Becky M asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Is the med you get at 800-petmeds really the same as what the vet gives? My vet says "no."?

My dog is on Rimadyl which is very expensive and Petmeds could save me $20 a month. My vet says they're not always as good as what they give. Is this true or are they just trying to make money off me? Are there any vets out there who are willing to chime in?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    They are brand name medications and they are the same. Your vet is not happy to be losing medication sales. I don't blame him, but this is not accurate information.

    EDIT: Meds get shipped to everybody-- that's how they get to the vet clinics, too.

    The controversy over 800petmeds was that they were selling prescription vet meds under their "alternate veterinarian" program, which means that there was not a valid in-person dr-patient relationship. They also sold vet meds packaged for a different country (like Canada) in the US, which meant that the packaging was in metric instead. There are NO lawsuits with them that claim that they are selling poor quality, expired medications.

    In selling heartworm meds, it is essential that your dog has had a negative heartworm test and must see your vet for that.

    The FDA says:

    "It's not a concern if the owner uses a legitimate online pharmacy and mails in a prescription from their veterinarian, who is monitoring the animal," she says. "But if there is no veterinarian–client–patient relationship, it's a dangerous practice."

    Here's what the FDA says about purchasing vet meds online:

    Buying Heartworm Preventives Online

    Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal condition transmitted by the bite of a mosquito that is carrying the larvae (infective stage) of the heartworm parasite. "It only takes one infected mosquito to transmit heartworm disease," says Sheldon Rubin, D.V.M., secretary of the American Heartworm Society (AHS) and veterinarian in private practice in Chicago. The larvae enter the bite wound and migrate through the tissue of the animal, where they grow into adult worms that live in the arteries of the lungs and in the right side of the heart. Dogs, cats, ferrets, and some other mammals can get heartworm.

    Heartworm preventives, administered daily or monthly depending on the product, kill the larvae before they become adult worms.

    All 50 states have reported heartworm disease, says the AHS, which recommends using heartworm medication for dogs year-round, nationwide, and getting dogs tested yearly to make sure they're not infected with heartworm.

    "Testing is important even in dogs regularly treated with heartworm preventive products due to the occasional reports of product ineffectiveness," says Hartogensis. If the animal is infected, a yearly test can ensure an early diagnosis and maximum benefit from treatment.

    An Internet pharmacy veterinarian, of course, cannot perform the heartworm test because it requires drawing blood from the animal. If the test isn't done, a pet owner could be giving heartworm preventives to a dog that has heartworms, leading to severe reactions.

    "The manufacturers of heartworm medicine do not sell to Internet pharmacies unless they are owned by a veterinarian and have a pharmacy license," says Rubin. "There is no better source for heartworm preventive than your own veterinarian. It's fresh, it came directly from the manufacturer, and it's 100 percent supported." This means if a dog or cat is on heartworm preventive and gets heartworm disease, the manufacturer works with the veterinarian, says Rubin, which significantly reduces the cost to the client. If you purchase preventives on the Internet without having your pet seen by your veterinarian, "nobody stands behind them—the veterinarian doesn't, the manufacturer doesn't."

    Cats are at risk for developing heartworm disease, too, says Hartogensis. "Even one heartworm can kill a cat." Testing for heartworm infection in cats is more complex and not as accurate as the test for dogs. The AHS does not recommend yearly testing of cats, but does suggest testing prior to starting a preventive to establish a baseline reference. If heartworms are found in dogs in the area and mosquitoes get into the house, cat owners should consider putting their cat on a heartworm preventive, says the AHS. Your veterinarian will know the risk in your area and can guide you on whether a preventive is indicated.

  • Rebel
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Hi Becky

    If the active ingredients are the same, and the same amount, then it is the same medication.

    The differences can be the following, depending on the drug.

    Improper storage & handling for some medications.

    Outdated products, or products close to expiring.

    Warranties may be voided. Some meds for heartworms, for instance, may void warranty if you do not purchase from a Vet.

    If my Vet. told me what your Vet said, I would have questioned him/her on the spot. If they had a reasonable and honest answer, great. Otherwise, I would be finding a new Vet.

    Best of luck.

  • 4 years ago

    1 800 Pet Meds Reviews

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not a vet, but I don't see how the meds from PetMeds is any different from what the vet buys. I've ordered Frontline from another online site because PetMeds wasn't any cheaper than the vet, but Frontline is Frontline, period. It's not like you're getting another brand of medicine which might not be as good--if it's the same brand, it's got the same ingredients as the stuff the vet gets. He's trying to sell you his stuff, that's all.

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  • Help
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    look at the strengths and if the same,your vet is trying to make extra $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ off of you.This is most probably the same place vet gets meds,but some meds will require a script from your vet to obtain.

    Source(s): Breeder in Mississippi
  • *****
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    With medications ordered from a site like 1-800-petmeds, you run the risk of getting products that are not up to snuff. I know of people who have received expired or soon-to-expire products, damaged packaging (which is always a red flag with medications), etc. While it is the same product you could get from your vet, use caution, it could be of lesser quality or handled improperly. During the summer, I would be worried about the transit time as well, many medications deteriorate when exposed to higher temperatures.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes its the same. Its just like our pharmacies who offer us brand names or generics. Petmeds offer the generic brand whereas the vet will always give the brand because of the price tag. Technically no its not the smae name of meds but they still treat the same problems and at the same dosages.

  • Pamela
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    most of the drugs sold over phone or on line is equivlent to what you get in pet stores, low grade not same as what vet sells.

  • 1 decade ago

    The vet is probably just trying to make money off of you or too lazy to explain. Sometimes places like 800petmeds sells products from outside the U.S. You don't want any medication from outside the U.S. because they do use different formulas.

  • 1 decade ago

    If it is chemically the same, it is chemically the same. Look at the strengths and make sure they are.

    Good luck!

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