About Animal Medicines


Animal pharmaceuticals are primarily used to treat or prevent diseases or infections. Both vaccines and pharmaceuticals are needed to keep animals healthy; while vaccines exist for some conditions, pharmaceuticals are still needed to treat some diseases and infections similar to human healthcare.

Because animals can’t take their own medications like humans can, animal pharmaceuticals come in a variety of forms to allow the owner or veterinarian to administer the needed medications. These forms include pills, liquids, injections, powders, “drenches” (drenching the animal in a liquid form of the pharmaceutical), “feed additives” (putting it in their food), or “boluses” (a large pill designed for veterinary use).

Types of Pharmaceuticals
Pharmaceuticals encompass a broad range of products, including anti-parasitic drugs, anti-inflammatory medications, anesthetics, pain medications, antibiotics and specialized products used to manage reproductive, cardiovascular or metabolic conditions. Veterinarians are trained in the diagnosis and proper treatment of diseases in animals, and should always be consulted and involved in decisions to medicate animals.

Government Regulation
Pharmaceuticals are regulated by the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. The standards and processes for reviewing pharmaceuticals used for animals are the same in most respects as those used for reviewing pharmaceuticals intended for humans.