This legislation requires veterinary surgeons to carry out a physical examination of the pet every time a controlled medication or antimicrobial medication (antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral or prescription anti-parasitic medication) is prescribed. This is a crucial step towards ensuring responsible antimicrobial use and reducing our impact on the wider issues of global antibiotic resistance and decline of insect populations.
For anti-parasitic medications only, we are able to assess the pet’s lifestyle risk and need for ongoing preventative care, and prescribe them the product for a full 12 months, to be collected as needed. Our team is currently working hard to make sure parasiticide prescriptions are up to date for all our existing patients. However, if the need arises during that 12 months to change products, a physical examination will be required. For all other long term prescription medications, our usual policy of requiring an examination every 3-6 months will continue to apply (depending on condition).
The full guidance from the RCVS can be found on: ‘Under care’ – new guidance – Professionals (rcvs.org.uk)
We appreciate that this may cause some frustration if you feel that this has led to your pet needing to be seen more quickly than it otherwise would. We have tried very hard to ensure that this is not the case wherever possible, but it is very important that pets on any ongoing medication are re-examined at a regular interval to ensure that they are still on the correct product, the correct dose, and are not suffering with any side effects. All consultations for ongoing medication also include a full physical examination from the vet which is very beneficial in detecting any changes to their health at an early stage.