Posts in prescribing
Prescribing for backyard or pet hens

Companion-animal vets might sometimes be consulted about the health of backyard or pet hens, which might be kept for egg-laying. As chickens are technically a food-producing species, it means that there are specific legal obligations related to medical treatment. There are also practical difficulties because of the few licensed (authorised) products in pack sizes suitable for treating small numbers of birds, as well as the need to interpret various sources of information to determine an egg withdrawal period. 

By doing this module you will:

  • understand how the formation and composition of eggs relate to drug deposition

  • know the legal obligations concerning the use of medicines in chickens

  • be aware of practical problems relating to prescribing for backyard hens

  • understand how to interpret information for determining egg withdrawal times

  • know where to get further information

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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Drug interactions: understanding, predicting and managing them

There are many situations in which you might use several medicines at the same time in a companion animal – for example, to treat chronic diseases or multiple conditions in older animals; to achieve broad parasite protection; in anaesthetic protocols; and when anaesthetising animals on long-term drug treatment. 

This module covers: the principles of interactions and their potential consequences; interactions with herbal medicines and nutraceuticals; where to find information about interactions and what to do with it; and practical tips on predicting, avoiding and managing drug interactions.

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Quick-reference prescribing information - what is there?

Where's the best place to find information on doses, interactions, use in pregnancy and so on, at the time of prescribing? Do you know the difference between SPCs and data sheets? Where can you find reliable information on unlicensed medicines? Our new module reviews quick-reference prescribing information sources. We've compared the different sources - paper and online - looking at the pros and cons, whether the information is reliable, the costs, and which to use when you need a particular type of information. It's practical and will help you to know if you're using the most up-to-date resources.

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Oily injections what you need to know to keep safe

Some vaccines used in veterinary medicine contain mineral oil as an adjuvant. Most are vaccines for use in food production animals, but there are a few for use in companion animals. Self-injection can result in serious harm from the mineral oil content and so it is important to know which those products are. This module aims to raise awareness of the potential hazard and what to do to avoid serious harm.

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Drug trials

Whether you’re discussing the evidence on a drug treatment with a company rep, or evaluating a randomised controlled trial report yourself, or reading a summary of clinical trial evidence (e.g. in a Veterinary Prescriber module), it’s essential to understand the terms used and the key features of randomised controlled trials, including the potential sources of bias. Here is a guide to help you.

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