From 1st September 2023 the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

(RCVS regulatory body for the veterinary profession in the U.K.)

is introducing new guidance on prescribing prescription only medicines.

The full guidance can be found on  

(‘Under care’ – new guidance Key changes 3 and 4)

The new guidance requires that a physical examination of the pet must be performed every time any antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals or antiparasitics are prescribed.

This includes topical preparations such as ear and eye drops and all prescription flea/ worm/ tick products.

The guidance is an important step towards ensuring responsible antimicrobial use and reducing the veterinary impact on the wider issues of global antibiotic resistance and decline of insect population.

What this means in practice is that your pet will need to come in for an in- person consultation every time that : –

We need to prescribe medication for an ear infection ( most contain antibiotics)

We need to prescribe antibiotics for any skin problem even if it is a chronic problem.

We/you decide to change from one flea/worm/tick product to another.

We suspect a urinary tract infection (remote/online consults and faecal analysis culture are no longer sufficient)

We also can no longer prescribe prescription deworming products based on a laboratory report done, we will need to see the pet for a consultation and physical examination first.

For long term prescription medication that is not an antimicrobial/ antiparasitic, our usual of requiring am examination every 6 months (or every 3 months in some less stable or more serious cases) continues to apply.

The consultations are charged at our usual fee depending on whether it is an initial consultation or one for a recurring problem.

If you have any questions or concerns about the new guidance please contact RCVS  on

020 7202 0789 or