By Dr. Lee Pickett Some of our clients request prescriptions so they can buy their pets’ medications online or from a retail pharmacy. While we comply, we recognize that purchasing drugs this way does present several risks. First, the pharmacist, who has little or no training in animal pharmacology, may change the drug or dose, rendering the medication ineffective or toxic. One state’s veterinarians reported that more than one-third had experienced situations in which the pharmacist had substituted a different drug or changed the dose without consulting the prescribing veterinarian. In some cases, the pet died because of the error. Also, most manufacturers do not guarantee products sold by an online pharmacy. If stored or shipped under adverse conditions, such as freezing winter temperatures or summer heat and humidity, the medication or vaccine can be inactivated. Finally, when you buy online, you may receive products that contain adulterated or counterfeit ingredients, made by companies that ignore federal and state drug laws. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy evaluated over 10,000 online pharmacy sites and found that only three percent complied with pharmacy laws and practice standards. If you are determined to buy online, make sure your Internet pharmacy is certified by visiting www.nabp.net/programs/accreditation/vet-vipps/find-a-vet-vipps-online-pharmacy . But before you do that, check our price. We’re competitive, and sometimes we’re actually less expensive. And if you’d like it sent to your home, just ask.