articles for pet owners

Why Your Compound Takes So Long to Fill

Dear Pet Owner,

Your pet is sick and your veterinarian has called in a prescription to our veterinary pharmacy that must be compounded. Two hours later you show up at the drive-thru and are told the medication isn’t ready yet. Now you are angry, tired and just want to get the medication home to your fur baby.

As busy caretakers, we genuinely understand your frustration. We all want immediate care for our pets just as we do the rest of our family. Compounding medications the right way requires process and quality assurance that most don’t see in front of the counter. It is a uniquely different practice from the rest of retail pharmacy. Filling these prescriptions might go something like this…

Your veterinarian calls. They tell our staff what medication your pet needs. They ask us how much it will cost. Pets don’t have prescription drug insurance so the expense is an important aspect of the treatment decision. They call you to review options and then call us back. 

Once the cost is approved, everything is a go. We take down all the information we need. We discuss proper formulations based on each situation and pet (tablet, liquid, medicated treat, etc.). The vet may not have considered medicated treats. This was an option? The discussion continues.

A decision is made. Just the liquid formulation. Perfect. What flavor?

Flavor? There’s a menu to choose from?!?! Alright, your veterinarian (who already has a million things going on) is going to need us to call you on this one.

We call you. Your phone goes straight to voicemail. We don’t want to delay your pet’s treatment any longer.

We choose chicken because, when all else fails, go with the chicken.

We go to process the prescription. The compound formula we need hasn’t been put into our software because, as it tends to go with animal patients, your pet needs a very specific dosage strength. We create a new record and put in all the necessary information so we adhere to the Board of Pharmacy’s rules.

Ok, all done. The prescription label prints out. To the compounding lab we go.

We get to the shelf and we are running low on one of the needed ingredients as we used a large amount on a horse patient earlier that morning. We don’t have enough to make your pet’s full prescription, so we need to re-formulate to ensure your pet receives the medication as soon as possible.

We call you and again reach your voicemail. We decide to make half the prescription so you can begin administering your pet’s medication this evening.

We gather all the ingredients and start filling out all the compounding paperwork. While we are doing so, you show up at the drive-thru, wondering why the medication isn’t ready yet. We start talking and discuss your upcoming family vacation. You decide the medicated treats would be the better route after all…

Veterinary pharmacy compounding is an art and science and requires flexible solutions that fit your family’s life. This what we do. We are here to help you. It might take some time, longer than just an hour or two at times, but rest assured, your pet’s care is our top priority.