July 29, 2008

Pets & Prescriptions--Online Pet Pharmacies Can Save You Money


Super Cool Pets has recently posted on the current buzz about the rising cost of vet care. How about reining in the rising cost of prescriptions?

Many pet lovers are starting to shop online for the convenience and to save money. From Wallet Pop Animals & Money: Online pet pharmacies cut into vet mark-up:

Right now you probably just get your pet's drugs from your vet. You may be surprised to see how they are marking up the drug prices and how much you can save by going to a legitimate online pet pharmacy.

I found this out when my vet said my dog Jolly needed an iron supplement he would order. I waited days for him to get the $40 bottle in. Then I found it online for $10, no prescription needed.

Some old-fashioned vets don't have a huge mark-up on prescriptions or even prefer writing prescriptions to stocking medicines. But for many cash-strapped vets it's a big way to make money. That may seem like a conflict of interest -- and it's why people doctors can't sell prescriptions.

Just last month the vet business journal Veterinary Economics had a story "Six Tips to Rev Up Refills and Revenues." They've consistently advised vets to have a big markup on prescriptions and to charge a dispensing fee. They advise a minimum dispensing fee of about $20 and then at least doubling the actual cost of the drug. Vet consultants generally recommend that the rarer the drug, the bigger the markup.

According to Wallet Pop, the biggest online pharmacy player is 1800PetMeds, and their favorite (and hugely popular) is:

My favorite is the largest online pet catalog in the United States, Drs. Foster & Smith Pet Licensed Pharmacy. They're becoming a major player in online pet drugs. Two Wisconsin veterinarians, Dr. Rory Foster and Dr. Marty Smith, founded the company in 1983. I talked to them and they explained that a human pharmacist dispenses drugs and follows all the rules that human pharmacies do: he accepts calls or faxes from the vet or an original prescription, but no copies or faxes from the owner.

They also offer Prescription Compoundingicon and will work with you and your veterinarian to find the most effective formula for your pets needs and tastes.

Compounding can allow your veterinarian to:

* Create alternative dosage forms
* Change dosages & strengths
* Combine drugs or customize formulation
* Compound discontinued drugs
* Add species-specific flavors

Here is a short list of well-known sites for some super cool deals on pet meds online:

If you have any experiences to share or suggestions, please leave a comment or send an email to news@supercoolpets.com--Super Cool Pets does not endorse any particular online site.

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July 22, 2008

Is Pet Insurance the Solution to Rising Vet Costs? Compare Plans


If you are finding that you are spending a nice chunk of your hard-earned dollars on pet care, you are not alone. According to the Dallas Morning News:

...owners are expected to spend a record $43 billion on their pets this year, $2 billion more than last year, according to a survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

About 67 percent of U.S. households own a pet, and chances are they spend half their pet costs on vet visits and over-the-counter medicine, the survey said.

Whereas a new toy for our pets may be optional, medical care is a necessity and it isn't getting any cheaper. The Dallas News article recommends pet insurance, as does WP's Taming Costly Vet Bills:

If your cat comes down with pneumonia, the bill could run $1,900. Cancer therapy for a dog averages nearly $3,600. James Busby, veterinarian and author of How to Afford Veterinary Care Without Mortgaging the Kids recommends that pet owners ask upfront about all treatment options and costs, including for routine care. For example, many vets vaccinate dogs every year. But according to an American Animal Hospital Association study, adult dogs need most shots only once every three years.

The typical insurance premium for a dog is about $40 per month -- that's $5,280 if a dog lives 11 years, the average canine life span in the United States. Policies usually cover illness and accidents, although some insurers provide only accident protection. A few policies cover preventive care, such as regular checkups and vaccines.

Payouts depend on the insurer, but it's common for companies to foot 80 percent of the bill. To compare the benefits, co-payments and deductibles of major pet insurers, go to http://www.petinsurancereview.com.

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July 11, 2008

Dog Sun Umbrella -- Give Your Pet Much Needed Shade


Protect your pup from the sun's heat and harmful rays. With the Dog Sun Umbrella no need to worry whether your pet has a a cool and safe spot to veg out in the shade.

The umbrella can be used anywhere and is equipped with an integrated swivel tie-out stake if you need to secure your pet. Your dog's lead won't become tangled in the umbrella. Add a functional Ultimate Outdoor Dog Bed where your pet can relax!

A carrying case is included. Dog Sun Umbrella.

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July 2, 2008

Dog Whisperer™ Fortified Water for Dogs by Cesar Millan -- Promote Your Dog's Good Health

As Super Cool Pets recently reported, Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer™ line of products are now available at Amazon.

Dog Whisperer by Cesar Millan Healthy Bones Fortified Water for Adult Dogs (1 L; Herb)

Dog Whisperer™ Fortified Water for Dogs was specifically developed by veterinarians and Cesar Millan to promote your dog's good health -- bones, skin and fresh breath in 3 flavors:

Among the other products in the Dog Whisperer™ Products line are:

* Organic wet and dry dog food, treats and chews
* Fortified water
* Liquid supplements
* Collars and leashes
* Toys
* Grooming products
* Beds
* Bowls & feeding supplies
* Instructional series of DVDs
* Stain & Odor
* Training pads

Check them out -- Dog Whisperer™ Products

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June 26, 2008

Before Grain -- Feed Your Pets the Way Nature Intended

Are dogs and cats vegetarians by nature? I think we all know the answer to that, yet so much commercial pet food is chock full of grain.

You can feed your pets the way nature intended with Before Grain dog and cat food.

  • Grain free, no fillers
  • No artificial colors, flavors
  • Natural preservatives
  • For all life stages





Before Grain is available in many Varieties -- Dry and Canned. Yummy flavors -- tuna, salmon, chicken, beef, buffalo, quail, tripe for cats and dogs.

On this topic, food for thought from Only Natural Pet Store - Everything Natural for Dogs & Cats:

Dogs are classified as carnivores, but as a practical matter, they are omnivorous and can easily survive without meat, as long as they eat a balanced diet. Dog relatives like foxes and coyotes consume lots of fruit or other vegetation at certain times of the year. While not ideal for every dog, most dogs can be successfully converted to a vegetarian or even vegan diet, and there are several suitable commercial dog foods as well as homemade diets. If you are considering a vegetarian rather than vegan diet for your dog, a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet has more flexibility by allowing dairy products and eggs as protein sources.

Cats, however, are exclusively carnivorous by nature and by physiology. The cat's body has made many specific adaptations to its expected diet of prey, which consists mostly of protein, fat and moisture. While you may hear stories about successfully vegetarian cats (including one lion), as a veterinarian, I cannot recommend trying to make a cat exclusively vegetarian or vegan. I've just seen too many problems from it. However, one company makes a good canned food that can be helpful in reducing the amount of meat you need to feed your cat.

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June 25, 2008

Comfy Cone - Let Your Pet Heal in Comfort

Let your pet heal in comfort with Comfy Cone. After surgery, so many vets send their patients home with the uncomfortable and unwieldy plastic white cone around their head, making the pet feel even more miserable and strange. The cone blocks out peripheral vision, so the pet bumps into walls and furniture, knocking things over.

Comfy Cone is made of nylon laminated onto ½ inch foam, so the Cone is soft and yielding while still being sturdy and protective. The many positive features include:

  • Has elastic loops to thread the pets own collar through to keep the Comfy Collar secure in place and keeping it from being pulled off or from falling off
  • Allows your pet to eat and drink in comfort
  • Collar can be folded back when eating and drinking or when checking wounds and irritations.
  • Velcro closures and tabs which adjust to many sizes and opens so you do not have to put pet's head thru Comfy Collar
  • Unique reflective binding to help protect you and your pet while going outside at night for walks and bathroom breaks
  • Water resistant and repellent
  • Easy to wipe clean and dry.
  • Fold flat for easy storage.
  • More eco-friendly than the plastic e-collar

Available in Small, Medium, Large and X Large

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June 24, 2008

Is Your Cat Healthy? -- Find Out with Scientific Professional Brand Cat Litter


If your cat is behaving strangely, he or she may need medical care. One common disease in cats is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which you may be able to diagnose yourself.

According to Scientific Professional Cat Litter--Drs Foster & Smithicon, your cat may have an infection if he or she:

  • Urinates frequently or has problems urinating
  • Deviates from usual litter box habits
  • Leaves blood or blood-tinged urine in the litter box.
  • Paces restlessly
  • Cries
  • Vomits
  • Cleans his/her genitals frequently
  • Rests on cool surfaces such as bathtubs or tile floors

They go on to say that cats previously treated for FLUTD are very susceptible to and are at the highest risk for recurrence. Neutered males are also at very high risk due to the physiology of the male cat's narrower urethra.

Scientific Professional Cat Litter is a lightweight cat litter formulated to indicate high urine pH by changing color. High urine pH can be one cause of urinary problems in cats.

  • Ultra lightweight - 70% lighter than clay
  • Virtually dust- and tracking-free
  • 3 lbs of this litter works like 21 lbs of clay litter
  • Clumping, flushable
  • Unscented
  • Ecologically friendly

Note: This litter should be used under the supervision of your veterinarian.

Available at Scientific Professional Cat Litter--Amazon and Scientific Professional Cat Litter--Drs Foster & Smithicon

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June 23, 2008

Herbal Medicine for Pets -- Natural Pet Care for Cats and Dogs

Wild animals are thought to heal themselves by eating plants that they are drawn to intuitively in their surrounding environment. Herbs and plants have healing powers, and many modern medicines are plant derivatives. This science has been around for eons. Here are two books on the subject.

vetherbalmed.jpgVeterinary Herbal Medicine
By Dr. Susan Wynn and Dr. Barbara Fougere
Written by two prominent veterinarians, this full-color reference offers practical, evidence-based guidance on using more than 120 medicinal plants, including how to formulate herbal remedies to treat common disease conditions. A body-systems based review explores herbal medicine in context, offering information on toxicology, drug interactions, quality control, and other key topics.

Thumbnail image for herbsforpets.jpg
All You Ever Wanted to Know About Herbs for Pets

By Mary Wulff-Tilford and Gregory L. Tilford
This comprehensive guide offers step-by-step instructions on how to find, prepare, and use herbs to treat common pet ailments. The book covers North American herbs, including Western, Ayurvedic and Chinese herbs that grow in North America. It also provides detailed information on each herb.

[via Christie Keith @ SFGate]

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What Took So Long -- Oral Contraceptives for Animals on the Horizon


Good news: a birth control pill for animals is finally on the horizon. Surgery always has its risks and recently some concerns about the future health ramifications of spaying/neutering have cropped up.

The pill works by inhibiting the maturation of the egg, not the entire cycle, Kraemer says.

"We are confident we can develop this pill in the not too distant future, but we still have plenty of tests to complete," he says. "It's an exciting and much-needed project, but more funds will be needed, especially since deer and wild pigs are consumed by humans. One of the more interesting challenges will be to develop methods for feeding it to the target animals without affecting other species."

The compound can be mixed with animal feed and must be eaten daily during the critical time. It may also be encapsulated to decrease the frequency it has to be consumed.

"We believe we are the first to test this compound for this specific purpose," Kraemer says. "We're trying new uses for this previously approved compound."

When perfected, the pill could eventually be used as an oral contraceptive for pets, but that application will take some time to develop, Kraemer says. In dogs, for example, the ovulation process is especially complex, but researchers are confident such a birth control pill can one day be successful.

According to the American Humane Society, about seven million dogs and cats are euthanized each year at animal shelters. One female cat can lead to the production of 420,000 offspring in her lifetime.

Read article.

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June 20, 2008

Federal Marshalls Seize Pet Food Products at PETCO Warehouse

Rodent and bird droppings have allegedly been found throughout a PETCO warehouse, according to MSNBC: Pet food seized at PETCO warehouse

CHICAGO - Federal marshals carrying a search warrant visited the Joliet distribution center of PETCO Animal Supplies Inc. on Thursday, seizing animal food products that were allegedly contaminated.

The seizure came one day after the government filed a lawsuit and obtained the warrant to seize products at the warehouse operated by the San Diego-based animal food and supply company.

There were no known public health risks posed by the pet food and no incidents of human or animal illness have been traced to the products, U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald and other officials said in a statement issued by his office.

The center distributes pet food to Illinois, Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

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