Some veterinarians are being forced to wait months, or even years, to obtain medication needed to treat pets that are ill.
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10News learned many pharmaceutical companies are cutting back on the quantities of drugs being manufactured due to factors such as mergers and supply strategies.
Kimberly Van Nostern told 10News her soft-coated Wheaton terrier, Wrigley, needed a drug called Amikacin because "his skin would start to ooze; it was so bad, it was so horrible
We waited another six months, still no Amikacin. Nothing would fix his skin problem except Amikacin shots."
Wrigley's skin condition became unbearable to the point where she was forced to make a painful decision.
"He was suffering so badly, we had to make the decision to put him down," said Van Nostern. "It was extremely frustrating not to be able to help a harmless being be healthy. It was just horrible to watch him deteriorate."
University of California at Davis clinical pharmacist Dr. Margo Karriker told 10News there are several factors involved.
"Regulatory things, back-orders, short supply manufacturing concerns all play a role; also raw ingredients are in short supply," said Karriker.
Karriker also pointed to one example affecting the entire nation.
"The only medication approved to treat heartworm disease in dogs in unavailable. The FDA is allowing the importing of European products to meet that demand, but it's huge," she said.
10News learned there are at least 175 drugs in short supply for humans right now, with that number continuing to climb.
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