Medication errors don’t just happen to humans, they can happen to your pets too. Just as humans may mistakenly take the wrong dose of a medication or be given the wrong medication altogether, pets are also susceptible to these medication errors. So what exactly is a medication error? A medication error is any incorrect or wrongful administration of a medication. This maybe the result of things such as a mistake in dosage or route of administration, failure to prescribe or administer the correct drug or formulation for a particular disease or condition, use of outdated drugs, failure to observe the correct time for administration of the drug, or lack of awareness of adverse effects of certain drug combinations. All of these medication errors can cause serious harm or even death to your pet.
So what can you do to prevent these medication errors from happening to your pet? The first thing you can do is provide your veterinarian or pharmacist with any important health related information about your pet including:
– A list of drugs that your pet is currently taking including prescription medications, over- the- counter medication and supplements.
– Medications that your pet is allergic to.
– Any serious or chronic health conditions that your pet has.
Secondly, ask your veterinarian questions while you are at the veterinarian’s office. Some good questions pet owners should ask their veterinarian before leaving the office include:
– What is the name of the drug?
– What is it supposed to do?
– How much of the medication should I give and how often?
– Should it be given before, during or after meals?
– How should it be stored?
– What should I do if I forget to give my pet a dose?
– Are there any side effects that I should look for?
And lastly, there are some steps that pet owners should take to prevent medications errors from happening at home. These steps include:
– Keeping pet medications away from human medications.
– Keeping your pets medications in the original bottle or packaging.
– Pet medications should not be shared with other pets unless first directed by your veterinarian.
– Avoid giving human medications to your pet unless directed by your veterinarian.
It is important to keep in mind that while medication errors can happen to your pet and can potentially cause them harm, providing your veterinarian with information, asking your veterinarian questions and following a few simple steps at home can easily prevent these medication errors from occurring.