Small Talk - Summer 2018

Medicating your pet 02 small talk Compliance involves both veterinary staff recommending treatments and procedures, and pet owners following those recommendations. Adherence describes the extent to which patients take medications prescribed, and involves the pet owner administering the correct dose, at the correct time, completing the prescribed course, and then collecting a repeat prescription course (if required). Until fairly recently, the veterinary profession did not believe medicine compliance was an issue. However, in 2003 the American Animal Hospital Association published a study that clearly demonstrated that, ‘although most practices believe that a high percentage of their active clients are compliant with veterinary recommendations for good care, a much smaller percentage of their patients actually are in compliance’. So client compliance was not as good as the profession believed and research suggests that over a third of pets are not receiving their medications correctly. The results of poor medicine compliance means a poorer outcome for the pet, and a feeling of failure, frustration and disappointment for the pet owner. The importance of compliance and adherence Mark Banks BVSc, CertOphthal, MRCVS Penbode Vets In human medicine, compliance describes the degree to which a patient correctly follows medical advice. In veterinary medicine, compliance describes the extent to which pets receive a treatment or procedure. A range of interventions have been shown to improve medicine compliance. They fall into three categories: l Technical - Simplify the regimen. In recent years, more topically applied medicines, palatable medicines and longer acting medicines have made administration easier, and are popular with pet owners. l Behavioural - Offering praise and rewards to pets following medication. l Educational - Veterinary staff should be training and supporting clients. Keeping in contact with regular consultations, telephone conversations and repeat prescription reminders all help. If you are struggling with medicating your pet, be reassured that you are not alone. Please contact your vet and speak to a member of staff. ‘‘ ‘‘