Spills on the garage floor or anywhere else they might find anti-freeze are dangerous.
  • Honk the horn or tap on your hood before starting your car. Outdoor animals or cats seeking a warm place may be in the engine or wheel well. The noise can startle them so they leave. This will help avoid damage … to your car … and the animal!
  • Some animals, especially brachycephalic breeds with short-noses such as Pugs, Pomeranians, Bulldogs, and Persian cats more readily suffer from respiratory conditions in the cold weather. Minimize their time outdoors and be aware of any breathing difficulties both indoors and outdoors. Humidifiers are a good idea for people and pets. We’ll all breath easier and it’s better for our skin.
  • Don’t leave your pet unattended in a vehicle on cold days. Car temperatures can drop quickly and a dog can get frostbite.
  • Keep your dog on a leash. Although this is a best practice year-round, it’s especially important in the winter. Dogs can become disoriented during a snowstorm and get lost and step into the street, or if you’re in a park or at the lake, fall through ice.
  • Older dogs and cats with underlying osteoarthritis may become more uncomfortable during cold, dry weather. They are less active and the cold can be hard on their joints. Please let us know if your pet is a little slower to get up, stiff when starting to move around, or you notice any limping.

Watch out for the following hazards during the upcoming holiday season:

Thanksgiving:
  • Turkey bones
  • Hot containers

Christmas:
  • Festive plants
  • Tinsel/mistletoe
  • Holiday Trees
  • Light strands
  • Decoration hooks
  • Ribbons
  • Styrofoam
  • Ornaments
  • Tree water
New Year’s:
  • Balloons
  • Confetti

Additionally...
  • Chocolate - Dark and Bitter Spirits and Chocolate
  • Raisins – Good for kids but not for canine kidneys
  • Xylitol – Sugar free candy and gum compromise a dog’s blood sugar
  • Costumes – Some can contain lead and zinc; both are bad
  • Batteries – From flashlights and other light ups
  • Alcohol – Can lead to rapid sedation and shock in pets

Please call us or your nearest animal ER should you have any questions or concerns.




PET SAFETY IN SUMMER HEAT


Dear Friends, The information below applies to all of our patients, but is even more critical for our "brachycephalic" canine friends such as Boxers, English and French Bulldogs, Pugs, and Lhasa Apso’s.

Never leave your pet unattended in a car. Even with the windows open, the interior temperatures of a car can exceed 100 degrees in a matter of minutes on a warm day. This can very quickly cause overheating and heatstroke, a life threatening condition. Here is a video of Dr. Ernie Ward demonstrating what a pet would endure is such a scenario.

Keep your pets indoors as much as possible. When outdoors, pets should have access to shade and plenty of cool, clean drinking water. When the temperature is uncomfortable for you, it's uncomfortable for your pet. Why not stay indoors and enjoy your air conditioning?

Don’t over-exercise your pets. If necessary, walk your pet only briefly to relieve themselves during the hottest parts of the day. Any exercise or longer walks should take place during the coolest parts of the day - the early morning and late evening.

Asphalt and concrete may be hotter than you think. Use caution and watch your pet for signs of distress when allowing your pet to walk on these surfaces as high temperatures can quickly burn a pet’s paw pads.

Heat stroke, which can be fatal, begins with heavy panting and difficulty breathing. The tongue and mucous membranes appear bright red. The saliva becomes thick and ropey and dogs will often vomit. In the event that you believe your pet is suffering from heatstroke, immediately move them to a cool place and begin cooling them off. Pets can be cooled with damp towels or by immersing them in cool (not cold) water or rinsing them off with a hose. Pet owners should also contact us immediately and seek care at West Loop Veterinary Care, from Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center or at another emergency veterinary center. Veterinarians can help cool pets with intravenous fluids and other medical resources.

Sincerely,
The West Loop Veterinary Care Team




MARCH 07, 2016

CANINE INFLUENZA UPDATE


Last year, West Loop Veterinary Care was at the heart of the 2015 Canine Influenza Virus (Dog Flu) outbreak. A new strain (H3N2) of the virus sickened thousands of dogs. Most required medical attention, many were hospitalized and some died.

Surveillance data is showing current cases in the Chicagoland area and an outbreak in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We are beginning to see an uptick in the number of dogs with respiratory symptoms. As such, we strongly encourage you to vaccinate your dog against this dangerous and highly contagious virus.

If your dog is social or is regularly exposed to other dogs, please talk to one of our team members about the Canine Influenza Virus vaccination. It is appropriate to vaccinate your dog if he or she visits:
  • Dog parks
  • Dog beaches
  • Doggy daycare
  • Groomers
  • Boarding kennels
  • Dog shows
  • Elevators, stairwells and hallways of multi-unit, multi-dog buildings
Cats may also get the virus, but there is no vaccination for cats. If your dog or cat shows symptoms of Dog Flu, isolate them from other animals and contact our office immediately. The symptoms of the virus include:
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Discharge from the nose or eyes
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
If you suspect your pet has the Dog Flu, please contact us prior to entering our facility. This virus is highly contagious and can live on inanimate objects. Therefore, we will be following isolation protocols to minimize the spread of the illness.

Call us at 312-421-2275 if you have any questions.



JULY 30, 2015

CANINE INFLUENZA VIRUS WARNING!


Dear Clients,

We are sorry to report that we are seeing a small resurgence in the Canine Influenza Virus that was rampant in the Chicago area this Spring. In the past week we have had two confirmed cases of the illness. Other veterinary facilities in the area are also reporting possible cases.

We would like to remind you that this disease is highly contagious and may be spread to both cats and dogs. Below are a few questions and answers about the disease that we shared previously. We will continue to keep you updated about the disease should the incidence of it increase in our area.

FAQs

What is canine influenza virus?
The Canine Influenza Virus (H3N2) currently spreading through the Chicago area and other parts of the country originated in Asia and has never before been seen in the United States. It is highly contagious and is easily spread from dog to dog through direct contact or on contaminated surfaces. The virus can be spread to cats as well.

Are Chicago area dogs still in danger?
Yes, Chicago area dogs are still at risk of catching Canine Influenza Virus, also known as the dog flu. The disease is highly contagious. Almost all dogs exposed to the disease will get it. Many dogs who get the disease will become ill. Some of those dogs will require medical care and even hospitalization. A few dogs will die.

Although we have only seen a few cases of the illness in the past week, because it is highly-contagious, we encourage pet owners to be aware of the problem. We will continue to update you during the coming weeks so that you are aware of the status of the disease in our area. In the meantime, please remain vigilant in protecting your pets.

How can I protect my pets from getting the disease?
The reality is that unless your dog is completely isolated from other animals, it may be very difficult to keep your pets 100% safe. We do encourage you to make certain that any dog day care or dog grooming facilities you frequent use good hygiene to minimize the risk of spreading illness. They should also have a plan to immediately isolate any animal that shows symptoms of the disease.

Nose-to-nose contact presents a significant risk for spreading the disease. You may want to avoid letting your dog greet other animals when out walking and don’t allow it to use common water bowls or food bowls. Dog parks also present a risk for dogs. A good long walk can provide exercise for your dog in lieu of playing at a dog park. Most importantly, be aware of the symptoms and seek medical attention if your pet exhibits symptoms.

What are the symptoms in cats and dogs?
First, it’s important to know that not all dogs that contract the disease show symptoms. Dogs may spread the disease even if they don’t show symptoms. They are also contagious for several days before symptoms appear and can be contagious for three weeks after symptoms disappear. Symptoms include:
  • Runny eyes and/or nose
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fever and Vomiting may also occur
If your dog shows symptoms of the disease, isolate it from other animals and contact your veterinarian.

Is there a vaccination?
While there is no vaccination for canine influenza virus in cats, there is a vaccination for the H3N8 strain of Canine Influenza Virus. Although this is a different strain than the one currently spreading through Chicago (H3N2), we believe this is a worthwhile vaccination at this time and we recommend that all dogs in Chicago receive that vaccine and the Kennel Cough vaccine. The vaccination requires a series of two vaccines given two to four weeks apart. Protection would not begin until at least four to six weeks after the initial vaccine.



MAY 01, 2015

CANINE INFLUENZA VIRUS UPDATE


Spring has sprung and it’s a great time to spend some time outdoors with our dogs. Unfortunately, Canine Influenza Virus continues to be a serious problem in our neighborhoods. Therefore, we are writing to ask that you NOT take your dog to the dog park or allow it to socialize with other dogs right now. Canine Influenza Virus is highly contagious and even dogs that otherwise appear healthy may spread the disease.

Instead of taking your dog to a dog park or other location where dogs congregate, we suggest the following:
  • Take your dog for a long walk, but do not let it greet other dogs along the way.
  • Play fetch with your dog or find toys that will engage your dog to help it burn off energy.
Exposure to other animals puts your dog at risk. Avoiding any areas where dogs come in contact with other dogs is best until further notice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We get a lot of questions about Canine Influenza Virus, so we will try to answer some of them here. Please refer to last week’s email and our website for answers to additional questions that you may have.

What Is Canine Influenza Virus and why are you so concerned about it?
H3N2 is the scientific term for the Canine Influenza Virus currently spreading through the Chicago area, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and now Iowa. This strain of the virus originated in Korea and has never before been seen in the United States. It is highly contagious and is easily spread from dog to dog through direct contact or on contaminated surfaces. Although there have been no reported cases in the United States, it is believed that the virus can be spread to cats as well. Almost all dogs that come in contact with the disease become infected. Many require medical care. Some will need hospitalization. A few will die. Because virus is so contagious, it’s important that we do whatever we can to keep it from spreading.

Are Chicago area dogs still in danger?
Yes, Chicago area dogs are still facing a significant risk of catching this disease, which seems to be especially virulent. We still continue to see multiple cases each day at West Loop Veterinary. Other clinics in Chicago and the suburbs are seeing new cases as well. Until we see zero cases for an extended period of time, your pets are still at risk. We will continue to update you during the coming weeks so that you are aware of the status of the disease in our area. Unfortunately, it may be a while before things return to “normal.” In the meantime, please remain vigilant in protecting your pets.

How do I know if a dog is contagious?
Part of the problem with this disease is that dogs can be contagious without showing symptoms. Some dogs will contract and spread the disease without showing symptoms. Virtually all dogs that contract the disease will be contagious for up to 14 days. Dogs may not show symptoms for several days after they contract the disease and may continue to be contagious for several days after they stop showing symptoms.

If most dogs recover, should we worry?
It’s never good for a dog to become ill, no matter what. Most dogs are healthy most of their lives. Exposure to any disease can mean serious trouble. While it is true that most dogs recover from the virus, many of them require medical intervention and/or hospitalization to get well. By continuing to share these warnings, we are trying to keep dogs safe and help pet owners avoid unnecessary medical expenses.

I thought the worst of this virus was over. Why the concern?
While we had a couple of days without new cases in mid-April, unfortunately it was short-lived. Though the level is currently lower than when the outbreak first started, we quickly returned to seeing coughing dogs infected with Canine Influenza on a daily basis. Almost all have attended daycare or were recently boarded. We should see zero cases, so the fact that we are seeing a few each day means that there continues to be a significant problem in our communities.

Is it dangerous to go to the veterinarian?
West Loop Veterinary Care practices strict hygiene and sanitation processes to prevent the spread of the disease. Your pet’s risk of contracting the disease at West Loop Veterinary Care is minimal. Some of the steps we take include: regular cleaning and disinfecting common areas, immediately isolating animals that may have the disease, wearing disposable protective gear when examining animals suspected of having the disease, and more. Please call if you have any questions or concerns.

What about the Canine Influenza Virus vaccine?
At this time, West Loop Veterinary Care is recommending the Canine Influenza Virus and the Bordetella (“kennel cough”) vaccines for all at risk dogs. Although it is not known if the existing Canine Influenza Virus vaccine provides protection against the current H3N2 strain of Canine Influenza Virus, we feel that there are likely some benefits and urge dog owners in our area to get the vaccine. It does protect very well against the H3N8 strain that is also in existence.

Are there any adverse reactions from the vaccine?
While there is always a minimal risk associated with vaccination, the canine influenza vaccine appears to be extremely safe. We have given the vaccine to many dogs with virtually no negative reaction. Hundreds of thousands of doses have been administered nationwide since 2005 with a similar response.

I have a new puppy, what should I do?
All new puppies should have the “core” vaccines recommended for our area. We are now recommending that Canine Influenza Virus be among the core vaccines at this time.

It is very important that puppies be appropriately socialized when they are young. To do that, you might consider partnering with a couple of your friends whose dogs do not go to doggie daycare, dog parks, groomers or other places where dogs congregate. Ideally, you would partner with one small dog and one large dog so your puppy could become accustomed to all sizes of dogs they might meet.

You should also be sure to take your dog out and about for walks in the fresh air. You want to make certain that your puppy is exposed to all of the smells, sights, and sounds of our neighborhoods so that they become accustomed to our urban environment and are comfortable outdoors as they grow up.

My dog has recovered from Canine Influenza Virus. Is it safe to take it to the dog park and other places?
Part of the problem with the new Canine Influenza Virus strain is that we don’t know enough about it. Like any virus, some natural immunity will develop after an infection, however how much protection and how long it will last is unknown at this time. West Loop Veterinary Care is participating in studies about the disease. One such study will occur over time and help researchers determine just how long a dog will have immunity once they have recovered from the disease.

What can I do to help spread the word?
West Loop Veterinary Care has provided numerous communications for pet owners and pet related businesses. On our website “Canine Flu Outbreak” information section, there is a flyer that we sent to some of the buildings in our area to help spread the word. If you would like to share it with your building, please feel free to do so. One of the best ways to stay up-to-date and to share information is to “like” us on Facebook. You will find timely and up-to-date information on our Facebook page and are welcome to share it with others.

Can my dog participate in one of your studies?
Because West Loop Veterinary Care was at the forefront of identifying this disease, we have been asked to participate in multiple studies to help rapidly identify, prevent, and learn more about the long-term immune response to the H3N2 strain of virus. If your dog already contracted and has recovered from Canine Influenza Virus, they are eligible to participate in a study. The “recovery” study simply requires a small blood sample. For your dog’s participation, we will include a medical progress examination by one of our Veterinarians. There will be no cost to you for this visit or the blood sampling. For long-term understanding of the virus, you may be asked to bring your dog back for additional bloodwork in the future. Please call our office to book your dogs appointment if you would like to be involved in the study.

Questions?
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. By working together, we hope to eliminate this disease from our community and help prevent other animals from getting sick in the future.

Sincerely,

Your Health Care Team at West Loop Veterinary Care




APRIL 24, 2015

CANINE INFLUENZA VIRUS UPDATE


As we have been reporting, our neighborhood has been "ground zero” for the current outbreak of Canine Influenza Virus. This strain of the disease, referred to as the H3N2 strain, originated in South Korea and has never before been seen in the United States. The team at West Loop Veterinary Care has been at the forefront of this issue, working with universities, pharmaceutical companies and other Chicago area veterinarians to help combat the spread of this highly infectious disease. Please take the time to read this update to help protect our cats and dogs.

What Is H3N2?
H3N2 is the scientific term for the Canine Influenza Virus currently spreading through the Chicago area. This strain of the virus originated in Asia and has never before been seen in the United States. It is highly contagious and is easily spread from dog to dog through direct contact or on contaminated surfaces. Although there have been no reported cases in the United States, it is believed that the virus can be spread to cats as well.

Are Chicago area dogs still in danger?
Yes, Chicago area dogs are still facing a significant risk of catching this disease, which seems to be especially virulent. Almost all dogs exposed to the disease will get it. Many dogs who get the disease will become ill. Some of those dogs will require medical care and even hospitalization. A few dogs will die.

Although we have seen a sizeable decrease in the number of cases, we still continue to see multiple cases each day. Until West Loop Veterinary Care and other clinics in Chicago’s downtown and north side neighborhoods see zero cases for an extended period of time, your pets are still at risk. We will continue to update you during the coming weeks so that you are aware of the status of the disease in our area. In the meantime, please remain vigilant in protecting your pets.

How can I protect my pets from getting the disease?
The most important thing to do for now is to avoid areas where dogs congregate including dog parks, dog day care, groomers, etc. Do not let your dog have nose-to-nose contact with other animals that don’t live with you. Don’t use common water bowls or food bowls. A good long walk with just you and your dog will help get both of you some good exercise and will minimize your pet’s risk of contracting the disease.

If you must take your dog to a day care or boarding facility, ask that your pet not be allowed to play with other dogs. If your dog is in desperate need of grooming, we are happy to offer a “sanitation shave” at no cost. Remember, these steps are temporary and only need to be in place until we rid our area of the disease.

Is it dangerous to go to the veterinarian?
West Loop Veterinary Care practices strict hygiene and sanitation processes to prevent the spread of the disease. Your pet’s risk of contracting the disease at West Loop Veterinary Care should be minimal. Some of the steps we take include: regular cleaning and disinfecting common areas, isolating animals that may have the disease, wearing disposable protective gear when examining animals suspected of having the disease, and more. Please call if you have any questions or concerns.

What are the symptoms in cats and dogs?
First, it’s important to know that not all dogs that contract the disease show symptoms. Dogs may spread the disease even if they don’t show symptoms. They are also contagious for several days before symptoms appear and can be contagious for a couple of weeks after symptoms disappear. Symptoms include:
  • Runny eyes and/or nose
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fever and Vomiting may also occur
Is there a vaccination?
While there is no vaccination for CIV in cats, there is a vaccination for the H3N8 strain of Canine Influenza Virus. Although this is a different strain than the one currently spreading through Chicago, we believe this is a worthwhile vaccination at this time and we recommend that all dogs in Chicago receive that vaccine and the Kennel Cough vaccine. The vaccination requires a series of two vaccines given two to four weeks apart. Protection would not begin until at least four to six weeks after the initial vaccine.

What can I do to help?
If your dog already contracted Canine Influenza Virus, it may have some immunity to the disease, but we don’t know how much or for how long. Because West Loop Veterinary Care was at the forefront of identifying this disease, we are trying to learn more and are participating in multiple studies to help identify and prevent this strain of the virus. If your dog has recovered from the disease, you may be able to help. If you are willing, please call to make a complimentary medical progress examination during which we will collect a blood sample for submission and study. There will be no cost to you for this visit.

Questions?
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. By working together, we hope to eliminate this disease from our community and help prevent other animals from getting sick in the future.

Sincerely,
Your Health Care Team at West Loop Veterinary Care




Kennel Cough Outbreak


Kennel cough is a highly contagious airborne infection that is often acquired at boarding facilities, dog parks and play groups. Even healthy dogs can catch the disease. Just like our human influenza, vaccinated dogs may still become infected.

If your dog shows symptoms of Kennel Cough, it is very important that you keep your pet isolated from other animals and contact your veterinarian to determine the best course of action. Kennel Cough can lead to complications including pneumonia. Untreated, pneumonia can become a serious or even fatal illness.

Symptoms of Kennel Cough
  • A persistent dry cough that may sound like gagging
  • Clear vomit after a bout of coughing
  • Sneezing and clear nasal discharge may also occur

Symptoms of Pneumonia
  • Coughing – usually soft or moist
  • Loss of appetite and/or thirst
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nasal discharge may change to yellow/green

If you think your dog may have pneumonia, please seek immediate medical attention. Working together to isolate infected dogs and treat when necessary, we can quickly bring this outbreak of Kennel Cough under control.

David Gonsky, DVM
Medical Director
West Loop Veterinary Care




WLVC Digital X-Rays


As part of our ongoing commitment to the highest quality of patient care and to the environment, West Loop Veterinary Care replaced its traditional x-ray system with digital radiography. This new system is an important addition to WLVC services as it:

  • Allows for quicker review of x-rays
  • Minimizes the need for retakes, thus reducing pet’s exposure to radiation
  • Lets viewers enhance images when necessary
  • Enables x-ray viewing from any hospital computer
  • Allows x-rays to be saved directly into patient records
  • Reduces the use of chemicals
  • Allows for easy transfer of x-rays to veterinary specialists as needed

“This new technology helps us maintain our ongoing commitment to providing exceptional veterinary medical care while enhancing our commitment to the environment,” said Dr. David Gonsky, Founder and Chief Veterinarian, West Loop Veterinary Care. “We’re pleased to add this state-of-the-art technology to further enhance our care of pets.”

X-rays taken with the new system will become part of the patient’s electronic medical files at WLVC.




FDA Issues Warning on Buying Pet Drugs Online


Although it may be tempting and convenient to order your pet’s medications online, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to pet parents about unregulated online pharmacies that sell expired or counterfeit drugs without a prescription. According to the FDA, foreign and domestic web pharmacies may ask pet parents to fill out an online form and then falsely claim that a veterinarian will evaluate the pet’s condition to prescribe the appropriate treatment.

“Some of the Internet sites that sell pet drugs represent legitimate, reputable pharmacies,” says Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., deputy director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). “But others are fronts for unscrupulous businesses operating against the law.”

The ASPCA does not recommend that pet parents forgo purchasing pet drugs on the Internet altogether, but encourages the active participation of your veterinarian in any decision to medicate your pet. “All pet drugs should be prescribed by a veterinarian after an in-person physical exam, and should either be purchased from that veterinarian or outsourced to a reputable pharmacy, whether on- or off-line,” says Dr. Camille DeClementi, ASPCA Senior Director of Medical Records.

Dr. DeClementi also recommends that pet parents avoid purchasing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—one of the most common types of drugs dispensed online without a prescription—to treat their pet’s pain without consulting a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of the pain. NSAIDs can be dangerous if not dispensed properly, and pets who are taking these drugs should be monitored closely.

If you do decide to purchase your pet’s medications online, please follow these smart practices:
  • Bring your pet to a veterinarian for a physical exam and obtain a written prescription for any necessary medications.
  • Ask your veterinarian if he or she uses an online pharmacy service. These services are state-licensed and require the active participation of a reputable doctor.
  • Only purchase medication from websites that are Vet-VIPPS (Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) accredited. Check to see whether the online pharmacy you’re considering is accredited at http://www.nabp.net/.

Mail or fax your veterinarian’s written prescription to a Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacy.

For more helpful tips and to watch an informational video about purchasing pet drugs online, please visit the FDA’s consumer health information page.



©Copyright 2016. Dr. David A. Gonsky. All Rights Reserved.