Important Articles


Written Prescription Warning

At Animal Medical Center of Troy, it is our policy to take every possible step to ensure that our patients receive the very best pharmaceutical products available.  Veterinarians are required to have a valid client/patient/veterinarian relationship in order to prescribe certain medications.  We carry a number of prescription products, veterinary "prescription diets" and products labeled by the manufacturer as "for sale by licensed veterinarians only".  We try to keep our prices within reason, but as a business, we have costs to cover to provide the products and product use information to you.  For these reasons, we have established the following prescription policy.

If you wish, we will gladly write prescriptions for your pet in lieu of selling them here so that you have a choice in where you have your prescriptions filled.  We do, however, wish for your decision to be an informed decision, and want you to know several things regarding prescription sales through some other sources:

1.  All major manufactures (Novartis, Pfizer, Bayer, Merial, etc.) of veterinary-specific products (Interceptor, Sentinel, Frontline, Rimadyl, and Revolution to name a few) maintain a policy of sales exclusively through licensed veterinarians.

2.  Catalogue/online sources cannot obtain specific veterinary products directly from the manufacturer.  They have been known to twist their words about where they obtained their product.  They may report the product is from X manufacture.  They will not say they purchased from the manufacturer or divulge from whom they are purchasing their veterinary specific products.

3.  Sales of these products/medications are through non-approved channels.

4.  Guarantees that manufacturers make regarding their products are null and void if their products are obtained through non-approved channels.  This includes the guarantee reimbursement programs for flea control, as well as all heartworm and intestinal parasite claims.

5.  Counterfeit products have been produced and sold by online sources and other retailers.

6.  PetMedExpress has deceptive advertising, as many times our prices are  LOWER than or comparable to their prices.

7.  Discount houses have been cited by the FDA and State Boards of Pharmacy for violating prescribing procedures.  PetMedExpress (a.k.a. SaveMax), in particular, was recently fined over $100,000.000 by the FDA and Florida Department of Health.  The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and the Texas Pharmacy Board have also recently sued this particular discount house.

8.  Pharmaceuticals manufactured and labeled for use in other countries (namely Australia) have been illegally diverted and sold through these discount houses in the United States.

9.  Rebates on Sentinel and Interceptor, coupons on Rimadyl, and free product with Revolution and Frontline are available only through your veterinarian, these offers will further lower our price.

10. Shipping charges, delays, mis-shipments, and damaged products are several of the reasons that many clients feel that the hassles of dealing with the catalogue houses are not worth the savings.

If you prefer to purchase your products at catalogue/online houses, we will gladly write prescriptions for these products according the following guidelines:

1.  All state and federal prescribing laws apply the same as if your purchase it here.  (Some of the discount houses have not always followed the federal and/or state laws, but trust them at your own risk.)

2.  To avoid any potential doctor-patient confidentiality issues, we will not communicate with the discount house in any form or fashion.  We will not fax, or return faxes to them.  We will not accept their phone calls.

3.  Check the medications expiration date!  Often the medication is short dated, expiring before you have used all the medication.  It is your responsibility to ensure that the prescription is sent, filled, labled, shipped, and used correctly.  The discount houses have a reputation for poor customer service, and we cannot be expected to take the time to oversee their operations and shortcomings.  We cannot be responsible if they send counterfeit or unauthorized products to you.

We will not become involved in any product failure issues for products purchased through these discount houses.  This includes any prescription or nonprescription products.

If you change your mind after we have written a prescription "script" for you, we will be unable to fill the prescription for you here until you return the actual prescription form to us.




Purchasing Pet Drugs Online:  Buyer Beware   

"Discount pet drugs - no prescription required" may appeal to pet owners surfing the Web, but FDA experts say it can be risky to buy drugs online from sites that tout this message and others like it.  (Read more of this article)




Sugarless Gum Deadly to Dogs

Press Release:  Troy Pet Dog Dies After Eating Trident Gum

On Thursday, June 15th, 2006, a Troy resident brought her 8 year old neutered male cocker spaniel dog to Dr. Brad Theodoroff at the Animal Medical Center of Troy.  This loved and well cared for pet had previously been seen in February 2006, at that time he was a healthy pet with normal blood tests.  However, today he was a pet that was dying.

The owner reported that five days prior he had vomited a few times, appeared normal and was eating well.  In contents of her loved pet's first vomit was gum and gum wrappers of Trident Sugarless Gum.  The day prior he had managed to jump up onto the table and steal one pack of gum.  Four days prior his appetite slowly had started to wane, and today he was weak and would not eat at all.  When Dr. Theodoroff examined the pet, it was apparent to him that this pet had serious liver disease.  Blood and urine tests confirmed that the pet was suffering advanced liver failure.  In spite of the treatment provided, the damage was irreversible.  The pet's condition worsened and he died 20 hours later.

Trident Sugarless Gum, like many sugarless products, contains Xylitol, a sweetener that has been used since the 1960's.  Xylitol is considered the best sweetener since it reduces tooth decay; it is also in many toothpastes.  Xylitol is even widely distributed throughout nature in small amounts.  Some of the best sources are fruits, berries, mushrooms and lettuce.  One cup of raspberries contains les than one gram of Xylitol.

While it is safe for people, it is deadly to dogs, even in small quantities.  The effect of Xylitol is to cause the secretion of insulin, which dangerously lowers the blood sugar of the dog.  In addition, it can cause liver failure depending on the quantity ingested.  The amount that needs to be consumed to be toxic depends on the substance eaten and the weight of the pet.  There is still no hard and fast data concerning what a lethal dose is of this substance or even how it damages the liver.

In September, 2004, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association first reported that the sweetener Xylitol could be toxic to dogs.  "Dogs ingesting large amounts of products sweetened with Xylitol may have a sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination, and seizures," according to Dr. Eric K. Dunayer, a consulting veterinarian in clinical toxicology for the poison control center.  "Some data suggest a link between Xylitol ingestion and liver failure in dogs," he said, "though those data are insufficient to draw firm conclusions."

Since that time many dogs have been reported to have irreversible and most times, fatal liver disease, unless immediate treatment is started at the time of ingestion to prevent the rapid drop of blood sugar.

Dr. Theodoroff and the Animal Medical Center of Troy want to alert pet owners of the dangers of Xylitol, a sweetener that is in so many sugarless products.  We want to prevent future heartbreak.


"Sweetener Xylitol Can Be Toxic to Dogs", JAVMA September 1, 2004

"Xylitol Sugar Substitute Toxic to Dogs", Diabetes Daily, May 15, 2006

"What is Xylitol"                                                                                                                    



Dr. Doug Brum



General Practice & Preventative Medicine                                  

UNDERSTANDING THE FLEA                            


For millions of pets and people, the tiny flea is a remorseless enemy. The flea is a small, brown, wingless insect that uses specialized mouthparts to pierce the skin and siphon blood.

When a flea bites your dog, it injects a small amount of saliva into the skin to prevent blood coagulation. Some animals may have fleas without showing discomfort, but an unfortunate number of dogs become sensitized to this saliva. In highly allergic animals, the bite of a single flea can cause severe itching and scratching. Fleas cause the most common skin disease of dogs - flea allergy dermatitis.

If your pet develops hypersensitivity to flea saliva, many changes may result.


·  A small hive may develop at the site of the fleabite, which either heals or develops into a tiny red bump that eventually crusts over.


·  The dog may scratch and chew at himself until the area is hairless, raw and weeping serum ("hot spots"). This can cause hair loss, redness, scaling, bacterial infection and increased pigmentation of the skin.
Remember that the flea spends the majority of its life in the environment, not on your pet, so it may be difficult to find. In fact, your dog may continue to scratch without you ever seeing a flea on him. Check your dog carefully for fleas or for signs of flea excrement (also called flea dirt), which looks like coarsely ground pepper. When moistened, flea dirt turns a reddish brown because it contains blood. If one dog in the household has fleas, assume that all pets in the household have fleas. A single flea found on your pet means that there are probably hundreds of fleas, larva, pupa and eggs in your house.

If you see tapeworm segments in your dog's stool, he may have had fleas at one time or may still have them. The flea can act as an intermediate host of the tapeworm, Dipylidium caninum. Through grooming or biting, the animal ingests an adult flea containing tapeworm eggs. Once released the tapeworm grows to maturity in the small intestine. The cycle can take less than a month, so a key to tapeworm prevention is flea control. Anemia also may be a complication of flea infestation especially in young kittens.




The flea's life cycle has four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.


·  Eggs. The adult flea uses your dog as a place to take its blood meals and breed. Fleas either lay eggs directly on the dog where they may drop off, or deposit eggs into the immediate surroundings (your home or backyard). Because the female may lay several hundred eggs during the course of its life, the number of fleas present intensifies the problem. The eggs hatch into larvae that live in carpeting, cracks or corners of the dog's living area.


·  Larvae. The larvae survive by ingesting dried blood, animal dander and other organic matter.


·  Pupa and adult. To complete the life cycle, larvae develop into pupa that hatch into adults. The immediate source of adult fleas within the house is the pupa, not the dog. The adult flea emerges from the pupa, then hops onto the host.
This development occurs more quickly in a warm, humid environment. Pupa can lie dormant for months, but under temperate conditions fleas complete their life cycle in about three weeks. The inside of your home may provide a warm environment to allow fleas to thrive year round.




Types of commercial products available for flea control include flea collars, shampoos, sprays, powders and dips. Other, newer, products include oral and systemic spot on insecticides.

In the past, topical insecticide sprays, powders and dips were the most popular. However, the effect was often temporary. Battling infestations requires attacking areas where the eggs, larvae, pupae and adults all congregate. Because some stages of a flea's life can persist for months, chemicals with residual action are needed and should be repeated periodically. Sprays or foggers, which required leaving the house for several hours, have been used twice in 2-week intervals and then every two months during the flea season.

Treating animals and their living areas thoroughly and at the same time is vital; otherwise some fleas will survive and re-infect your pet. You may even need to treat your yard or kennel with an insecticide, if the infestation is severe enough.

The vacuum cleaner can be a real aid in removing flea eggs and immature forms. Give special attention to cracks and corners. At the end of vacuuming, either vacuum up some flea powder into your vacuum bag, or throw the bag out. Otherwise, the cleaner will only serve as an incubator, releasing more fleas into the environment as they hatch. In some cases, you may want to obtain the services of a licensed pest control company. These professionals have access to a variety of insecticides and they know what combinations work best in your area.




As one might expect, flea control through these methods is very time consuming, expensive and difficult. The good news is that currently, with the newer flea products on the market, flea control is much safer, more effective and environmentally friendly. Current flea control efforts center on oral and topical systemic treatments. These products not only treat existing flea problems, they also are very useful for prevention. In fact, prevention is the most effective and easiest method of flea control.


It is best to consult your veterinarian as to the best flea control and prevention for your pet. The choice of flea control should depend on your pet's life-style and potential for exposure. Through faithful use of these systemic monthly flea products, the total flea burden on your pet and in the immediate environment can be dramatically reduced. Keeping your pet on monthly flea treatments especially in areas of high flea risk is an excellent preventive method of flea control. These products often eliminate the need for routine home insecticidal use, especially in the long run. Although it may still be prudent in heavy flea environments to treat the premises initially, the advent of these newer systemic flea products has dramatically simplified, and made flea control safer and more effective.














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