Objective—To describe the degree of and variability
in the level of client compliance and identify determinants
of client compliance with short-term administration
of antimicrobial medications to dogs.
Sample Population—90 owners of dogs prescribed
Procedure—Eligible clients were invited to participate
when antimicrobial medications were dispensed. Data
were collected during a follow-up appointment by use of
a client questionnaire, residual pill count, and return of an
electronic medication monitoring device. Attending veterinarians
also completed a questionnaire that asked
them to predict client compliance. Methods of assessing
compliance were compared with nonparametric
tests. Generalized estimating equations were used to
investigate potential determinants of compliance.
Results—Median compliance rates of 97% of prescribed
container openings, 91% of days when the
correct number of doses were given, and 64% of
doses given on time as assessed by the electronic
medication monitoring devices were significantly
lower than the median compliance rates of 100% for
client self-report of missing doses and pill count.
Veterinarians were unable to predict client compliance.
The dosage regimen significantly determined
compliance. Clients giving antimicrobials once or
twice daily were 9 times more likely to be 100% compliant,
compared with 3 times daily dosing.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The combination
of reported missed doses and pill counts was a
significant predictor of compliance as measured by
electronic monitoring. Electronic monitoring caps provided
useful information only when they were used
appropriately. Asking clients about missed doses and
performing pill counts are the most practical assessments
of compliance in practice. (J Am Vet Med Assoc