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The Whales: A Pharmacist's Story

Author(s):  Wills William R

Issue:  Sep/Oct 2007 - Veterinary Compounding
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Abstract:  It is a daily occurrence for Grandpa’s Compounding Pharmacy in Placerville, California, to compound preparations to meet the unique needs of individual human and animal patients. However, until May 2007, there had never been a request for compounded medications for patients weighing 12,500 pounds or 55,000 pounds! When two Eastern North Pacific humpback whales (mother and daughter) were traveling their instinctive route north to Oregon, they were for some unknown reason diverted into the San Francisco Bay and eventually up the Sacramento River Delta, where they became stranded. When it was determined by several government and volunteer agencies that the whales needed medical attention, Grandpa’s Compounding Pharmacy was contacted to compound antibiotics in large quantities to save these misguided sea occupants. The pharmacy rose to the challenge of what may have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and successfully compounded lifesaving medications for these patients in crisis.

Related Keywords: William R. Wills, RPh, FIACP, humpback whales, antibiotics, antimicrobial agents, veterinary compounding, drug delivery, sterile preparations, networking, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, whale


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