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A component of the Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS).

SafeMedicationUse Newsletter

Preventing Mistakes with Your Pet's "Paw-scription"


pet prescription

If your pet needs a medication, it is often prescribed by the veterinarian and provided by the veterinary clinic. Sometimes a prescription is given so that the medication can be provided by a community pharmacy. Like prescriptions for humans, your pet's medication requires many safety checks. received a report from a consumer describing a "wrong patient" error involving their dog's prescription. When picking up the dog's medication, the owner gave their own name, rather than the dog's name. The pharmacy mistakenly gave the owner medication belonging to another person with a similar name. The dog was given one dose before the error was caught. shares the following tips to prevent mistakes when you get your pet's prescription filled at the pharmacy:

  • Let the pharmacy team know the following information when dropping off the prescription and also when picking up the medication:
    • the type of animal (e.g., dog, cat, llama)
    • your pet's name and birthdate (if known)
    • why your pet needs the medication
    This is important information for the pharmacy team to complete their safety checks.
  • Check for your pet's name on the prescription receipt before you leave the pharmacy and on the product label before giving any medication to your pet.

Similar checks are needed when the medication is provided by the veterinary clinic.

Medication safety bulletins contribute to Global Patient Safety Alerts

This newsletter was developed in collaboration with Best Medicines Coalition and Patients for Patient Safety Canada.

Recommendations are shared with healthcare providers, through the ISMP Canada Safety Bulletin, so that changes can be made together.

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