Pleasant Hills Apothecary seeks out the right mix for pets
The pet-medicine portion of Pleasant Hills Apothecary started with a simple question: “Can you do it?”
“We had the ability, and requests came more frequently,” said Kevin Evancic, who runs the business.
His parents started the business to help residents — and their pets. Over the years, they noticed that there was a growing need for pet medication. The apothecary offers a way to relieve pain through old-fashioned medicine.
Compounding is the art and science of creating a unique pharmaceutical product that fits the exact need of a patient, no matter the species. Today, Kevin Evanic runs the business with three other pharmacists, including his father, Ken, and five technicians.
A Duquesne University graduate, Evancic practices this very traditional medicine; mortars and pestles still are used.
It's anticipated that pet owners will spend $15.25 billion nationwide for veterinary care this year.
That's up from $14.37 billion last year, according to the American Pet Products Association, a trade group of more than 1,000 pet product manufacturers.
“As the human-animal bond increases, people spend more on their pets and are concerned about the care they receive,” said David Kirkpatrick, spokesman for the American Veterinary Medical Association. “They become like a family member, other than a pet or property. They do more for them as the bond increases.”
Often, that bond leads pet owners to seek out specialty medicines. If 50 milligrams is too much and 7.5 milligrams is just enough, the correct dose is just a formula away. Flavoring can make it even more people- or feline-friendly.
“It's custom-made for your pet,” Evancic said.
Prices vary because of the cost of the particular chemicals and the complication of the process, said Wendy Magnotti, a trained technician for almost 10 years.
“It's the labor and time it takes, as opposed to just counting pills,” she said.
Working closely with veterinarians, the practice has helped birds, hamsters and large lizards, but mostly cats and dogs.
“We haven't done any giraffes or gorillas, but we could,” Evancic said.
In the last 20 to 25 years, veterinary practices have expanded and offer treatments for thyroid imbalances, diabetes, anxiety issues – even cancer. Medicines often must be prepared specifically for the ailing pets. A few owners even have found better health for their pet through acupuncture.
“The modality of treatment options has exploded,” Evancic said.
Mary Lynne Abel credits compounded medicine for giving Bismark, her miniature dachshund, his last three good years of life.
While steroids had eased his back pain, they also damaged his liver. Compounded medicine did the trick. The new pills leveled the dog's enzyme levels.
“It worked really good in peanut butter or cheese,” Abel said. “He thought it was his dessert every night.”
Pleasant Hills Apothecary is located at 25 Gill Hall Road. For more information, call 412-653-7566.
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Issues surround apartment complex
- Impact of cuts won’t be known right away
- Noise from private practice track irks Baldwin Borough residents
- Council considers dog area at Baldwin Borough park
- Nepali volunteers get tickets for Baldwin musical
- Brentwood Borough School Board approves major cutbacks
- Pleasant Hills girl, 9, prepares for first marathon
- Whitehall pool hours extended
- Read a magazine on your phone with Zinio
- County to improve Old Clairton stretch
- Programs on tap to celebrate Pleasant Hills Public Library’s 70th anniversary