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View Full Version : Suggestions on how to give a dog a pill requested



redshifter
2012-Feb-03, 09:17 PM
Howdy folks! On the 'I love my dog' thread a while back, I mentioned that my dog (Lucy) was going in for cancer surgery (apologies for hijacking that thread). She has (had) a tumor on one of her anal glands and another on a lymph node. Luckily it was caught early and hadn't spread from the lymph node. The vet told us once it gets to a lymph node it then moves into the lungs. Lucy's tumors were small and could be surgically removed with a good outcome (hopefully...).

Anyways we brought her home yesterday, 2/2. She seems to be feeling pretty lousy, but then who doesn't after surgery? Esp. where she had it...She's eaten a little bit, drinks her usual amount of water, but hasn't pottied yet. She's likely still feeling the effects of whatever surgical meds she was given. She has 2 different meds we have to give her, 1 for pain (Tramidol) and 1 antibiotic. I was giving them to her by putting each pill inside a small chunk of hot dog, but now's she's figured it out and chews them differently so she can spit out the pill as opposed to basically inhaling the hot dog chuck without even knowing it was laced with a pill.

This morning, I gave her her meds by breaking them up and putting them in a few spoonfuls of cream of chicken soup. I threw in a few small peices of doggy bacon treats for good measure. Any thoughts on this method? I guess whatever works ought to be OK. I'm wondering if there are other effective methods out there? No 'brute force' suggestions, the poor girls been through enough already...Thanks!

Good thing she isn't a cat...it's near impossible to give them meds!

Fazor
2012-Feb-03, 09:24 PM
My dog has seizures, and in order to combat those, must take pills twice a day (at regular 12-hr intervals. Talk about a pain in the neck for making weekend plans!) She eats anything. I mean, if I hold a piece of paper up and act like I'm giving her a foodscrap, she'll eat it. But when we'd put her pills in food, she'd find it and spit it out.

Then we found these: Greenie's Pill Pockets (http://www.greenies.com/en_US/products/dogpillpockets.aspx). They're very soft, hollow treats that you can put pills in and then squish closed. They're soft enough that she doesn't hardly even chew them. Just inhales them. They're easy to use and she loves them.

Problem is, that's one more thing to buy each month. I don't know the size of the pills you need, but they make two sizes for the treats. One for bigger capsule pills, and one for smaller asperine-like pills. Ours are the later, but we've found that if we buy the bigger treats, we can rip 'em in two and each half is more than big enough for her pills. That doubles the number of days a single packet lasts for.

swampyankee
2012-Feb-03, 09:41 PM
My previous dog had congestive heart failure, so he was on several meds (diuretic + small, elderly dog = many puddles in house). Greenie's Pill Pockets worked quite well. I could do the "force his mouth open and shove the pill down his throat route," but that's cruel for maintenance medications.

PetersCreek
2012-Feb-03, 10:54 PM
With my dog, I just tilt his head back, open his mouth, pop the pill(s) on the back of his tongue, then hold his mouth closed unit he swallows. He then gets a treat afterwards...which has habituated him to the technique nicely.

I haven't used food to disguise/administer pills to my dogs in I-don't-know-how-many years.

redshifter
2012-Feb-04, 07:07 AM
Thanks everyone! I bought some 'pill pockets' this evening and Lucy took her meds with no issues! I like how the pockets are so mushy that you can make a nice little ball around the pill. Hopefully this will work for a few days before she realizes what's really going on...

swampyankee
2012-Feb-04, 11:48 AM
Thanks everyone! I bought some 'pill pockets' this evening and Lucy took her meds with no issues! I like how the pockets are so mushy that you can make a nice little ball around the pill. Hopefully this will work for a few days before she realizes what's really going on...

I don't know about fazor's experience, but my dog didn't catch on in the six months or so he was on his cardiac meds.

Fazor
2012-Feb-04, 01:18 PM
I don't know about fazor's experience, but my dog didn't catch on in the six months or so he was on his cardiac meds.

We've been using them for years, and she's never once separated the treat from the pills.

Jim
2012-Feb-04, 04:38 PM
Huh, we tried the pill pockets. Brody loved them. But he spit the pill out.

If they don't work with your dog, try putting peanut butter or canned cheese on the pill. Dogs seem to love both, and they're both sticky enough that they can't separate the pill from the good stuff.

Buttercup
2012-Feb-04, 07:58 PM
An uncle of mine used to regularly slip heart-worm medicine to his dog by pushing it into a ball of peanut butter. Does your dog like peanut butter? For whatever reason, Corky didn't seem to notice the pill in the peanut butter...or simply loved the peanut butter so much he didn't care and gobbled it up anyway -- pill and all. :lol:

neilzero
2012-Feb-04, 10:35 PM
Our 111 lb German Shepherd, black lab mix, just had surgery for a massive abcess in his prostate gland. Due to not being neutered, at least partly I was told. He is 9 years old and I adopted him from a young man who just could not bring himself to have him neutered. He had lots of meds. I gave them in cream cheese with no trouble. Our 12 lb Maltese is impossible to give pills to. Our vet ordered liquid meds from a local phamacy and I have not had any problems Since. I am glad your dog is doing well. We have 3 and we love them all like kids. You may have to resort to the liquid. Just stick the dropper in the corner of te mouth and it is down before they know it. Good luck, Neil's wife

flynjack1
2012-Feb-04, 10:39 PM
Yep, Peanut butter works every time!

Nicolas
2012-Feb-06, 12:51 PM
We put (small) pills in a bit of thinly cut chicken meat. Make a ball of it, give to dog, yummie yummie all gone. However, for pillseekers this won't work as they can easily eat the chicken from the pill and spit it back out.

The tube with worm medicine, that was another story. After trying all kinds of gentle and not so gentle ways to get him to open his mouth so we could put the gel inside his mouth, we finally found out he likes the taste and simply licks it all off my finger. Of course, you don't notice that he likes something when you try to give it to him while holding his mouth open with two hands...

Swift
2012-Feb-06, 04:23 PM
Our vet ordered liquid meds from a local phamacy and I have not had any problems Since.
In the Cleveland area (Cleveland Heights to be exact) there is a Compounding Pharmacy; in other words, unlike most modern pharmacies which just repackage pills, they can actually blend things. My mother-in-law has trouble with pills, so we've had some of her prescriptions done there, so they could be converted to liquids. I remember one time talking to the pharmacist and he told me that a lot of his business is for vets.

Paul Beardsley
2012-Feb-06, 05:11 PM
Our method used to be to say, "Emmy, come and take your pill!" She'd trot over, take it, swallow it.

For less obliging dogs, or Emmy when she wasn't in the best of moods, one of us would exaggeratedly pretend to eat the pill and make "Mmm! Yum yum!" noises. She was then very interested in eating it herself.

Later, she developed a skin condition which meant she had to be showered in the bath frquently. This was very boring for her, so whoever was doing it - usually my mother - used to sing to her. Typical song choices included Robin Hood and Michael Rode The Boat Ashore. She evidently liked this, because one time when they played the Robin Hood theme on a TV advert (for Weetabix) she wagged her tail.

Nicolas
2012-Feb-09, 09:24 AM
She evidently liked this, because one time when they played the Robin Hood theme on a TV advert (for Weetabix) she wagged her tail.

We have a Cocker. They tend to wag their tail per definition, unless jammed between a door. Then they wag the rest of their body. And they always look sad. You have to know your Cocker to tell when he's happy, less happy or downright suicidal. To a stranger, it always looks like a happy tail connected to a suicidal front.

redshifter
2012-Feb-09, 07:04 PM
Well, the pill pockets are still working great, which is a good thing because it sounds like Lucy's gonna need a lot more meds. :( Her surgery went well, but now we have to choose between radiation, chemo, or a new experimental drug(s). Radiation isn't really an option; there are 3 places in Wa state that do this, 2 are across the state - which means spending a month over there (they would want to do treatments 3 - 5x/week). The other place is actually a 'people hospital' that would do her radiation treatments 'after hours'. However, between the cost and putting poor Lucy through more sedation every time she needed a treatment, plus the potential for complications because of the radiation and the need for 24/7 care, it just isn't viable. We're gonna try an experimental treatment that has been approved for canines, and early indications are that this experimental drugs are more effective than chemo. What isn't yet known are the long term effects of the drug. Given Lucy's age, this may not matter. Also, she wouldn't need sedation like she would every time she had a treatment. The sedation takes so much out of her that I'm not convinced the chemo will give her good quality of life.

So, we're gonna try the experimental drug therapy. She gets to stay home with us, doensn't need constant monitoring, and should hopefully have 2 - 3 years of quality life.

By stock in Greenie's....

HenrikOlsen
2012-Feb-10, 11:43 AM
And there's the added karmic bonus that experience from treating her might help to make a treatment for humans closer as well.