Good practices in the use of veterinary medicines for pets
Every year, many accidents are reported following the incorrect storage and use of veterinary medicines. In France, over 400 people were victims of this type of accident in 2020. While most reported cases are minor, more serious cases of poisoning can occur, particularly in young children.
Most reported accidents with veterinary medicines, particularly anti-parasite pipettes, involve accidental splashes or contact with the skin. Other accidents are caused by mix-ups between veterinary products in bottles and eye drops for humans, or between tablets meant for pets and those of their owner. A number of reports also concern the accidental ingestion of medicines that are not correctly stored or that are hidden in food.
Good practices for storing veterinary medicines at home
Think about the storage location
- Keep all veterinary medicines together and do not store them in the same place as family medicines.
- Choose a place that is dark, cool and dry. If the medicinal product needs to be stored in the refrigerator, keep it in a box that is clearly labelled, e.g. with your pet’s name.
- Choose a place that is out of the reach of children, preferably with a lock.
- In their original box,
- With the instructions for use and the corresponding prescriptions if the medicine was prescribed by a veterinarian.
Compliance with safety precautions
If the medicine needs to be prepared before administration
- Avoid doing it too far ahead of time, and only prepare the necessary dose.
- Label the bottle or box with the name of the medicinal product and the date of preparation.
Administering the medicine
- Read the instructions and precautions for use beforehand.
- Carefully follow the instructions given by the veterinarian, the pharmacist or the professional who sold the medicine: time of day, frequency and route of administration,
- Only administer medicines when there are no children or other animals present.
After administering the medicine
- Wash your hands,
- If you applied the medicinal product to your pet’s skin, wait for the specified period of time before stroking your pet again, and make sure that other members of the family, particularly children, do the same.
On completing treatment
Storage and reuse
- Only use the medicine again if the veterinarian or the professional who sold it has clearly stated that you can do so,
- Never give a prescription veterinary medicine to an animal other than the one for which it was intended.
Do not store medicines if:
- They were prescribed for a specific disease and for a limited period of time,
- The period after opening or expiry date has passed,
- They are no longer used or if you do not know what they were for.
IN THE EVENT OF AN INCIDENT, EVEN IN THE ABSENCE OF SYMPTOMS
Read the package leaflet for instructions.
If symptoms appear and persist, call a doctor or a poison control centre. If you ingest a medicinal product that can affect your vigilance, do not drive. If necessary, ask another person to take you to the hospital.
Collect as much information as possible on the medicine (packaging and leaflet), for use by the nursing staff.