Numerous times we have discussed fake medications designed to separate you from your money.
Some of these scams can also separate you from your pet by selling you medication that is either ineffective or just plain nonexistent. The result is pets who either become ill or fail to heal from illness because needed pharmaceutical ingredients were absent.
Some scams were even aimed at sick people, and human beings died because of the scam. Click here to read about one example, although, sadly, this was not the only time such a horrific thing has happened.
Just today we are in receipt of the following inquiry: “I recently purchased Capstar blue for cats and Program orange for cats to treat my two cats of the fleas. I purchased them from ‘theywontgetanyspaceonTHISblog.com’ since it seamed like a legit site. They were based out of Canada. However when I received my product it was from Great Britain with some American language and some British on the package along with the Novartis logo. I’ve tried to do research but I can’t tell if this is a fake product or just a different country production. I don’t want to give it to my cats until I know it will be safe otherwise. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks much, Chris”
Chris is in the same position as the people who bought what they thought was Revolution in the
packaging shown at left. Sadly, it turns out it wasn’t Revolution and now their pet has heartworms. While heartworm disease is a completely treatable condition in most dogs, it will still be an expensive and time-consuming ordeal for the owners and the dog.
Redress? You don’t have a prayer! In the first place you probably can’t get them to answer the phone. In the second place they certainly aren’t going to refund your money. And, because it’s probably an offshore company, United States’ laws don’t apply.
What’s a pet owner to do? Purchasing your pets’ medications from your veterinarian is a good start.
You know him or her.
You trust him with your pets’ lives.
You know where to find him if there is a problem or question. Furthermore, he knows that he has to look you in the eye if there is a problem!
And he is confident that he can solve any problem that arises because veterinarians obtain their heartworm preventives and flea control products directly from manufacturers. He is ready to go to bat for you to ensure a solution.
And you have the good feeling that you are spending your money at a local small business, where he, in turn, can spend it with your neighbors at their businesses.
While you may have to pay a little more for your pets’ medications, in some cases the cost is offset by promotions from manufacturers. For example, Pfizer Animal Health reimburses us for two free doses when you purchase a box of six doses of Revolution and three free doses when you purchase nine all at a time. We pass those free doses on to you!
See you next week, Dr. Randolph.