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Counterfeit Pet Medications


Use caution when buying medications online.

Not all online pharmacies are equal! Some online pharmacies sell counterfeit and/or questionable medications. Please take the time to read through the information below to ensure you are buying legitimate medications for your pet. As always, if you have any questions or are concerned a prescription you received may be counterfeit, please contact us and we will assist you.


What is the issue with counterfeit medications?

Counterfeit products are not regulated and can contain different ingredients, may be expired, and may not be medication at all. These counterfeit products can look almost identical to the original medication. Counterfeit products vary from ineffective (putting your pet at risk for preventable diseases such as heartworms or fleas) to toxic (death has occurred in some cases). If you receive a medication in packaging that looks tampered with or unofficial, don’t give it.

We always recommend buying medications directly from a veterinary clinic. If online is the only option, you can visit our trusted online pharmacy here:


What are some frequently counterfeited medications?

We find commonly counterfeited medications include but are not limited to:

  • Heartworm preventative
  • Flea and tick preventative
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs — such as Rimadyl (carprofen), Deramaxx (deracoxib), Previcox (firocoxib), or Metacam (meloxicam)

Red flags that an online pharmacy may send counterfeit products

Prescription from a veterinarian is not required
Huge discounts or low prices that seem “too good to be true” may not be a legitimate pharmacy.
Pharmacy is not licensed and/or is located outside the United States.
If the same medication looks different than one you have received before.
Preventatives should come in original packaging. If you ordered 1, 3, 6 or 12 doses, you should not receive individual doses that were put together in the shipment. They should be in proper boxing/packaging.

How can I tell if my pet's medication is counterfeit?

Weights may be listed in kilograms (kg). And/or commas are used instead of a decimal point. Example: weight listed as 4,1-10 kg is often a counterfeit product.
Lack of FDA Approval statement or EPA number
Lack of directions in English or missing directions for use
Not packaged in child-resistant packaging
Product in the container is not appropriate for the animal or size of the animal pictured on the outside
Stickers on the box to hide the foreign labeling
Foreign language anywhere on the packaging

In the USA, weights listed should always be labeled as pounds with a decimal point in the weight if applicable.

Most reputable flea/tick/heartworm preventative products have an FDA Approved statement or an EPA Reg number.

Directions for use should be clearly stated
Product should be in child resistant packaging
The size of the animal on the box should match the weight range for that dose of medication
There should not be any stickers on the packaging
USA products should be in English
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Tips for ordering medications online safely:

If you have any doubt about the legitimacy of a pharmacy/product, contact us!

Be aware of red flags. Does the online pharmacy have contact information available? Do they not require a prescription for the medication? Are their prices too good to be true?

Emergency Information

Animal Emergency Clinic of Rockford


7145 Spring Creek Rd, Rockford, IL 61107

Click here to visit the website.

M-F 6:00pm- 8:00am
Weekends: Friday 6:00 pm till Monday 8:00 am
Open 24 hours on all major holidays

Poison Control

In the event your pet ingests a toxic substance or comes into contact with one, please call either of the Poison Control centers below.

**Important info to have ready: Name of the toxic substance, amount ingested or exposed to, the weight of your pet, any medications that your pet is taking & Credit Card for the consult fee.

​ASPCA Poison Control Center – 888-426-4435 OR their website: ASPCA Poison Control

Pet Poison Helpline: 855-764-7661

UW Veterinary Care UW-Madison