Veterinarians, Pet Medications, and the Opioid Crisis

Ninety-five percent of pet owners say they consider pets a part of the family, but there’s a darker side to some of those families. Sadly, as in so many human families, drug addiction is breaking the bonds of affection and trust. Veterinarians have reported cases where opioid addiction is leading pet owners to steal their pets’ medications or even injure their pets in an effort to get pain meds prescribed.

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Safely Dispose of Pet Needles, Syringes, and Medications

Americans love their pets! So, in honor of National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and World Spay Day (February 27), we’re spending the month highlighting a specific segment of medical waste generators – veterinary hospitals and pet owners. Our pets are living longer, so pet owners need to be knowledgeable about safety issues around home medical care for diseases related to obesity and aging – specifically safe disposal of syringes and unused medications.

The American Pet Products Association’s 2017/2018 annual survey of pet ownership found that approximately 47 million households in the U.S. have at least one cat and 60 million households have at least one dog. As the United States population ages, our pets are aging right along with us and are subject to many of the same diseases of aging – and often the same treatments. Many pet owners now give regular in-home injections to their pets and must deal with how to safely dispose of the syringes.
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Veterinarians Protect Staff, Patients, & Communities with Proper Medical Waste Disposal Practices

In honor of National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and World Spay Day (February 27), we’re highlighting a specific segment of medical waste generators – veterinary hospitals and clinics. Many veterinary practices are small businesses that play large roles in their communities by keeping pets healthy, supporting animal rescue organizations, and helping stop the spread of rabies and other diseases.

Because pet owners most often visit veterinary offices for preventative care – vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries, etc. – it’s easy to forget that they are often small hospitals that can generate many of the same types of medical waste as human hospitals and medical offices. Indeed, for most companion animals, a veterinary hospital offers primary care, surgical care, emergency care, dental care, and end-of-life care. So, it’s no surprise that veterinarians must understand how to safely package and dispose of many types of regulated medical waste.
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Managing Pet Diabetes

So the vet just diagnosed your pet with diabetes mellitus, which means that your pet isn’t producing enough insulin which is required for the body to efficiently use sugars, fats, and proteins. Diabetes mellitus is most often diagnosed in older dogs, primarily female dogs and older cats, most often male cats. Younger animals can also be afflicted.

Can diabetes in animals be managed? For most animals, diabetes is managed long term by the injection of insulin once or twice a day by the owner or caretaker. While some diabetic cats can be treated with oral medications instead of injections, oral medications are rarely effective in dogs. According to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, there are three general types of insulin used in dogs and cats:

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