Choosing and using veterinary medicines
How to choose a veterinary medicine, use medicines with food-producing animals, check conditions of use, and report a problem.
For animal owners and the general public
Veterinarians should read our ACVM guidance for veterinarians
Choosing a veterinary medicine
Only those veterinary medicines that are not restricted (often referred to as "over the counter") are available for the general public. When choosing an over-the-counter veterinary medicine, look for one with a label recommendation that fits the situation for your animal. If you cannot find one, talk to your veterinarian or another suitable professional.
Animals used for food and veterinary medicines
Before using a vet medicine in a food-producing animal, check:
- witholding period for veterinary medicines – minimum time between treatment and use as food
- restrictions on use of veterinary medicines
Conditions of use for veterinary medicines
Registered veterinary medicines all have conditions placed on their registration to manage risks. To find the conditions for a particular product, check the ACVM product register.
Find out more:
- Classification of veterinary medicines [PDF, 75 KB]
- Classification of veterinary medicines for sale, purchase, and use [PDF, 81 KB]
When something goes wrong (adverse event) with a veterinary medicine
Let us know if anything goes wrong (an adverse event) when using a registered vet medicine.