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Animal Medicines and the Law

As vets, we regularly get stick over animal medicines. Does my dog need that vaccine? Why did you give my cat that wormer? Isn’t there an alternative treatment with fewer side effects? These are all clinical decisions, and we’re all prepared to debate the risks versus the benefits of any medicine choice. But one of the things that really hurts is where we are constrained by the law, do our best in accordance with the law, and then get slated online or in person for it. My colleague Pete has written an excellent blog about vets fees in general, but he didn't cover the medicines side. So, in this blog, I’m going to explore the UK’s medicines laws in a little more detail, and try to explain some things that people find confusing... For example, why it is that veterinary drugs are more expensive than human ones, why we can’t prescribe the cheaper human version, or why we can't accept unused drugs back into stock for a refund.
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Animals at Christmas – Quiz Answers!

I hope everyone and their animals have had a great Christmas! Now, on Christmas Eve we posted a festive Quiz - so here, as requested, are the answers! If you haven’t answered the Quiz yet - give it a go here… and no cheating with Google...
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Animals at Christmas – A VetHelpDirect Festive Quiz!

If you think about it, the Christmas stories we tell are full of animals. There’s the donkey carrying Mary in the Nativity story (cue “Little Donkey” from everyone who has fond memories of 1980s nativity plays!), sheep (with the shepherds) and cattle (in the stable). If we go further back, animals feature even more prominently - with spiders, cockerels and deer all getting a mention, not counting all the food animals commemorated in The Twelve Days of Christmas (which, some people say, is a musical recipe for a mixed game pie!). Then of course there are St Nicholas’/Santa’s/Father Christmas’ famous reindeer:
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The Twelve Dangers of Christmas

Christmas comes but once a year… but for many pets, that’s once too often! There always seems to be a rush at most practices over the Christmas period, from people who’ve forgotten to pre-order medication, to pets who’ve injured themselves on something, to animals that have eaten something poisonous. So, we thought we’d put together a list of 12 of the “top troubles” pets seem to get themselves into over the festive period…
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Anaesthetic Shortage – will it affect my pet?

A number of vet practices have been reporting problems in the last few days in getting hold of the anaesthetic gas isoflurane, due to supply problems from the manufacturers. However, instead of lasting a few days and then coming back on stream, the shortage sounds like it might last a while, with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) reporting that 2 of the main suppliers have restock dates as late as February or even March next year. In this blog, we’re going to look at how this might affect vets and pets across the UK in the next few months.
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