Mistakes with Pet Prescriptions May Prove Deadly

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According to CBS New York, a warning has been issued for pet owners from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stating that pet prescription drugs can sometimes cause deaths in their cats and dogs.

Pet owner Sarah Schuck was devastated after her 8-year-old Lab died due to a prescription drug error. The label on her dog Rafter's prescription gave her the wrong directions, advising her to give him two and a quarter teaspoons of medication, when it should only have been 2.25 CCs, a dose much smaller than was labeled.

Schuck's incident was one of many unfortunate cases having to do with mislabeled prescription drugs. The FDA says that there has been an increase in pet prescription mistakes. Investigators have linked the problem to unclear medical abbreviations, drugs that have similar names and penmanship or packaging errors.

Investigators believe another reason why there has been an rise in pet prescription mistakes is because many owners have been turning to their human pharmacies to get medications filled, which causes much confusion.

The American Veterinary Medical Association encourages pet owners to talk to their pharmacists about the prescriptions they are giving to their pets and verify that the medication and dosage are correct.


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While giving prescription we should be really careful. Because too much of something could actually harm our dogs. What medicine are harmful to dogs?

January 04 2013 at 12:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I took my big dog to a University pet medical center for teeth cleaning. They gave her lots of meds when finished. Turns out it almost killed her. She was very sick for over a month. The school said it wasn't the meds. I took her to my local vet and he said take her off the meds immediately. We did and she recovered quickly. I am so happy we did what our local vet said and what we thought rather than continue with the vet school. Now I have over 300$ worth of unused meds and a happy dog.

December 14 2012 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alexis Elizabeth

I have a small dog (minpin / Chihuahua) and we took him to a vet because he suddenly started having mild seizures. We still don't know what's causing them but the vet gave us a couple bottles of phenobarbitol to give him. We have NEVER given him one drop of that stuff. A friend told us she had lost a dog to that stuff and she told us never give him that. so we just do our best to help him get thru his mild seizures. They usually come twice a month or so and only last for about 15 minutes, he doesn't kick around and spaz out or anything like that so thats why we see them as "mild" seizures. Then we just sit and hold him till the trembling stops and we gently whisper and let him know he is and will be ok. He ends up resting in his dark carriage bed and sleeps the rest of the day till it's time to get him up to get him to eat a little food and to go outside and do his thing. He usually requires a whole day of rest in order to fully recover. The first sign that usually alerts us that a seizure is coming is that he will start getting ansy and playful, then he starts getting wobbly to the point where he lays down and his head starts wobbling like he is having trouble hold it up and he starts trembling all over and his body is warm. We use a tepid wet cloth to wipe his body down as we hold and whisper to him reassuring him he is ok.
This whole process is very scarey when he goes thru this. I don;t know who is more scared him or us. It stresses everyone in the household when it happens but we try to be calm about it so as not to make it worse on the dog.

December 14 2012 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My vet also prescribed a med for my dog that had to be filled at a local pharmacy. I filled it, took it home and read the label. It was an appetite stimulant. I knew what the dosage should have been because I listened to the vet before she wrote it. The label said to take it to "decrease appetite" rather than increase appetite (they could not read the vet's writing on this part) but they just made a total typo on the dosage and when I called them back and made them pull the original copy of the handwritten script, they admitted they made a mistake. When I pointed out that if I had left the bottle for the petsitter to dispense and she read the label or if I had not listened, that my dog might have died. They were apologetic but said they were not trained for animal dosages and although this dosage would have been harmful to humans and they would have noticed it, they had no idea what animals should normally get and thus don't even check for obvious errors.

December 13 2012 at 10:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deb Cundiff

It should be noted that, up until a few years ago, Veterinarians were allowed to fill (at least most) prescriptions in their office. Now they are required to write prescriptions, like human physicians, and they get filled at a Pharmacy. There is a 'middle-man' now, which creates another chance for error.

December 13 2012 at 2:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Deb Cundiff's comment
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