There are certain situations where the best treatment for your pet may require the use of medicines which do not hold an appropriate licence for the species concerned. We might therefore, recommend using such a medicine “off-license” but these will prescribed in accordance with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons “cascade” rules. The cascade is a sequence that all veterinary surgeons must follow when treating animals.
Each vet must firstly look for:
- alternative medicines that are used in other animal species for the same condition,
- then medicines for different conditions in the same species, and
- finally medication authorized for human use.
There are a lot of human medicines that are extremely useful in the treatment of pets. Most of these medicines have been in general veterinary use for years (for example: antihistamines, adrenaline, aspirin, digoxin, diazepam and pain killers etc.) and there are documented dose rates and they are known to be safe.
Our use of off-license medication will be based upon our knowledge of the use in animals and an assessment of the risks and benefits involved. These medicines will only be used when they are indicated and deemed necessary and no licensed alternative exists. Due to the cost of obtaining a licence for full use in a particular species, there are only a few drugs actually licensed for use in the smaller and exotic pets (e.g. birds, insects, rabbits and reptiles etc.).
The consent form we will ask you to sign for treatments for your pets gives a life-long agreement for the use of off license and unlicensed products (to save you having to sign a form every time your pet is treated). If you require further re-assurance about the new consent form or a particular recommendation we make for your pet please ask to speak to one of the Vets.