Tag Archives: veterinarian

Dog and owner.

FDA says seriously, stop stealing your pets’ opioids

Veterinarians, beware — the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants you to keep an eye out for owners taking opioids prescribed to their pets.

Dog and owner.

Image via Pixabay.

The US opioid crisis has been frequently making headlines in recent years, and for good reason: mortality rates associated with opioid abuse are at an alarming high and continue to climb. The half-century-long War on Drugs, despite draining over a trillion dollars, doesn’t seem capable of curbing these deaths.

Over-prescription of opioid medication, caused by misleading advice offered by pharmaceutical companies, has taken most of the blame for the crisis. Government health services responded by issuing a five-point strategy for ‘front line’ members of the medical community, providing support for addiction treatment, advising alternatives to opioids, and promoting research partnerships.

However, the FDA fears it left the back door unwatched. Despite their efforts to mediate legal access to opioid medication, overdose-induced tragedy still takes place; the agency believes that pet prescriptions may be part of the reason why.

Pet addiction

An online statement published last week by the FDA draws attention to a rarely considered access point for illicit opioid medications. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb reminded veterinarians that some pet owners are taking the opioids prescribed for their companions.

“One such important care group is veterinarians who may prescribe them to manage pain in animals,” he says. “That’s why we have developed a new resource containing information and recommendations specifically for veterinarians who stock and administer opioids.”

Gottlieb admits that veterinarians have been left out in the cold on this one. Very little effort has been made to inform them of the risks posed by prescriptions for pets. He also recognizes the role opioids and associated pain medications play in treating both animal and human patients — so they won’t be going anywhere soon.

“But just like the opioid medications used in humans, these drugs have potentially serious risks, not just for the animal patients, but also because of their potential to lead to addiction, abuse and overdose in humans who may divert them for their own use,” Gottlieb adds.

The FDA’s new resource, titled The Opioid Epidemic: What Veterinarians Need to Know, reminds practitioners to follow state and federal regulations when prescribing opioid medication, seek alternatives where possible, educate pet owners, and be vigilant of signs of abuse.

While this is the largest single measure the FDA has taken to combat opioid abuse sourced from veterinarians, it’s not the first such measure in the US. Last year, Maine and Colorado passed legislation requiring veterinarians to check the prescription history of a pet’s owner before prescribing opioids for the animal. Alaska, Connecticut, and Virginia instead chose to set strict prescription limits.

The FDA further hopes that their resource will help put the worries of vets at ease. Speaking to the Washington Post on the topic last year, Kevin Lazarcheff, president of the California Veterinary Medical Association, said that he’s a “veterinarian, not a physician,” so he “shouldn’t have access to a human’s medical history.” The new recommendations don’t require the vets to dig into an owner’s medical history.

“We know that licensed veterinarians share our concerns and are committed to doing their part to ensure the appropriate use of prescription opioids,” says Gottlieb.

“We hope the resources we’re providing today, coupled with the existing guidelines from AVMA, will assist the veterinary medical community about steps they can take when prescription opioids are part of their care plan for their animal patients.”

15 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Doctors and Medical staff

If your Valentine is a doctor or training to be one, but you still have no idea what to get him/her, here are a few suggestions:

1. Medical design pens and post-its

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Buy on Amazon

Buy on Amazon

In a hospital or clinic’s turmoil, pens are lost every day. Nurses and doctors fight over the remaining ones all the time. Make sure your loved one has a particular writing tool, that stands out and impresses everyone from the practice. It might not seem like a big or important gift, but rest assured: they will be forever thankful.

2. Funny Mug for Vets 

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Let’s not forget that veterinarians are doctors as well. Or should I say ‘dogtors’? This mug surely makes me giggle every time I see it.

3. Anatomy coaster set

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Medical employees tend to be clean freaks, let’s be honest. Make sure this year that you will score some points by showing that you care about the furniture by buying a set of coasters.

4. Brain hat

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This brainy knitted hat is the most awesome way your SO will be warm and comfortable. Let’s not mention it’s funny as hell.

5. Unisex Galaxy Print Glow in the Dark V-Neck Scrub 

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Make your loved one feel the universe is there for them. Reach for the stars even in gloomy days with an awesome scrub that glows in the dark.

6. Prescription wine glasses

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We all need from time to time to relax. Even doctors.

7. Silver Lifeline Pulse EKG Heartbeat Charm Necklace

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Women like jewelry but they love jewelry with a message. Saving lives is her purpose. She will adore this gift, as it will make her feel you truly get her.

8. Doctor Wine Holder 

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Doctor figurines that are there for you and hold the booze, too. What can be more romantic than spending Valentine’s day with your loved one and this little guy?

9. Sterling Silver Medical Caduceus Cufflinks 

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For special occasions, but not only. Your man will feel distinguished wearing these silver cufflinks that symbolize medicine. It’s a reminder of hard work and dedication, and they will wear them proudly.

10. The New Yorker Book of Doctor Cartoons

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Humorous doctor cartoons that will make anyone crack-up. Laughter is the best medicine, right?

11. Synapse Receptor Watercolor Print 

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Great for a neurologist’s office, or even for the living room. Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than knowing your significant other’s true passion.

12. Silver Lifelike Anatomical Heart Locket


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Cardiologists have the biggest hearts. This necklace is unique and will offer you a place in her heart forever.

13. Red anatomical heart pin

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Just imagine how cool this pin would look on a white doctor’s coat.

14. Radiology bone socks

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Radiologists are old fashioned, they prefer black and white movies and photos. Why not buy them a pair of bony black and white socks?

15. Heartbeat hoodie


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Show your lover your heart is theirs and you don’t mind it. These cool hoodies are unisex and come in different colours such as black, white, grey, maroon and red.

Disclaimer: Purchasing these products may earn ZME Science a commission. This helps support our team at no additional cost to you. We will never advertise products if we don’t think they’re good. If something is here, it’s because we like it — period.

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goldfish eye surgery

Doctors perform eye surgery on a goldfish

People generally love their pets, but we’d be lying to say there isn’t an inter-species discrimination. How many fish owners do you know who’ve been with their goldfish to a veterinarian? Not that many, I presume. Certainly, number-wise it pales in comparison to dogs or cats. The story of a Scottish goldfish named Star which had its cancerous eye removed by doctors thus serves as a noble example of respect and responsibility that all pet owners should bear.

goldfish eye surgery



The operation was performed at the Fife’s Inglis Veterinary Hospital by specialist Brigitte Lord under an anesthetic.  According to Discovery News, the team also included a veterinarian who kept Star under sedation and a nurse in charge of monitoring the fish’s vital signs.

“This is a highly specialist field,” Lord said on the Inglis Vets Facebook page. “Using anesthetic on a goldfish carries a very high risk, and I’m delighted for the owner that everything went okay and the owners are happy.”

Star swimming a tank before it had its tumorous eye removed by surgery. Image: FACEBOOK/INGLIS VETERINARY HOSPITAL

Star swimming a tank before it had its tumorous eye removed by surgery. Image: FACEBOOK/INGLIS VETERINARY HOSPITAL

Star  is owned by Janie Gordon, and her daughter Abby who won Star at a fair 12 years ago. In the same day, their other pet goldfish who shares a tank with Star was also under surgery to remove a lump. The two operations cost nearly 500 pounds (about US $755).

“I know it seems like a lot of money to spend on an operation for a goldfish,” Janie Gordon said. “But what was the alternative? I think we’ve a social responsibility to look after our pets and I know my daughter would have been distraught if anything had happened to the goldfish.”

For only the 2nd time in history, mankind has erradicated a virus

Scientists working for the UN reported today that they have erradicated the Rinderpest virus, a virus that is deadly for cattle. Rinderpest would be only the second virus erradicated by mankind, after smallpox. It caused massive damage in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, having a survival rate of only 10-20%.

Relax, cows.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said they will stop their efforts to track and destroy the virus, after the announcement was made. The erradication is said to be the biggest veterinarian achievement in history, and will ultimately feed and save millions of people.

Dr John Anderson from the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) at Pirbright, UK said:

“For too long people have been involved in controlling diseases and not actually dreaming that it is possible to eradicate a disease from the world. And with Rinderpest we did.”

However, a formal announcement has yet to be announced, and it will probably have to wait until next year, when it will be made by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Dr. Anderson and his colleagues developed a simple method to test the cattle and see if they had the disease; the test proved to be very effective, and it spread around Africa like wildfire. Rinderpest is (or was) one of the most deadly cattle viruses in history, so it’s erradication is indeed a huge achievement.

“It’s an enormously important achievement because it highlights what can be done by people working together,”Dr Mike Baron of the IAH told BBC. “It has also taken a disease which has been a huge threat to the livelihood of people and removed it.”