If you are trying to find ways to economise on your pet’s healthcare, one of the things you might be considering is where and how you could buy his heartworm medication more cheaply. One of the main places people are trying, is the Internet as many companies retailing these medication hold huge stocks and are able to offer big discounts. These are certainly very attractive but there are a few things you should take into consideration that will help to protect both you and your dog from some unscrupulous sellers out there.
First of all, you should be aware that the FDA has expressed some concerns about buying medications for your pet online. There are two main types of drugs which appear in their guide to buying pet meds online. These are heartworm med and pain relief drugs that fall into the NSAID group (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatories).
You can find yourself falling foul of some of the pitfalls if you are not armed with the right information before you go shopping for a bargain! Martine Hartogensis D.V.M. is quoted as saying that some online stores selling these meds are:-
“… fronts for unscrupulous businesses operating against the law.”
As she is the Deputy Director for the FDA’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance at the Center for Veterinary Medicine, you had better believe she does not say this lightly and take note!
Some of these sites have been found by the FDA to be selling out of date legitimate products but also counterfeits of approved medications. They have also been found to be selling medications that do not have FDA approval. Some sites are also willing to dispense drugs that should never be given without a prescription without ensuring that a legitimate prescription for that drug exists.
So, as you can see, there are some serious dangers. You could be getting medication that is out of date, you might believe you are buying the usual brand dispensed by your Vet, but end up with counterfeit preparations. You might also be assured that a product will do the job and be safe and effective – but if it isn’t FDA approved, would you trust it? Do you really want to put your pet’s life in danger?
Any medication which causes him further health problems or which does not protect him effectively from heartworm is not a saving at all. It could involve you in a great deal of unnecessary expense and your pet in a great deal of unnecessary suffering. There is a helpful video below – it is only short, but well worth watching.
With heartworm preventative medicines, there is a very serious danger if you have not had your dog tested for heartworm disease by a veterinarian prior to putting him on a preventative drug. This is because only proper testing by your vet can determine whether your dog already has adult heartworms. If you give preventative medicine to a dog with adult worms there could be very serious reactions. So before contemplating buying heartworm medicine, you should definitely get your dog tested.
Another point to consider if you are trying to make savings online, is that putting your dog on heartworm preventatives without first getting a heartworm test to ensure he is heartworm free, can be dangerous. Only a Vet can confirm whether or not your dog is infected with adult worms. Preventive meds given to a dog who has adult worms could cause serious complications. So, even if you are certain that you are making good savings going to a legitimate online retailer, be sure to get your dog tested first.
There is a very simple acronym that the FDA advise we all take note of when buying pet meds online. This is that we should all be A.W.A.R.E.
A- Ask your veterinarian
W-Watch for red flags
A-Always check for site accreditation
R-Report suspicious online pet pharmacies
E-Educate yourself about online pharmacies
You can read the full guidelines here.
If you can reassure yourself that by making savings online, you are not putting your pet in any danger by buying from unscrupulous retailers, there are definitely some good savings to be made. So, check out the guidelines first and keep your pet safe.