The Veterinay Client Patient relationship as it pertains to prescription medications:
The VCPR is the foundational agreement for the interaction of you, your veterinarian and your animal in terms of provision of veterinary care. The area where we often run into the most confusion about this is in requests for prescription medications. It is our practice policy (supported by the AVMA recommendations as well as legal requirements) that we need to have a valid VCPR before we can provide prescription medications for our patients. This entails having a timely physical examination (a minimum of annually, sometimes more frequently if medically needed) prior to providing prescription medications. We are careful to document our exam findings so they can be referred to later on in order to detect changes over time. When we schedule your animal for a vaccination visit, it is common for the doctor to ask if you have any health concerns about your pet and if you wish for your animal to have a wellness exam documented while we are there vaccinating. This makes it easier for us to handle some medical issues via phone with prescription medication recommendations and can in some instances avoid an emergency farm visit. We encourage all of our clients to take advantage of our wellness examination services in order to catch problems early on rather than waiting until they become urgently necessary.
The specific requirements for this relationship can change for a particular patient and/or situation.
1) a patient has had an exam within the preceding year but has a chronic health problem that can change its health status significantly in less than a year’s time;
2) a patient has had an exam within the preceding year but has suddenly developed a significant new problem. Both of these situations could mean that the veterinarian will need to see your animal again before they can feel comfortable providing medical advise and prescriptions for a problem.