How do you use over-the-counter (OTC) medicine when you feel ill? You definitely don’t just choose any random pills and swallow as many as you feel like having. Instead, you choose something that’ll treat your problem and check the appropriate dosage for your size. As a pet owner, you are responsible for following the same procedures when your animal companion gets sick. Here are some guidelines on how to use OTC medicine for pets.


Medication, Dosage, and Weight Limits

To determine how much medication you should give your pet, consider their weight. For every pound, you must give them a few milligrams of the medication within a certain range. The dosage must be in that range: an inappropriately low dosage may not have any effect, while an inappropriately high dosage may put your pet at serious risk.

You also have to give them their treatment at precise intervals. Whether it is multiple times a day or once a month, be there for them and make sure they get it when needed. As with dosage amount, too often could result in overdose and not often enough may exacerbate the issue.

You can find plenty of useful charts and calculators online to help you properly medicate dogs, cats, and even fish. With that said, you should never medicate your pets without running it by a professional veterinarian first.

We should note that certain human medications, such as aspirin and benadryl, can be used to treat certain conditions for pets as well. We should also note that only certain medications will help — many others would be toxic. Otherwise, give them the correct dosages at the correct times, and only after asking a veterinarian first.


Sick Pups

How to Diagnose Common Animal Ailments

Veterinarians can diagnose an ailment and prescribe treatment as needed. With that said, being able to identify certain common ailments can help you help your pet faster, as well as which popular vet meds may come in handy. Here are some tips on how to tell if your dog or cat needs a visit to the vet:

· If your dog or cat has bad breath, there could be more than just halitosis. In fact, it can be a sign of dental disease — or just poor dental hygiene, which could lead to dental disease. Prevent this the way that you do: brush their teeth, and get them an annual check-up from a vet.

· On that note, keep track of your puppy’s baby teeth. If one or more are stubborn, ask a professional veterinarian to force them out. Otherwise, they may cause an infection, crowd the mouth, or spell all kinds of other dental problems.

· Vomiting, recurrent coughing, and breathing problems are obvious signs that something may be wrong. Some indicators of health issues may be less obvious. These include a lack of energy (compared to past activity) and weight loss.

· Dogs (particularly those with floppy ears) and cats can get infections. If you see your companion shaking their heads or scratching at their ears more than usual, take a peek inside. An infected feline ear is likely to have “a dark, waxy gooey,” while an infected canine ear is “red and scaly.”


Common Medication Types

Some of the more common types of OTC medication used for pets include the following:

· Antiparasitics — Animals tend to be more exposed to parasites like fleas, ticks, tapeworms, and roundworms. Antiparasitics like ivermectin help them heal from these vermin and any infections they cause.

· Antibiotics — These drugs help treat infections and kill harmful bacteria in both humans and animals. Commonly used examples include chloramphenicol, an antibiotic with many applications, and amoxicillin, a relative of penicillin.

· Sedatives — Sometimes, you need to inject something into your pet with a needle, or do something else that may trigger an instinct to panic. Sedatives can calm them down on occasions when moving too much can hurt them. They also work for pets with anxiety.

· Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories — When your pets are experiencing Inflamation, pain, or swelling, this type of medication can soothe them and reduce their suffering. Some can even be used for pets with arthritis.

If you need some OTC medicine for your pets, California Veterinary Supply’s massive selection covers a wide range of ailments. Check out the medical supplies on our inventory today.