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Components of Veterinary Prescriptions

Client (pet parent) specific:

Patient (pet/animal) specific:

Veterinarian specific:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Other*
  • Species/Breed
  • DOB
  • Weight
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Contact Information
  • State license number**
  • DEA number***
* Other requirements only for controlled substance prescriptions (i.e., DOB, driver’s license number/expiration)
** Not necessarily required on prescription
*** Only required for controlled substance prescriptions


Veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) must be established for every prescription

Veterinarians do not have a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number. Most pharmacies can use the veterinarian’s state license number instead.

It is only appropriate for a pharmacy member to ask for a veterinarian’s DEA number in pursuant to a controlled substance.
Legally, pharmacists cannot recommend any over-the-counter (OTC) medication to a pet parent since these products are only labeled for humans. An OTC product can ONLY be dispensed following a valid prescription.
Consider the patient’s “job”:

  • Pet?
  • Food-producing animal?
  • Performance/Service animal?

Drugs prohibited for extra-label use in food-producing animals:

    –       Chloramphenicol

    –       Clenbuterol

    –       Diethylstilbestrol (DES)

    –       Dimetridazole

    –       Ipronidazole

    –       Furazolidone

    –       Nitroimidazoles

    –       Sulfonamide drugs

    –       Fluoroquinolone

    –       Glycopeptides

    –       Phenylbutazone

    –       Cephalosporins

Source: ‘’Prohibited and Restricted Drugs in Food Animals’,FARAD,Updated April 2021, (accessed 3 August 2021)

Most veterinary prescriptions are dosed based on the patient’s actual body weight (mg/kg).

Some commercial products may have inappropriate flavoring/ingredients that can cause adverse effects or toxins

  • Example: Gabapentin 250mg/50mL contains xylitol which can cause severe hypoglycemia and hepatotoxicity in canines.