View on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania last February.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Online medication

Whiskey (now 15 years old) has a heart murmur that has essentially caused congestive heart failure. She has been prescribed a medication called Vetmedin that makes her heart pump more efficiently.

When the prescription was given, it was for 60 pills per month, and renewable monthly. We got the initial supply and have been back once more for the second month supply. The vet charges $73.10 for 60 capsules, and then of course here in "taxed to death" Canada, we have to pay 15% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on top of that, for a total of $84.07.

So I got to thinking the other day that if she has to take these pills for the rest of her life, that's a fair bit of money.

We're always looking for the best deal, so I got to looking online to see if there's any way to buy these pills cheaper. Neither Ruth or I have ever had to take any medication, so we didn't realize how many online options there are to buy prescription drugs, and that many of them are Canadian companies selling to Americans. I'm sure there's another story that could be done just related to that! Anyhow, sure enough I found one that has this dog medication.

We can get the pills from these guys for $149.95 for 200 capsules. That's $0.75 each. The vet was charging us $1.22 each. That's more than 50% higher! And you have to figure that the online place is still making money on the deal, so now we know how much of a markup there is on this stuff.

So I go back to the vet, and I give them the option. Did they want to sell me 200 capsules for $149.95? And actually, the online deal is even better because you don't have to pay the provincial portion of the HST so there's only 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the sale.

So the vet says no, they won't do it. But they would give me the piece of paper prescription, at a cost of $12.50 (plus HST, of course!). This sounds like we're being nickle and dimed, especially since we have spent probably $800 with them over the last couple of months. But, I didn't have a choice, so paid the money. Still, it leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth regarding this particular vet.

I'm sure some of you have pets on medication, and maybe this is a way that you can save some money as well. I'll try and post an update to let you know how quickly they were delivered, but the website says 10-14 days.

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  1. Good information on the meds even thou we don't have a pet.

  2. Check Ebay out.

  3. Anonymous: I will. I guess you must have missed yesterday's post!

  4. The header is such a cute picture of Whiskey.. Hope the online meds. turn out to be a better deal. People are finally getting wise to the over-inflated prices on drugs for us as well as our pets.

  5. I twigged into online meds for the dogs several years ago. Sometimes I save 80%. We now even buy our vet only prescribed dog food in the USA for 50% less than we would pay here. We buy 6 months worth going down to Mexico and another 6 months as we head north. It is the only way to go! One place we buy from requires your vets name & telephone number and they do call check with the vet. Fortunately our vet is good with it all.

  6. I've been following your travels in NS (a place we home to visit some day) & have been concerned about your dog because I have Cavaliers who have the same type of cardiac issues. Glad he's on vetmedin - it's a wonderful drug and does extend life. I get mine from It was the cheapest source. My dog weighs 18 lbs. Her dose is 1.25mg 2x/day. To save $$, vet Rx's the 5mg tablets and I cut them in 1/4 using a pill splitter so each 5mg tablet gives 2 days of meds. I call the order in on the 800 # - staff are wonderfully helpful and kind. Takes about 3 days for meds to reach me in Buffalo NY. And I will stop being Anon when I have a chance to sign up properly. Lynn, Buffalo NY

  7. Anonymous #1: I checked eBay. They have no listings for the medication that Whiskey needs.

    pidge: I don't understand why the vet needs that much of a markup. Just a ripoff in my mind.

    Contessa: Remind me again why anyone lives in Canada?

    Chris: Yes, thank you, she is!

    Anonymous Lynn: Thanks for the link to petmedsandmore, I hadn't come across that one. So the 5mg meds are in tablet form? Because the 2.5mg ones are in capsule form and I don't think it would be easy to split them. Interesting that Whiskey is just over 20 lbs and that her dosage is twice what your dog gets. I've checked the Vetmedin website, and Whiskey's recommended dosage is bang on. I wonder why yours is lower.

  8. Kevin-I don't know why the dose is only a total of 2.50mgs a day, but that's what every Cavalier I know takes. Actually, there was a typo, the one who takes it now is 16 lbs. The other girl, who we just helped cross the Rainbow Bridge was 18lbs. The US vetmedin site shows 2.50mg chewable tablets. I'm sure you know, this drug was available in Canada before it was here in the US. We also used to go across the border to Canada to get our 1 dog gabapentin from a pharmacy in Ontario-until recently it was much cheaper. I had to use a Canadian vet though. Had a terrific one in St. Catherines. Wish we were in NS now but are awaiting a litter of puppies due this weekend. Cycle of life: our beloved old girl dies and new ones enter our lives. By the way, my DH's family fled to NS during the Rev War-settled in Digby. Beeman's Mountain was named for them. If we ever sell this house and can f/t we'll be there! Lynn, Amherst NY

  9. Lynn...Good luck with the babies when they come. We will have to keep our eyes open for Beeman's Mountain. Hope to meet you on the road one day soon.

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey

  10. Hi Kevin and Ruth, I realize that this is way old, but I'm currently considering purchasing from universal pet meds, but its very difficult finding any info on them. How did your purchase turn out? Would love to hear back.

    1. Actually, we've ordered from them a couple of times. Never had them delivered into Canada though, always supplied a friends U.S. address.

      Would not hesitate to use them again.

    2. Thanks for the prompt reply.

      I'm more concerned about receiving fake meds more than anything else, but your comment is re-assuring. The cost of the meds is approximately 25% compared to what we pay here in Australia.


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