Why must I book an appointment with a veterinarian in order to get a prescription for flea and tick medication?

Original Question: Hi Dr. Greenway, I texted you last week and wanted to know why it’s easier to get medical marijuana than it is to get flea and tick medication (Advantix II). I went to a vet near my work, which is not our regular vet, and they looked at me like I had two heads and asked me to bring in my dog to have a blood test. I've got no other choice and had to book an appointment for Ace who is a Mini Dachshund. -

Why must I book an appointment with a veterinarian in order to get a prescription for flea and tick medication? Jun 4, 2017

Hi there,

Thanks for the question.

I can totally understand the frustration. I will start by letting you know about a regulation enforced by the College of Veterinarians of Ontario that veterinarians have to follow. In order to prescribe any medication, there must be an active CVP, otherwise known as a Client/Veterinarian/Patient relationship. In short, it means that you need to have had a consultation with your veterinarian within the past 12 months for them to sell you a prescription medication. This is actually a rule that is sometimes frustrating for me in practice because it tends to make clients think that we just want to bill them extra and make them come in for an appointment when all you want is a medication. It threatens to upset the client and make them go elsewhere. However, I understand why the regulation exists because medications can be harmful in certain cases, some more so than others.

Hopefully this helps you understand why they may have done that. If you had an active CVP at the time of requesting the medication, then you could discuss the option of buying medication without an appointment with your veterinarian, but keep in mind that prescribing a medication without seeing a patient has risks that could really impact your veterinarian’s license if anything went wrong.

Hopefully this helps.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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