We would like to let you know about some important changes to veterinary care in the UK.

New regulations from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) on the prescribing of medications came into force on 1st September 2023.

We have been seeking to minimise the impact that these changes may have on you and your pets, but we are required to make some changes to the ways in which we work.

There are certain medicines that we will only now be able to prescribe at the time of a physical examination. This includes antimicrobial drugs used to treat infections, caused by everything from bacteria to parasites, and some painkillers.

One of the main effects of these changes will be on the way in which we can prescribe and dispense prescription-only (POM-V) parasiticides i.e. medicines which are used for flea and worm control. The new regulations, as they apply to POM-V parasiticides, came into effect as of 12th January 2024.

These changes are beyond our control but there are good reasons that the RCVS has decided to introduce them. Firstly, lots of the medicines used to treat infections in animals are the same as those used in humans and misuse and overuse can mean the bugs become resistant to treatment, threatening human, as well as animal, lives. Secondly, there is a potential risk of environmental contamination and damage if the products are used inappropriately.

One of the biggest changes, is that we may need to physically examine your pet and record a prescription in the clinical records to be able to prescribe further flea and worm treatment.

Once examined, we can prescribe your pet their usual anti-parasite treatments, for the usual length of time (up to 12 months), but if we need to change the dose or type of treatment, we will need to examine your pet again.

We are working hard to create systems to allow us to deal with these changes, but please bear with us while we get used to the new ways in which we are required to work under the new RCVS regulations.

Please continue to contact your local Goddard Veterinary Group practice for your pet’s parasite preventive medication as you normally would, and our veterinary team will be able to advise you further if a prescription check is required.