When the veterinarian prescribes pre-visit pharmaceuticals (PVPs), it’s normal to be concerned about trying something new. We understand that you love your pet and may be fearful about veterinary care because of your pet’s level of Fear, Anxiety, and Stress (FAS), or how that FAS manifests.
Some common concerns are:
- worrying that your pet may have an adverse reaction to the medication
- your pet being labelled as having a behavior problem
- your pet being overly sedated or harmed
Knowing why we prescribe, how we prescribe, and what to expect will help alleviate these concerns.
The veterinarian will discuss your pet’s FAS score with you and let you know about tools to help your pet. We do not want you to feel embarrassed if your pet “behaves poorly” or if a visit must be paused and/or rescheduled. PVPs are a wonderful tool we use to reduce your pet’s FAS during veterinary visits. We CARE about your pet’s physical health and their emotional well-being!
When your pet’s FAS is reduced, veterinary care is easier for them, and the veterinary team.
- Decreased FAS allows us to provide the best emotional and physical care
- Coming to the veterinary office will be easier for your pet
- Easier examinations and treatments
- More accurate vital signs and test results
- Allows us to decrease the doses (hence reducing the risk) of sedatives or anesthesia when given in advance
- Many pets have reduced FAS for future visits when the FAS cycle is broken
- Decreases your pet building more fearful memories of veterinary care
- An elevated FAS score is a sign of emotional pain.
PVPs can help relieve this emotional pain and facilitate further care, just like we would for physical pain. This medicine helps pets feel better, and we love helping pets and their families!
Humans use PVPs to help with common fears like flying or having a root canal. Providing supplements or medicines in advance of those
events improves the experience for everyone. It works for pets, too!
PVPs are a wonderful tool we are so glad to be able to offer our patients. The veterinary team cares deeply about creating a good experience for your pet. Every pet is unique, and the medicine(s) are chosen with care and consideration. Age, breed, health history, FAS score, planned procedure(s), and other medications are all part of the decision.
The medicine(s) chosen are given at an appropriate dose for your pet, from very low doses for mild FAS up to multiple agents at higher doses for high FAS pets. PVPs are generally not intended for deep sedation. The goal is usually to reduce FAS to a level more like your pet’s baseline. Occasionally, even with PVPs a pet’s FAS may remain too high, at which point additional medicines or trying again another day will be recommended.