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Understanding Veterinary Compounding and its Benefits

The term veterinary compounding refers to the process of manipulating pharmaceutical drugs to make them more accessible for treatment of animals. Common forms of manipulation include adding flavoring to make common medications easier to administer orally, diluting or concentrating drugs for use with larger or smaller animals, combining multiple medications into one single-dose application, and making changes that allow the drugs to be administered in different ways. The key to Understanding Veterinary Compounding is to consider the many benefits that it confers upon veterinarians and their patients.

Advantages for Veterinarians

Just about every veterinarian out there wants to offer the best possible care to his or her animal patients. Unfortunately, this can be impossible when the medications required to treat or cure a condition are unavailable or are not formulated for use on animals. Compounding gives these animal health care professionals access to a nearly limitless source of medications that are specifically tailored to meet their patients’ needs.

One common example might be the need to titrate a medication that was designed for a large dog to the unique needs of, say, a Chihuahua. In addition to changing a drug’s concentration, though, scientists who focus on veterinary compounding can also alter the drug to make it appropriate for different types of application. For example, cats are notorious for taking poorly to oral medication, so a veterinarian might have a necessary drug compounded for transdermal application.

Benefits for Pets and Other Animals

Veterinary compounding can be a life-saving procedure for many animals who would not otherwise have access to the medications they need to treat or manage their conditions. Thus, the animals themselves can benefit from veterinary compounding through improved health and easier application of medications, since their vets can order doses that are specifically tailored to the animal’s unique needs. For example, a larger animal such as a horse or even an elephant could be treated effectively using compounded medications that were created using drugs intended for canine or feline consumption, provided they have been proven safe for use in larger mammals.

Benefits for Pet Owners

The primary benefit for pet owners is that they get the reassurance that they are doing everything possible to keep their pets healthy and comfortable. Keep in mind though, that only a veterinarian can order compounded medications.