British Vet Association president Gudrun Ravetz has highlighted the dangers of purchasing medicines online.
Ms Ravetz said: “It’s expensive for anyone to keep and dispense veterinary medicines under the strict guidelines that are set out in law and setting up a pharmacy, buying and maintaining the correct equipment, and training staff are all costs that must be met by the sale of the medicines.
“Online suppliers are able to buy in much larger quantities than individual vet practices and the cost of their overheads can be more easily absorbed by the business.”
Ms Ravetz added: “There are obvious benefits to buying medicines from your vet, such as the convenience of starting treatment straight away rather than having to wait for it to arrive by post, especially for emergency medicine, and vets will also be able to discuss any possible adverse reactions, how to spot them on your pet and what to do.
“If choosing to buy medicines online, once prescribed, pet owners should ensure the website is approved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, although if the medicines are very cheap this should ring alarm bells.”