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A prescription is a medication, product, or treatment that requires doctor approval to use for your pet. Prescriptions may be dispensed from the clinic, phoned in by staff to a human pharmacy we work with, authorized via our online pharmacy Vets First Choice, or issued in writing to be obtained elsewhere. Some products may be purchased from a retailer without written authorization from a doctor (available “over-the-counter,” or OTC).


State law (WAC 246-933-200) requires that veterinarians physically examine your pet at least once yearly in order to prescribe medication or make treatment recommendations as above. This also means that doctors are limited to prescribing no more than 12 months’ worth of medication per pet per year (6 months for Controlled Substances). The use of some prescriptions comes with additional requirements, usually diagnostics like bloodwork, cytology, or x-rays to ensure good response to treatment and no negative side effects.


For any prescription you need for your pet – including refills – we request a minimum of 24 hours’ notice; for Monday pickups, this means contacting us Friday. This allows time for us to ensure that the product is in stock, verify the instructions and appropriateness of treatment, fill the product, and obtain the doctor’s approval. This applies regardless of whether the prescription comes in an entire bottle/unit or is dispensed in some other quantity. Under some circumstances we may be able to help with fewer than 24 hours’ notice. Prescription refill requests made during or at the end of your pet’s appointment may not be ready during your visit; a request at least a day prior is preferred.


Urgent requests (those that you state you need with fewer than 24 hours notice, also known as now or as soon as possible) may be charged an additional STAT fee, regardless of when they are picked up. The STAT fee ranges from $15-25 depending upon time & complexity.


If you would like to price shop for the lowest-cost prescription, you are responsible for gathering that information and notifying us of the source you choose with adequate advance notice. If the source is a pharmacy we work with regularly, we may be able to phone or fax in the prescription. Otherwise, we will provide you with a written prescription that you can deliver to your chosen pharmacy.


Third-party online pharmacies may advertise lower prices and in our professional experience do not consistently provide quality products. There have been instances where clients have received expired, damaged, incorrect, or repackaged medication not authorized for sale in this country. If you accept these risks, you are welcome to request a written prescription and proceed as above. The online pharmacy that we recommend, Vets First Choice, integrates directly with your pet’s medical records and allows for a much higher level of accuracy. They have an in-house compounding pharmacy for custom flavors and formats of many drugs, offer free expedited shipping for many orders, provide automatic scheduled shipments for maintenance medications if needed, and are priced competitively for some of the most popular products. While it’s true that they do not offer the absolute lowest cost for every medication, the benefits of reliable quality, local customer service, and automated medical record integration may be worth a few dollars.

ORDERING DIRECTLY from manufacturers or distributors

Some of our products are provided by manufacturers who only sell to healthcare providers and not to the general public. Wholesalers set this requirement to ensure that their products are used as intended and given the best chance of success under the guidance of a skilled prescriber. If a product not intended for sale to the general public is found at a third-party retailer, beware! These items may be spoiled, stolen, or counterfeit: there is no way to verify their legitimacy unless they are obtained through intended channels. A few of our vendors do offer client portals for direct ordering online; others will allow drop shipments, meaning we initiate the order with the distributor upon your request and they mail the product directly to you. For drop shipments, the client is responsible for paying shipping fees.


If you want us to mail your prescriptions to you, we will charge the appropriate shipping fee for USPS Priority Mail. Please let us know at the time of your request if you require extra postage services like signature confirmation or insurance and tracking. If it is difficult to coordinate a visit to the clinic during opening hours, it may be possible to pick up overnight or on the weekends in our weather-resistant outdoor box. For both mailed prescriptions and after-hours pickups, the products must be paid for in advance, and cannot be anything temperature-sensitive or classified as DEA Controlled Substances. These services are offered at your own risk, meaning we do not guarantee mailed or outside pickups against loss, theft, or damage.


Federal law prohibits returns and refunds of prescriptions. In some cases, unopened factory-sealed products may be eligible for return within 30 days of purchase. Unsealed, opened, partially used, or otherwise ineligible products may not be returned for refund, but some may be donated for use by patients in need. Special orders (products not regularly stocked at the clinic) are not refundable even when unopened.


If your pet is in need of a medication that you cannot afford, please let us know so that we can recommend less costly alternatives or provide donated medication from our supplies.

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