Skill Group: Clinical Pharmacology and Hospital Management

SKILL OVERVIEW: Drug Calculations and Handling

Dr. Julie Byron; Dr. Megan Flanigan; and Dr. Antoinette Marsh

This skill is part of the skill unit: Basic Pharmacy Skills


Veterinarians in all types of practice settings write and fill prescriptions every day. While many drugs can be prescribed through an external pharmacy (like Walgreens or CVS), the veterinarian prepares and dispenses most medications within their own practice. In addition, even if the medication is dispensed by a pharmacy, the veterinarian must determine the dose, route, and directions for its use.

The purpose of this module is to familiarize you with the basic skills of prescription writing and dispensing, primarily of oral medications. These include dose calculation, prescription writing, dispensing of prescriptions and disposal of medications. These are essential skills you will use every day if you are in medical practice, and will also translate into non-practice veterinary careers.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify Parts of a drug label.
  • Calculate the proper dose and administration rate of a drug given the weight and dose range for the patient.
  • Prepare a suspension prescription.
  • Given best practices and/or hospital guidelines, properly fill out a prescription request form.
  • Following the VMC infection control manual, safely and correctly dispose of used supplies.

Module Roadmap

To successfully complete this module, we recommend that you review the following lessons in order:

  1. English and Metric Conversion
  2. Drug Dose Calculation
  3. Writing a Prescription
  4. Dispensing a Prescription
  5. Checkpoint Assessment: Preparing a Dose of Fenbendazole and Writing a Prescription


OSU CVM Veterinary Clinical and Professional Skills Center Handbook Copyright © 2018 by Dr. Julie Byron; Dr. Megan Flanigan; and Dr. Antoinette Marsh. All Rights Reserved.

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