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What to do with leftover medication after a dog dies?

Our dear 14 year old Whippet with CHF was euthanized last Monday (we used Laps of Love, a wonderful organization who schedules a vet to come to your home - they were compassionate, caring, and respectful), and now we have a LOT of leftover Vetmedin.

Before I contact the vet I thought I would ask here. It seems like such a waste and I would love to be able to donate it, but I suspect that’s not legally allowed.

Thought? TIA.


Donate to independent rescues. I believe they will take them


I am so sorry for your loss.

In the past, for both horses and dogs, I have donated the medications back to my vet who gives (not sells) them to a patient in need of those things. I know in the one situation the vet gave the almost full bottle of bute I had (used two of) to a local horse rescue where she was going next after she was done at my place.

I benefited from someone donating back to my small animal vet. We were starting my dog on something and someone had recently put their dog down and they had a couple of vials left from their multi-vial pack. The vet gave us those along with a whole package of vials that we bought.


That would be great! Does it matter that I got the medication from Walmart’s pharmacy rather than theirs?

Okay, so just called my vet and they do NOT take medications back or donate them - they suggested that I “call around to rescues” to see whether they would take the meds.


I suppose you will have to ask your vet.

I know in my case I had a couple of bottles of eye drops that I had bought from a pharmacy (vet sent me there, said it was cheaper there than thru them) that had not yet been opened. The vet was happy to get them since they were in short supply at that time and she knew exactly who could use them.


Good try. I am sorry to hear that.

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Thank you :heart:

I was a little put out by the dismissiveness of her response, and by the fact that she didn’t even bother to say “I’m sorry for your loss.” We’ve been using this vet practice for 20 years for all of our animals. :disappointed:


I benefited from someone donating to my vet for my now late dog. Please do that. Or to a rescue group.


See above ^^. I posted on FB (I have a lot of friends who are dog owners/lovers) so maybe they’ll have a suggestion for me.

I was surprised by how dismissive my vet practice was…


I had just bought 6 months of eye drops for my old poodle, to the tune of $150. He passed a week later. I gave to a friend, whose poodle was on the same drops. She passed a couple of months later. Her vet did take them, unopened, for clients that are tight with finances.

So it must be personal policy rather than law. This was in AZ


Be upset at that one person who answered the phone, not at the whole practice.

And it might be worth mentioning this to the vet the next time you are in there, so they know there receptionist is not acting appropriately to their clients.


then I wouldn’t offer it to them.

I’m so sorry for your loss. Whippets are the sweetest dogs. My practice actually asks me if, when I have euthed an animal, if I would like to donate remaining prescriptions. I am sorry that receptionist was so nasty. This week I forgive a lot of moodiness due to the Stupid Time Change.


Sorry for your loss & that your vet’s staff wasn’t more caring.

I used to volunteer at a pantry program & surplus meds (human) were covertly accepted & greatly appreciated by clients who received them.
I’d expect animal rescues can be less Letter of the Law accepting donations.

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Whippets are sweethearts, and I’m sorry for your loss.

In the past, when my 17+ year old black Lab reached the end of her long life, only a couple of days after her expensive prescriptions (bought from a pharmacy) were refilled, my veterinarian accepted them.

Now, whether they were really going to be used for dogs whose owners couldn’t afford the medications, or whether using them this way was not allowed (as with human medications once dispensed) and the vet just didn’t want to tell grieving me that he would have to dispose of them, I don’t know.

After my late Shih Tzu died, I gave his leftover heartworm and flea/tick prescriptions directly to my best friend (she owned the same size dog using same type of product) – those things are pricey and, after all, each dose was sealed.


First of all, I am so very sorry for your loss. My husband and I just got our first whippet in June. They are indeed wonderful dogs.

We lost our beloved 13 yr old sighthound in January to cancer. He was on a very expensive chemo drug, and we had a lot left over. I especially did not want it to go to waste. Like you, I asked my vet if they could take it back to donate to another animal in need. They couldn’t, for reasons I could totally understand.

I was a member of a number of Facebook groups dedicated to my dog’s particular type of cancer. I ended up offering it on there as a donation, and it was very gratefully taken by another family. It does feel good to ‘pay it forward’.

I wish you comfort in your grief and hope you can find a place to donate the Vetmedin.


I am so sorry for your loss. We had to let our 12 yo Std poodle go this past September, and it’s SO hard. (hug).
The ER vet clinic I took her to (and where she ended up being euthd) took back the meds they had prescribed for her.
Everything else I had (tick/flea meds, treats, supplements etc.) I gave to a barn friend who has a dog of similar weight as mine, and who isn’t rolling in money. She was very happy to get them.


My heartaches with yours. Its never easy.

You are doing a wonderful thing by donating the unused meds. Perhaps your local SPCA / Humane society would like them too.

I am so sorry your vet’s practice was dismissive with you. That was not nice.


Vetmedin is like GOLD to an owner with a dog that is on it. For a while, it was in quite short supply and was incredibly hard to find (pre pandemic). I belonged to a Dogs with Congestive Heart Failure facebook page. There were a few owners who were really in dire straits as to the cost of it and were having a generic compounded. Like you, my dog passed and I wanted to do something positive with the meds. I found a member of the group who seemed like a kind soul, with a dog of the approximate size of mine, and PMd her. I sent it to her and hopefully gave her dog a few more good days.

There are also several breeds of dogs that are prone to CHF. You might find out if there is a breed rescue of one of those breeds nearby and donate it to them. They will likely know of an adoptor who is using this very common, and very $$ medication on an older rescue.

Just some ideas for you! Thinking of you in your time of loss and sending you positive thoughts as you try to make something good of the meds that you have remaining.