Pet owners, animal shelter directors, animal rescue center managers, and zookeepers all have a responsibility to advocate for the animal(s) in their care. Most people owning or working with animals take this very seriously and are always looking for ways to be better advocates. Learning about the purposes and availability of compounding is an effective tool. By Understanding Veterinary Compounding to even a minimal degree, advocating for the unique medical needs of any animal is easier.
What Is Compounding?
This process of having prescription medications and treatments tailor-made for a specific patient has been used in the medical industry for decades. Nuclear medicine, the formulation of chemotherapy is exact dosing, and other uses are highly specialized. The expense of compounding was typically very expensive. Research, innovative techniques, and a gain in popularity has lowered pricing enough to make the process cost-effective in veterinary medicine.
Why Is It Needed?
Veterinary compounding is becoming more and more necessary as drug companies discontinue medications for animals, and only market some of them in certain doses. It is also not possible in some cases to find medications that accommodate allergies, ingredient intolerance, or the desire for natural or organic options. If a new drug is widely used, the older version will be discontinued because production no longer leads to profits. It is a sound business model, but the older version may work better for certain animals.
Another reason compounding is necessary is to modify dosage. Prescriptions mass-produced are designed to come in the most common dosage. The problem is animals come in all shapes and sizes, which makes dosing and titrating difficult for animals that require a minimal or maximum dose. Instead of trial and error with half a pill or two drops of something, the veterinarian can go online and order the medication in the exact dosing for the animal.
This processes increases success in medication and treatment delivery in a few ways. The mode of delivery can be altered to suit the needs of the animal. An animal that has been traumatized or is of nervous temperament, for example, may not take oral medications well. A trans-dermal version can be formulated to administer medication through the skin while brushing the animal. Flavors can also be added for easier medication administrating.