Seminar speaker discusses veterinary pharmacy

SPOKANE, Wash. – On September 6 Katrina Mealey spoke with student pharmacists about dispensing medications for veterinary patients. Her presentation was part of the Washington State University College of Pharmacy’s Preparing for Your Career in Pharmacy seminar series.

“Dogs and cats are not small people; and cats are not small dogs,” said Mealey.

Katrina Mealey with studentsShe discussed medications that are prescribed to animals and how they should not be treated like human patient prescriptions, as this can have serious, even fatal consequences for veterinary patients.

“Numerous differences exist in absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of medications,” said Mealey. Not only do differences show up between species but also within a breed.

“Some breeds have gene mutations which cause adverse reactions,” said Mealey. “One way to avoid these reactions is to have a genetic test conducted as part of a pet’s healthcare plan.”

For students interested in pursuing veterinary pharmacy she suggested they take an elective or pursue a post-graduation fellowship.

WSU coordinates this annual seminar series to expose future pharmacists to a variety of career opportunities in the profession and the leaders within those fields.

Mealey is currently a professor and founding director of the Program in Individualized Medicine at Washington State University. She has a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy degree, Ph.D. in pharmacology, and is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Mealey is an expert in veterinary pharmacogenetics and her research is focused on reducing adverse drug reactions in animals.

Students at presentationThe WSU pharmacy seminars are funded through the Dean’s Fund for Excellence and the college’s community partner, the Spokane Teachers Credit Union. For information on participating in the career seminar series, or to contribute to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence to help expose WSU student pharmacists to thought-leaders and industry innovators, contact the College of Pharmacy advancement office at or 509-358-7651.