Pet owners understand all too well the struggles that come with trying to give pets medications. That’s why pharmacy compounding is a common practice in veterinary medicine because it provides unique dosage forms to different animals.
Here at Pioneer Health Center, we don’t just treat people, we also make compounded medications for pets. In fact, many of our pharmacy patients are cats and dogs, and we have also made medications for ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, and even the occasional iguana. Due to the uniqueness of each animal, as with humans, we can offer multiple forms and strengths of many medications to best suit each pet and ensure a successful treatment protocol.
How Animal Medications are CompoundedWe can compound medications in the form of pills, suspensions, and transdermal creams. Depending on your pet’s unique characteristics and preferences, we help pet owners determine which method of delivery will be most appropriate for their pets. A common and very effective procedure is applying transdermal creams to finger cots (which we provide) to one’s own finger and applying a given amount of cream to the inner ear flap of the animal.
One of our most popular veterinary medications is Methimazole, a thyroid medication for cats typically administered via the mouth. We are also able to compound this medication into a cream that can be applied to the ear with little to no discomfort to a finicky cat.
We can also compound various suspensions with a choice of flavor, such as beef, chicken, or tuna to make medications less distasteful for your pet (because animals are really good at sniffing them out!).
We’ve found great success in medication adherence simply by altering the route of administration or the flavor of medication. We love working with pet owners to create a successful delivery mechanism so their pet can feel their best sooner. Nothing is worse than trying to force a pill down your cat’s throat or watching your dog pick out a pill from their food and continue to stay sick.
Common Conditions for Compounded MedicationsLike with humans, there are many health conditions that can be addressed on an individualized level simply by compounding it. As we explain in this post, pharmacy compounding makes it possible for a medication to be completely customized to meet an individual’s needs. We’ve seen over the decades this accelerate progress and even recovery.
Here are some of the most common conditions we compound animal medications for:
If you’re a dog owner, you already know there are several human foods they cannot eat as they can cause illness, and in some case, even disease or death. One ingredient, in particular, is getting a lot of buzz because it’s an ingredient that can hide out in popular foods that dogs like: xylitol.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol that is extracted from birch trees and as a sweetener. It’s commonly found in chewing gum and recently in peanut butter.
Why Xylitol is Toxic to DogsXylitol can be toxic to dogs because it causes a rapid release of insulin and a decrease in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) within just 10-60 minutes of eating it.
Just as with humans, blood sugar is controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas. However, while Xylitol does not stimulate this release in humans, it does in dogs because it gets rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, which triggers the pancreas to release insulin. Untreated, hypoglycemia in dogs can be life-threatening.
What You Can DoThis is why it is important to keep things that contain this chemical out of reach by storing xylitol or xylitol-containing foods in high-up cupboards or in containers they cannot open.
If you’re administering medications to your dog in peanut butter, be sure to purchase peanut butter that does not contain this ingredient.
Symptoms of Exposure to XylitolIf your dog eats, or has eaten, a food containing xylitol, they may experience disorientation, staggering, weakness, collapse, or even seizures. If your dog does ingest something that contains this chemical or you suspect it has, it best to contact your vet right away.
For more information on animal medications, an area we work in often at our compounding pharmacy, view our post here.
If you suspect your dog has consumed xylitol, it’s important to contact your local vet immediately.
For as long as I’ve been a compounding pharmacist, I’ve worked with patients on bio-identical hormone therapy and it’s also an area that has consumed a great deal of my research. Because pharmacy compound fuses research-based evidence with more natural and suitable therapies, I’m always on the lookout for the best ways to help our clients feel better. There is a lot of information out there on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), but because it’s a topic many often misunderstand, I’d like to explain it in more detail so you understand how it works and who it’s for.
What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?Bio-identical hormones have the same chemical structure as hormones that are made by the human body. They are derived from plant sources (e.g. yams or soy), yet they are identical in chemical structure to the hormones produced by the human body. This makes them far more able to naturally rebalance a person’s hormone levels because it’s done so in a way that the body recognizes.
Synthetic, or “conventional” hormones, such as Premarin or PremPro, have been chemically altered and therefore are not identical to the hormones found in the human body. The structure of these hormones may be responsible for the side effects that are experienced when using “conventional” synthetic hormone replacement therapy, such as weight gain, acne, facial hair in women, breast tenderness, spotting, and moodiness. For this reason, hormone replacement therapy is often given a bad rep, but if it’s bioidentical, there is scientific evidence to support it is far safer for the body and typically much more effective.
How Patients Take BHRTBHRT is available in various dosages and delivery systems. Here at Pioneer Health Center, we work in collaboration with patients and practitioners to meet each individual’s needs to ensure proper dosing and delivery. Pharmacy compounding can address these unique preferences and requirements by customizing every prescription based upon a thorough analysis of expressed symptoms and hormone level test results.
For example, if a patient has a gluten or dairy allergy, we can easily compound their medication to be free of these ingredients. Or, if a patient prefers a certain delivery form, such as oral or topical, we can develop that for them so that it’s easy for them to take.
BHRT is One Part of the EquationBHRT, just as any other medication or supplement, is not a “magic pill”, but rather one of the components of a multi-faceted approach to hormone health. Effectively restoring hormone levels also includes blood sugar management, cortisol regulation, making changes to the diet, reducing stress, and eliminating environmental toxins. All of these factors can contribute to hormone imbalance in the first place, which is why we take a holistic view of a patient before administering something like BHRT to ensure all facets of the equation are addressed so they have the greatest chance of achieving their goals and feeling better.
Balance Your HormonesBecause we’re both a compounding pharmacy and functional medicine practice, we can work with clients to not only provide BHRT but also do hormone testing via functional lab work and help clients implement all other parts of the hormone health equation.
To begin, apply to work with us and we will be in touch with you soon!
Have you heard about CBD oil and its many possible health benefits? Pioneer Health Center’s Gene and Mike Gresh recently spoke to Fox 61 about CBD oil and how it can help some patients, as well as what to look out for.
CBD is cannabidiol, a component of cannabis derived from hemp that doesn’t have much THC, so it won’t get you high. However, it does appear to have positive effects on pain relief, anxiety, depression, and sleep when taken topically or orally.
CBD was more or less legalized through the U.S. Farm Bill in 2018, which legalized the production of hemp, a species of cannabis that CBD can come from. Any product with CBD in it, including gummies, candies, salves, or creams, must contain less than 0.3 percent of THC. Manufacturers quickly jumped on the chance to make all sorts of products infused with it.
Unfortunately, because CBD is technically a dietary supplement and not a drug, this means that it’s not regulated particularly well. While there is some research that says CBD is good for pain and sleep, there are plenty of products that make inaccurate claims about their efficacy. For instance, a recent study of over 30 different products showed that two-thirds of them didn’t have the right amount of CBD to be effective.
But now that CBD has been legalized, there’s a greater chance that larger clinical studies will show the true benefits of CBD on a variety of conditions.
In the meantime, it’s best to work with a healthcare practitioner to find out if CBD oil in any form is right for you. Pioneer Health Center offers a number of CBD options for sleep, anxiety, and pain management. Our team can help you determine if CBD is right for you and find you the right way to add it to your healthcare regimen.
Check out this video of Gene and Mike’s interview, and hear the story of a patient who was able to quit taking over-the-counter medications thanks to CBD.