× Mix different pills in the same container.
× Crush or break any capsules or tablets unless instructed by your doctor or pharmacist to do so. If you are instructed to
split tablets, ask your doctor about the availability of commercially manufactured precision pill-splitters, which are available
from most pharmacies.
× Leave the cotton plug in a medication vial because the cotton may draw moisture into the container.
× Give more or less than the prescribed amount of the drug without first consulting with your doctor.
× Suddenly stop giving the drug because the clinical signs have disappeared without first checking with your doctor.
× Wait until the medication needed for long-term care is completely depleted before requesting that the prescription be refilled.
× Give the patient medication beyond the expiration date listed on the accompanying label. Take an inventory of items in your
medicine cabinet at least yearly, and discard all medications that are expired.
× Give the patient medications used to treat previous illnesses without first checking with your doctor.
× Give prescription or over-the-counter medication designed for people to your pet without a clear recommendation from your
veterinarian that such medication is safe and likely to be of benefit.
Dr. Osborne, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is professor of medicine in the Department of Small
Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.