Cornell University Hospital for Animals


Hospital Services

Consumer Clinical Care Guidelines for Animals

Our pets and the animals we care for all have special needs.  Many of them require preventative treatments and from time to time they get sick and need medications to help them recover.  The care and treatment of an animal is often quite different from that of a human, adult or child.   There are special needs we must consider and unique circumstances we must address.  Even poisons, and poisoning prevention and treatments are different in animals.

Below is a listing of some clinical care guidelines that we have developed which might help you better care for your pet.  Read through the description of each item, and if you are interested in learning more information, click on the header to download the full document.

The Eyes Have It
Administering eye medications to your pet can be traumatic - for both you and your pet. Follow this step by step procedure to help simplify the procedure and safely give either eye drops or eye ointments to your pet.

Medicating Your Cat
It doesn't have to be a frenzied fight to the end.  Some cats are completely passively accepting of oral medications; others find it to be an unacceptable necessity and would prefer to avoid it no matter how much you love them.  Your approach to the task can often affect the outcome.  Follow this logical step-wise approach to medicating your cat and read through our tips for making it easier for both you and your cat.

Medicating Your Dog
Popular belief seems to indicate that medicating a dog is much easier than medicating a cat.  For some it might be true, but for others the experience might be completely the opposite.  Each individual animal responds to the process differently.  Some owners - and their dogs - might be experienced at the process, but for those who are new to this, or for those who are having trouble delivering an oral medication to their dog, this guideline should give you the tips to get youthrough with the proper technique.

Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and Your Pet
Since their introduction to the market in the late 1970's, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have become a mainstay of therapy for both humans and animals.  While they are ubiquitous, they do come with a certain amount of risks and precautions.  Further, NSAIDs designed for human use are not necessarily safe for use in your pet and many animal NSAIDs are not necessarily safe for human use. Learn more about this important class of medications.

Pet Poisoning Prevention
Well intentioned owners often give their pets substances that are potentially harmful to them.  Fun loving, curious pets explore and play with everything.  What they play with, they put into their mouths.  Many seemingly harmless substances can be a peril to your pet, and many treatments and human remedies that we try to medicate our pets with can be extremely toxic.  Read through these guidelines to get a better understanding of how to handle medications when you have a pet.

Pet Poisons and Toxic Substances
What can be quite benign to a human (or even nutritious or yummy) can be extremely poisonous to an animal. Many foods are toxic to pets as are many common household items.  Inevitably, pets will get into things, after all they are naturally curious, and to help protect them from themselves, it is important to know which items to keep out of reach and what kinds of things are okay to share with our beloved friends.  This listing provides a guideline as a basis to start with of which things you should take care to keep from your pet.

What to Do if You Suspect a Pet Poisoning
Your pet just got into something.  You are uncertain what to do, where to turn, or who to go to for help. You need to remain calm, stay collected, and keep your cool.  Then, read through this guideline to help you understand how to act to help your pet in the best way possible.

Food Animals and Medications
Treating a farm animal with medication is a much more complex process than simply giving a pill or an injection.  Many of these animals are used for food production purposes and the drug which you give to that animal can be passed into the food which it produces, be it meat, eggs, or milk.  The drug can then be passed on to humans when the food is consumed.  Before treating a food producing animal, farmers are encouraged to TALK to a veterinarian about the safe administration of medications.

OnLine Pet Pharmacies
To be an informed consumer, you need to be AWARE of what an online pet pharmacy has to offer and when you may not be getting the best deal.  While there are internet sites that are reputable, inform and empower yourself to recognize those that might not be trustworthy.

Disposing Unwanted Medications
Disposal of unused and unwanted household medications is an enormous problem. Learn about the impact that medications have on our waterways and environment, and the living organisms within them. Safe disposal of medications and the equipment which we use to administer them involves more than simply throwing them in the trash or pouring them down the drain.

Protecting Our Waterways
Flushing unused or unwanted medications down the toilet or pouring them down the drain can cause irreparable harm to our waterways and environment.  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation offers specific information about disposing medications while helping to protect our waterways.