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Grow Your Veterinary Pharmacy Career

Golden Retriever waits attentively in a veterinary pharmacy, showcasing the personalized care aspect of a veterinary pharmacy career.

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Grow Your Veterinary Pharmacy Career with Veterinary Compounding

In the dynamic landscape of pharmacy, staying ahead often means exploring niche areas that not only align with professional interests but also respond to emerging needs. One such area gaining importance is veterinary pharmacy – catering to the unique needs of beloved animal companions. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what veterinary compounding is, its importance, and how it can be a pivotal factor in advancing your veterinary pharmacy career.

What is Veterinary Compounding?

Veterinary compounding is a specialized practice within pharmacy that involves the customization of medications for animals. Unlike human medications, veterinary drugs often lack commercially available formulations suitable for specific animal species, sizes, or conditions. Veterinary compounding steps in to bridge this gap by tailoring medications to meet the unique needs of animals, ensuring precise dosages, appropriate formulations, and ease of administration.

This practice extends far beyond simple compounding; veterinary pharmacists should have a deep understanding of the physiological differences between species, potential challenges in administration, and considerations for the overall well-being of the animal. From dogs and cats to horses and exotic pets, veterinary compounding demands a nuanced approach.

What is the Importance of Veterinary Compounding?

Animals, like humans, can have unique health requirements. Veterinary compounding allows pharmacists to create customized medications to address diverse needs, from adjusting dosages for different sizes of animals to formulating medications in alternative dosage forms that are easier for pets to consume.

Additionally, administering medication to animals can be challenging. Veterinary compounding enables the creation of formulations that are palatable to animals, increasing the likelihood of compliance. This is particularly crucial for pet owners who may struggle to administer traditional medications to their animals.

With the shortage of commercially available veterinary medications, compounding plays a pivotal role in filling treatment gaps. It provides a solution for cases where specific drugs or formulations are not readily accessible, ensuring that animals receive the necessary care tailored to their unique health conditions.

How Veterinary Compounding Can Help You Grow Your Career

Pharmacists are the only health care professionals legally allowed and expected by society to provide care for all species. Over 3/4 of community pharmacists encounter animal prescriptions in their routine practice, but fewer than 1/4 of pharmacy schools offer didactic curriculum on this topic, so many pharmacists and techs are deficient in this knowledge.

Additionally, the growing number of pets in U.S. households during COVID has created a shortfall of veterinarians to provide timely and comprehensive care, presenting an opportunity for community pharmacists to expand services to the animal population with a modest amount of additional training.

Understanding and incorporating veterinary compounding into your skill set can be a transformative step in your pharmacy career. Here’s how:

  • Diversification of Expertise: Veterinary compounding broadens your expertise beyond human healthcare, making you a valuable resource in a market where the demand for specialized veterinary pharmaceutical care is on the rise.
  • Enhanced Professional Fulfillment: Contributing to the well-being of animals adds a unique dimension to your professional fulfillment. Knowing that your expertise plays a vital role in improving the health and quality of life for pets can be exceptionally rewarding.
  • Community Engagement: As pets become integral members of families, your knowledge in veterinary compounding positions you as a trusted community resource. Engaging with pet owners and offering solutions tailored to their furry friends builds strong community ties.

Introducing: Veterinary Compounding Specialty Certificate

Veterinary compounding carries many considerations, including variances in clinical response to medications, variances in efficacy of dosage forms, and new challenges in product administration. This program is designed to provide a solid foundation for those compounding medications for non-human use. Regulatory parameters are introduced along with a comprehensive discussion around safe compounding practices within this special patient population.

This offering will provide the compounding pharmacist and pharmacy technician with the fundamentals needed to accurately and safely compound prescriptions for companion animals (dogs, cats, horses) that they may encounter in daily practice. Learners who complete this certificate program will be better able to:

  • Identify regulatory bodies and laws that provide legal guidance for drugs and ingredients used for veterinary medications.
  • Select appropriate drug references and resources for information on animal pharmacology, dosing, and toxicology concerns
  • Understand the potential risks and complications that may be associated with veterinary compounded medications
  • Describe how risks may differ between FDA-approved manufactured medications and 503(a) / 503(b) compounded medications
  • Identify toxic substances for veterinary patients and their adverse effects in veterinary compounding
  • Understand appropriate quality control measures for compounded medications
  • Identify which classes of medications pose a risk to the veterinary patient when compounded
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing transdermal medications in veterinary patients
  • Develop a skillset for educating pet owners about proper administration and handling of compounded medications
  • List situations in which prescribing compounded medications for veterinary patients is and is not appropriate

Growing your veterinary pharmacy career with veterinary compounding is not just about expanding your skill set; it’s about embracing a practice that brings compassion, customization, and community impact to the forefront. Whether you’re a seasoned pharmacist or a pharmacy student exploring career paths, considering the importance of veterinary compounding can open doors to a fulfilling and impactful journey in the world of pharmacy.


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