Guide to veterinary recalls and adverse event reporting
Pet owners get pet health care information from friends, family, store employees and online bloggers—just the way we all get information when it comes to food, money and everything else in our lives. And, of course, sometimes clients also come to your veterinary practice for your expertise on what they should feed their pet.
Sometimes their questions center around calorie counts, species- and life-stage–specific nutritional needs and homemade recipes. Or they may have heard about a defect or nutritional deficiency in a pet food. It helps to be up on this news. Maybe it's been a while since you’ve had to report an adverse event or product problem in your practice that might affect more than one vaccine vial, drug or bag of pet food.
Here are the places to learn about the latest recalls that affect pet owners with regard to nutrition and everything else veterinary-medicine related as well as the latest links to report adverse events to government agencies to help folks recognize the size of a problem.
Where can you go for the latest recall information that affects veterinary practice?
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration keeps a list of ongoing recalls and withdrawals.
- dvm360.com maintains an ongoing list of voluntary and mandatory recalls that might affect you.
- The AVMA maintains ongoing lists of pet food safety recalls and alerts as well as product alerts and recalls.
Where do I report a problem with a pet food, animal drug or device, vaccine, parasite preventive or other veterinary product?
- First, always report the issue to the individual seller, distributor and/or manufacturer. Reputable animal health and pet food companies have support staff who can help you with product problems.
Next, if a problem needs to be reported as part of a potentially larger veterinary health concern or as a growing number of recalls surrounding a product, these are the government agencies that want your help:
- For pet food, report a complaint online with the FDA here.
- For animal drugs and devices, report problems and concerns with the FDA instructions here.
- For animal vaccines, report adverse events to the Center for Veterinary Biologics with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service here.
- For flea, tick and other parasiticides, report incidents to your state’s pesticide regulatory agency.
Your practice should be the center of the circle of pet care for your clients. Keeping up on the latest recalls and product-related health issues makes you a trusted voice that helps anxious clients keep their pets safe.