Parasite treatment in pets and importance of following label instructions

Preventive use of parasiticides plays an essential animal health and welfare role and the consequences of failing to prevent certain parasites, based on pet lifestyle and risks, can have a high cost, not only to pets and their welfare, but also to pet owners and the wider community due to the distress caused and the risk to human health.

As part of the scientific evaluation of veterinary medicines by independent regulators, prior to authorising a product for use, the proposed indication for use of the product is decided upon.  Consideration is given to what advice and warnings are needed in order to protect the animal, people and the environment. This information appears on the product labels and leaflets and it is a legal requirement for this information to be included, regardless of the product’s legal category. It is important that all involved in the prescription, retail and use of these products follow this advice.

As with all veterinary medicines, these products should be prescribed and used responsibly. Advice and warnings on labels and leaflets should be clearly available to pet owners to help ensure that they are followed. This includes the advice about disposing of products and other product specific guidelines such as advice pertaining to bathing dogs or preventing them from accessing waterways after treatment. This advice should be noted and followed closely to ensure that the product works effectively and to minimise any risks to the environment.

The Veterinary profession, Pharmacists, Suitably Qualified Persons (SQPs) and Animal Health companies all have a vital role in educating pet owners about the importance of reading and following product label instructions.