Why is it important to comply with veterinary instructions to give pills to your dog?

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When your veterinarian prescribes medication for your dog, it is extremely important to follow the directions that are provided. Medication that is not finished or given correctly, can actually harm your dog or set them up for future problems down the road. Just like with physicians, it’s important to follow the veterinarian’s directions so that we provide the best medical care for our pets at home.

Following recovery from an injury or surgical procedure, pain medication is very important to your dog’s pain control. Pain prevents recovery and even if your dog is acting fine, it’s important to address the aches and pains they may be feeling but not exhibiting. Pain is caused by inflammation, and inflammation prevents healing and can cause further infections if inflamed areas are exposed to bacteria. Most pain medications that are sent home are anti-inflammatory in nature and help reduce inflammation, which in turn reduces pain. Animals that are in pain are more likely to not eat or drink as much as they should. Additionally, they may not move around as much as they need to in order to promote circulation and good gastrointestinal motility. Similarly, they may lick or chew at incisions or injuries, increasing the risk of infection.

The instructions for antibiotics are just as important to follow completely as those for pain medicine. Animals are placed on antibiotics to treat infections and prevent infections. If your dog has already been diagnosed with an infection, it’s extremely important to give the antibiotics as directed and finish all of the antibiotics in the time prescribed. To alter from the instructions may cause the bacteria to become resistant and the antibiotics to become ineffective. This may also cause the infection to become worse. If this happens, another round of stronger antibiotics will need to be prescribed and a longer recovery period will be required for your pet.

Patients are routinely placed on antibiotics as a preventative measure following a surgical procedure. Any time an incision is made into the skin, it opens the body to the possibility of infection, due to contamination from bacteria. Following surgical procedures, preventing bacterial contamination is imperative for the success of the surgical outcome and speedy recovery of the patient.

At home, care instructions concerning medications are extremely important to follow to give the best possible care to your dog. Deviation from these instructions may cause a prolonged recovery or make an infection worse. At any time if you have any questions regarding the medication your pet is on, call your veterinarian for professional advice.

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