It’s our Parade: Pets, ‘people drugs’ and you

December 19, 2009 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

parade-logoOur Dr. Marty Becker and I have been writing for Parade magazine pretty regularly for close to a year now. We LOVE it! The editors are a dream to work with, and the magazine’s circulation means that we hear from everyone (and our mothers!) when the articles appear.

This week, we got to bite into a very meaty topic indeed: The use of human medicines in veterinary medicine. Did you know 80-90 percent of the drugs your veterinarian prescribes are “people drugs”? It’s true, according Dr. Duncan Ferguson, director of the Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology residency program at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. (And a former boss of mine, since he was one of the co-founders of the Veterinary Information Network, back when Christie and I both worked there.)

From the article:

This so-called off-label use of human drugs allows veterinarians to treat medical conditions (and species) that might not be priorities for big drug companies.

Knowing how and why certain drugs are prescribed can help pet owners understand health-care options—including some that save money. A good vet will discuss medications, tell you what side effects to look for, and encourage you to call with questions or concerns. Treatment can often be more complicated in animals than in humans.

“I tell our veterinary students that they need to know more about pharmacology than their physician counterparts,” says Dr. Ferguson, whose areas of specialty include both small-animal internal medicine and veterinary clinical pharmacology. “In human medicine, all drugs are FDA-approved, meaning that they have undergone significant scrutiny for safety and efficacy—but only in one species. Vets must often use fairly limited evidence to treat other species with differences in drug metabolism and action.”

Read the rest. It was such a pleasure to talk to Dr. Ferguson again. He’s just so wicked smart, with a dry wit. I bet he’s one of those professors you never forget.

DrBeckerFBWhat we got Dr. Becker for Christmas: A new picture! We get requests every day for Dr. Becker’s picture, to go with some speaking request, article or other thing. We needed one that was less “informal” than the one we’ve been using, Dr. B with his dog Shakira.

Veterinary Economics magazine is putting him on the cover of an upcoming edition, and so they needed something fresh for a cover shot. North Idaho’s Quicksilver Studios took the call, and came up with a pretty nifty collection of new pictures, including the one Dr. Becker is now using on his Facebook fan page and for his Twitter feed.

That’s his beloved Quixote in the picture with him. Dr. B kids that as much as his loves Quixote, Teresa loves the little dog even more: So much that he thinks if his wife had to choose between him and the dog … well, let’s just be glad she doesn’t have to!…

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Thinking about getting a dog for Christmas? – Petoskey News-Review Exercise is a fact of life: My Aussies will not be ignored!

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