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Need a refill for your pet’s medication?

Please remember that refill requests have to be in  compliance with our practice standards combined with the state rules and regulations of Arizona regarding a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

Our clients often ask us to fill or refill their pets’ prescriptions. We want to be as accommodating as possible. There are certain rules that we both must understand and abide by in order to accommodate those requests.

These are the major considerations that need to be answered every time to refill a drug request:

1) Body weight: Most if not all drugs are dosed based on an accurate body weight. Some drugs can cause patients to lose weight. Some patients even gain weight typically in the summer months in Arizona due to inactivity related to heat stresses. Without an accurate body weight being monitored we can start to slowly under or overdose your pet.

2) Just because your pet “appears healthy” doesn’t mean they are healthy internally: We/You have no idea what the kidney, liver and thyroid function looks like by simply looking at your pet.

3) Since they are aging faster there can metabolic and physiological changes that may occur that can alter the effectiveness of medications. This will only be determined by diagnostic blood work.

4) “It sounds like you just want to charge us for an examination!” We can understand this frustration, but it is not about the cost of the office call. We sincerely want to do what is right for your pet. With a periodic physical exam we can discuss with you that your are not seeing signs that can alert us to potential side effects of medications. We will also conduct a good general physical exam. Lastly, we need to get an accurate body weight. We will call you to interpret the lab work together in case there are dosage changes. This all takes time and this all has to be documented properly in the medical record to allow for continued stress free refills.

5) How often does the blood work have to be done?: This first depends on the diagnosis. Especially if we are starting something new like insulins, cardiac or thyroid medications. Your pet may need to be seen much more frequently until they are stable. Typically once a patient is satisfactorily stable based on physical exams and diagnostics, then most are on a maintenance of every 6 months. This is up to the doctor’s discretion.

6) Anticipate the need for a refill: We will give you our full attention to get you in timely. Understand as well that it can take several days for lab results. We recommend scheduling 30 days prior to a needed refill.

7) Legal Consequences of not monitoring patients on medications. Our State Veterinary Practice act stipulates in definitive terms that the prescribing veterinarian must have a valid doctor-client-patient relationship in order to fill a prescription.

(The Arizona Veterinary Practice Act) Drug Dispensing rules as Established by the Arizona Veterinary Medical Licensing Board Revised Rules as of September 2013 ARTICLE 8. DRUG DISPENSING R3-11-801

B. A dispensing veterinarian may provide a written, electronic, or telephonic prescription if requested by an animal owner and the dispensing veterinarian:
1. Has a valid doctor-patient relationship with the animal, and
2. Determines that providing the prescription is in the best interest of the animal.

What constitutes a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship?. “Veterinarian Client Patient Relationship” means all of the following:
(a) The veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the animal’s health and need for medical treatment and the client, owner or caretaker has agreed to follow the veterinarian’s instructions.

(b) The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the animal to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the animal’s medical condition. Sufficient knowledge is obtained when the veterinarian has recently seen and is personally acquainted with the keeping and caring of the animal as a result of examining the animal, when the veterinarian makes medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal is kept or when a veterinarian affiliated with the practice has reviewed the medical record of such examinations or visits.


1) Call 623-295-1811
2) Email: Please fill out the form below:

Thank you for being part of the Animal Medical Center of Surprise family.