How veterinary medicines get to market

A veterinary medicine must have a marketing authorisation or meet certain criteria for exemption before it can be marketed in the UK. At the moment, a marketing authorisation can be granted in the European Union (EU) via the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and European Commission (EC), or in the UK via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). It is still not known what effect Brexit will have on this. If there is a deal, the UK government is exploring the terms on which we could remain part of the EMA in terms of veterinary drugs. However, if there is no deal and the UK is no longer part of the EU regulatory framework for veterinary medicines, the UK will need to carry out functions currently done through the EU at the national level. (Defra 2018) This module sets out what is involved in the licensing of veterinary medicinal products (including generics) at the moment in the UK with examples to help relate it to practice.

Read More
Paracetamol for the management of pain in dogs

Paracetamol is one of the most commonly-used drugs worldwide. It is available to buy over the counter for humans, and for dogs (as Pardale-V tablets, which contain paracetamol together with codeine). However, there is a lot of confusion about the efficacy and safety of paracetamol in dogs. For example, is paracetamol a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)? Is it safe to use with NSAIDs in dogs as it is in people? This module summarises the published evidence on the use of paracetamol in dogs and relates it to the treatment of acute and chronic pain in practice. It is important to note that paracetamol should never be used in cats.

By doing this module you will:

  • understand the current knowledge on the pharmacology of paracetamol

  • know the clinical evidence on the safety and efficacy of paracetamol in dogs

  • find out how the information provided with veterinary licensed forms of paracetamol relates to the evidence

  • understand how the evidence informs the practical use of paracetamol.

Read More
Good veterinary dispensing practice

By doing this module you will:

  • review the legal classification of medicines, including controlled drugs, and the prescribing cascade

  • learn what constitutes a well set-up and well-run dispensary, including how to organise medicines appropriately, about the staff and dispensing equipment needed, and safe practices

  • know how to handle and store medicines correctly

  • be aware of the general considerations to take into account when dispensing medicines

  • understand why dispensing errors occur and what to do when they happen.

Read More
CBD for canine arthritis. What do we know?

It is clear from online forum discussions among dog owners that there is interest in the perceived benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). Some dog owners either already give CBD to their dogs, or are interested in trying it, to relieve arthritis pain. Consequently veterinary professionals may be asked for advice about CBD or be asked to prescribe it. By doing this module you will:

  • understand what is known about the physiological effects of CBD in dogs;

  • know the legal status of CBD products, including whether they can be prescribed;

  • be aware of the published evidence on the clinical efficacy of CBD in dogs with osteoarthritis; 

  • be aware of what is known about the safety of CBD in dogs.

Read More
Parasiticide Guide
  • includes all UK authorised parasiticides for cats dogs, ferrets and rabbits

  • search by parasite/disease, active ingredient(s), brand, species, formulation

  • updated every 3 months

  • find the product you need

Read More
Grapiprant – a new drug for treating osteoarthritis in dogs

By doing this module you will:

  • understand the pharmacology of grapiprant;

  • know the clinical evidence on the efficacy and safety of grapiprant;

  • be aware of what is known about how grapiprant compares with NSAIDs;

  • understand what is meant by intention-to-treat and per-protocol analysis in clinical trials result analysis;

  • understand what is meant by the number needed to treat and its relevance to clinical practice.

Read More
Flea infestations - treating the environment

Many veterinary practices sell flea sprays or advise on their purchase for elimination of the environmental stages of a flea infestation. Several brands of flea spray are available, but some are being taken off the market (HSE 2018). 

By doing this module you will:

  • Understand the lifecycle of the cat flea.

  • Know the options available for treating a flea infestation.

  • Be aware of the evidence on the efficacy of environmental treatments.

  • Understand why some products are being taken off the market.

  • Know where to find out which products are authorised for sale.

Read More
Metronidazole neurotoxicity

Neurotoxicity is a recognised adverse effect of metronidazole, an antimicrobial used in cats and dogs to treat a variety of conditions. By doing this module you will:

  • Be aware of how metronidazole neurotoxicity can present in practice.

  • Understand what is known about the relationship between metronidazole dose and neurotoxicity.

  • Be aware of how to reduce the risk of neurotoxicity developing.

  • Know what you can do if it presents in practice.

Read More
Which NSAID

By doing this module you will:

  • know what an NSAID is

  • understand the clinical pharmacology of NSAIDs

  • gain a broad understanding of the range of licensed uses of the different NSAIDs 

  • understand what is known about the comparative efficacy and safety of NSAIDs 

  • be able to make a rational choice.

Read More
Imported pets

By doing this module you will:

  • be aware of the parasitic diseases that may be found in an imported pet

  • know what clinical signs to look out for

  • be aware of the effective treatments, and how to get them

  • find out where to get further information and specialist advice.

Read More
Tramadol for pain relief in dogs: what's its place? (Updated)

By doing this module you will:

  • understand the pharmacology of tramadol

  • know the evidence on its efficacy in acute and chronic pain

  • be aware of the adverse effects

  • know the place of tramadol in the management of pain in dogs.

Read More
Handling veterinary medicines and pregnancy

By doing this module you will:

  • understand the principles of reproductive toxicity;

  • understand how data on the harmful effects of medicines are generated;

  • be aware of the evidence on reproductive harm in veterinary practice;

  • understand what practical measures to take to avoid harm;

  • know where to find helpful information on medicines and pregnancy.

Read More
Leptospira vaccines

By doing this module you will:

  • understand the naming system for Leptospira and the relevance to vaccination;

  • understand what is known about the types of Leptospira affecting dogs in the UK;

  • understand the features of the different vaccines and how they compare;

  • be aware of what is known about the safety of the vaccines';

  • be able to make a rational choice.

Read More
Amantadine in the management of chronic pain in dogs and cats

By doing this module you will:

  • Understand the pharmacology of amantadine and the rationale for using it in chronic pain.
  • Be aware of the published evidence on the use of amantadine in dogs and cats.
  • Find out what is known about the adverse effects of amantadine. 
  • Know the potential role of amantadine in the management of chronic pain and how to monitor its effects.
Read More
Taking pets abroad

By doing this module you will:

  • know the main parasite risks for pets visiting mainland Europe;

  • know where to find information about parasite distribution;

  • understand the drug and non-drug measures for reducing risk of infection

  • be able to make a rational choice of parasiticide products using the comprehensive table of products.

Read More
Prescribing veterinary specials

When a small animal needs a drug treatment, there is usually a licensed (authorised) medicine available, although it might be licensed for other species or indications. However, there are some circumstances when there is no suitable licensed product to fulfil a clinical need. To solve such a problem, it might be possible to use an unlicensed ‘special’ formulation. Specials are unlike licensed medicines because they are not assessed for safety or efficacy by a regulatory body. So vets must be satisfied there is sufficient evidence or experience to demonstrate safety and efficacy. Here we outline the facts and practical information relevant to prescribing special formulations.

Read More
What pet owners need to know about medicines

Much of an animal’s medical treatment will be administered by the owner at home. To do this safely and effectively, owners need information about why and how to use the treatments. This module discusses what sort of information owners need, what is required by law, what is available, and how it can be provided in the veterinary practice. 

Read More
Lipid emulsion in the management of toxicity

Intravenous lipid emulsion is increasingly being used as an adjunct in the management of toxicity caused by lipophilic drugs that are cardiotoxic (e.g. bupivacaine) or neurotoxic (e.g. permethrin). The Veterinary Poisons Information Service recommends that intravenous lipid emulsion be considered for any animal at risk of serious toxicity after exposure to a lipophilic compound (VPIS 2017). This module summarises what is known about this treatment, the uncertainties, and the practical aspects of using it. 

Read More
Lidocaine/prilocaine topical anaesthetic cream in small animals

Lidocaine (25mg/g) plus prilocaine (25mg/g) cream is a topical anaesthetic licensed for use in humans but not in animals. However, it is used in veterinary practice – for example, during venepuncture at the jugular or cephalic vein for blood sampling, especially in cats, or the ear veins in rabbits; and when inserting an intravenous cannula preoperatively in cats, dogs and rabbits. This module summarises the published evidence on the efficacy and safety of lidocaine/prilocaine cream in small animals, gives practical guidance on its use, and highlights the gaps in the evidence.

Read More