Transdermal means the application of a medicine or drug through the skin. In the simplest terms, a drug is placed on top of the skin, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Transdermal medications have many advantages, chief among them ease of application. Medications that can be absorbed through the skin bypass the need for pills or liquids, which can be a challenge to administer to some pets. In addition, because they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and avoid initially passing through the intestinal and liver, drugs that are administered transdermally may be more effective or work faster than some oral medications, allowing for better treatments.
The ideal application site for transdermal medications is one that has minimal hair and that cannot be easily licked or rubbed. Some pets may require shaving to allow for better administration. The inside of the outer ear flap (not inside the ear canal) is an excellent area for many pets.
Most transdermal medications will come in pre-dosed syringes or in gel form that you can draw into a syringe to the prescribed dosage. You should wear protective gloves when handling transdermal medications. Remember that these drugs have been formulated to cross the skin barrier, and you can potentially be exposed if you come in contact with them.
To avoid being exposed to the drug, wear protective gloves when handling transdermal medications. If your pet is prescribed a transdermal gel, you may need someone to assist you, especially at first.
After you’ve administered the medication, try to distract your pet from scratching or rubbing the ear for a few minutes. This can best be accomplished by feeding your pet, taking your pet for a walk, or playing together immediately afterward. Such a reward also functions as an excellent training technique that can help teach your pet not to fear the application of medications.
If your pet is prescribed a transdermal medication patch, your veterinarian will often shave an area to affix the patch. Many patches will last for several days, and the patch may have a protective wrap or bandage over it. Your veterinarian will explain the proper care, duration, and monitoring of transdermal patches. It is very important that your pet not be allowed to lick or swallow the patch. Serious side effects may result if a pet inadvertently consumes a patch, especially one containing fentanyl, a pain-relief drug.
Transdermal medications are an excellent alternative for some veterinary drugs, and our options are increasing each year. Talk to your veterinarian to determine if a transdermal medication is appropriate for your pet.
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If you fall outside our local delivery range, as an official US Postal Substation, we can also easily ship your medications to you. We ship most medications for free, and also offer expedited shipping if you need. As we grow, we also serve patients and prescribers in multiple states.