How Can Veterinary Compounding Help My Pet?

Veterinary compounding is preparing medications for individual patients. For example, our client, Lemon, was referred to us at 14 years old. She was in congestive heart failure with a level 5 heart murmur. Her owners were struggling with her everyday to get her to take her life saving medications. Luckily, Lemon’s veterinarian worked with our pharmacists to create a flavored oral suspension that Lemon would happily take. This proved to eliminate unnecessary stress for her owners and most importantly, Lemon. Her owners were beyond relieved and were able to really enjoy Lemon’s last few years.

What is veterinary compounding?

Compounded medications are based on a prescription from a doctor, more specifically in our case, a veterinarian. Preparation might include mixing, diluting, concentrating or flavoring to create a customized solution for a specific patient. In the example above, our pharmacists created a chicken liver flavored oral suspension with the exact strength that Lemon required. This is something we do for pets everyday; for dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds, snakes, lizards, and so on.

Compounded medications are made in small batches. Manufactured (commercial) drugs are made in huge batches for many patients. Commercial drugs are manufactured in the most stable form possible, at the dosages most commonly used by the majority of patients. Manufactured drugs take on the one size (or a few sizes) fit most approach. Whereas, compounding can take into account patient specific parameters such as age, likes/dislikes, allergies, etc.

How is veterinary compounding regulated?

Individual state boards are the primary regulators of compounding pharmacies, with each state holding their own set of guidelines. Additional guidelines are outlined by various regulatory bodies, including the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), the FDA and in the case of all controlled substances, the DEA.

The goal of compounding pharmacies is to provide medications that are tailored to individual patients (pets). This allows for more accurate dosing, better compliance, and easier administration. We work towards these goals everyday and are constantly coming up with new ways to help pet owners cater to their pets’ needs and more easily administer their medications.

For more information and commonly compounded veterinary medication, visit

We hope this provides a small glimpse into what compounding is and how it can help you as a pet owner. If you have additional questions about your pet’s specific needs, discuss with your veterinarian how compounding can help your pet.