Recently the Vet Compounding Pharamcist that looks after Chilli asked if I would write an article on Chilli for her newsletter that she sends out to vets all over Australia. She doesn’t have any other pets like Chilli and really wanted to highlight how their service could help. Here’s the little essay I prepared for those that are interested:
We have two adorable, cheeky, loveable and challenging furkids, Chilli a 16 year old lilac Burmese and Wesley an 11 year old chocolate Burmese.
At 16 years old Chilli suffers from the following conditions: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Pericardic Fluid, Pulmonary Edema, Kidney Disease, Low Potassium, Hypertension and Arthritis.
He takes more medications than your average nursing home patient and these include: 156mg Hypokal (am and pm), 1.25mg Amlodipine (am), 5mg Frusemide (am and pm), 2.5mg benazepril (pm), 1.75mg clopidogrel (pm), 12.5mg gapapentin (pm) and a fish oil capsule containing 1000mg EPA and DHA 120mg (am). He also eats a prescription kidney diet which he tolerates incredibly well although we do believe he would eat wet cardboard if it tasted even remotely palatable.
For many years a large amount of our time was spent purchasing and tracking levels of a myriad of medications, attempting to cut small tablets into even smaller fragments, loading up pill containers with A.M. and P.M. doses and checking each other to make sure the correct tablets went into the correct containers. Administration would consist of crushing tablets, measuring liquids with syringes and having a system in place that meant nothing would be missed. Forcibly medicating Chilli with one tablet was an impossible feat so his many medications were mixed into his food. We did have regular refusals to eat though, for obvious reasons. We had a system that worked very well but it was terribly expensive, time consuming, inaccurate and quite stressful.
Treatment at this point was becoming quite cost prohibitive but on it Chilli was happy, healthy (with occasional exacerbation of issues) and still enjoying his pampered lifestyle with his furry underling and human minions. Faced with this dilemma we contacted Slade Compoundia to initially discuss if there were any cost benefits in using their service. We already knew that compounding all the drugs into a solution was not possible but with Heather’s assistance, and our own ideas, we settled on a P.M. capsule that took care of most of the drugs required.
Since using the service we have refined the process even further to suit our needs. We moved to separate A.M. and P.M. capsules, changed the capsule colours to different colours (to further differentiate that the correct capsule was being given) and recently we have changed to clear capsules with the A.M. contents dyed yellow and the P.M. contents dyed green. This development was in response to our query on how we could make the process easier for when their grandparents looked after the boys (a rare occasion due to amount of work required). They had complained that it was difficult to see when the entire content of the capsule was emptied. Now Chilli actually crunches down the capsule whole if it’s dipped in his food first. We are forever grateful that he is so food driven!
Heather’s assistance has been invaluable. It has brought the cost of medication down, made dosage accurate (instead of haphazard, despite our best efforts), cut down on unnecessary volume (from fillers), saved us an enormous amount of time, perhaps contributed to less episodes of exacerbation and made our lives immeasurably less complicated.
With the combined efforts of our fabulous Veterinarian Dr. Roshan Jungalwalla (MACVS), and Heather Taylor the Vet Compounding Pharmacist, we have a solution that provides the best care possible for our ageing and spritely furkid and makes all our lives a little less stressful.