Piggybacking on Dr. Kay’s post about the perils of price shopping, I did want to share a better way to try and save money at the vet: medications.
There are lots of good reasons for getting your medications from the vet, but the number one is convenience. You have the meds in hand when you leave. The other reason, one often given by vets who don’t want to write a prescription, is that you don’t know where some of these online pharmacies have obtained their meds. This is true. Some may have counterfeit or close to expired meds that they are passing out. Still others are perfectly legitimate pharmacies offering a good price on meds.
At the end of the day, if you want to get your medications from an outside source your veterinarian should be willing to provide you with a written prescription if that is what you ask for.
Another tip is to ask your veterinarian if there is a generic equivalent available from a human pharmacy. Sometimes, especially with resistant infections or certain pain medications, there really isn’t. A nasty middle ear infection that needs Baytril, needs Baytril. However, a simple skin infection might respond well to cephalexin, as an example, which is on the generics list at our local Wal-Mart for $10 for a 30 day supply. For some dogs, especially large breed dogs, those meds may make the difference between being treated and not being treated.
As always, communication is key. There’s nothing wrong with asking. If there is not a generic equivalent, your vet should be able to explain why that specific medication is necessary. And if there is, you might have just saved a nice handful of dollars. It never hurts to ask! In this day and this economy, we all know firsthand that finances are a concern for everyone.