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Pet People

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Bitter Pill to Swallow


Yesterday I was talking to a coworker about giving a cat medicine (more on this, as she needs your expert cat advice). She prefers liquid, but I don't know if that's always a choice with some meds.

I've never yet had to give either of my cats a pill, and I worry about when I might have to. Dogs are easy--at least mine are. I just pry open their jaws, pop it in, hold it shut, blow on the nose, massage the throat and its done. The Boss can't do this. He has to give Scooter his afternoon seizure pill and he said "he can't" get Scooter to open his mouth. I showed him how to do it, but he just puts the pill in a little piece of bread instead. I guess he's afraid to pry those jaws apart, as Scooter is a stubborn boy. The other dogs all get their heartworm meds once a month, and since they are chewable, they think its a treat and gobble it right up. Same with the Rimydyl pill Peanut had to take for a few days after his leg problem the other day. But Peanut will eat a rock if I pretended it was a treat--you know how piggish hound dogs are!

But how do you give a pill to a cat? Catfish and Tarzan both don't like to be messed with at all. How do you do it cat people? I have a hard enough time putting Revolution on them once a month, but that doesn't require getting something down their throat.

Back to my coworkers cat problem. She has lots of cats and one, a female inside-only cat, has had runny stools for a couple of days. No blood, no foreign objects. She said her butt also looks tender and a bit swollen.The cat is eating and drinking normally and doesn't seem to have pain or other issues when using the litter box. She thought worms, but her other cats are fine. I talked to Suzanne at Cats Are Us, who said the best thing to do is get a stool sample in to the vet, as it could be bacterial or maybe even a problem with anal glands.

So, I know many of you are well-versed in all things cat-related, so if you have any thoughts, please share.

posted by Sandy at 3/08/2007 08:52:00 AM

10 Comments:

Blogger Pam said...

I'm with Suzanne on getting the stool sample to the vet for your Friend's cat. You never know what it can be so best to get the expert opinion.
As for pills, when I give them to my girls I pretty much do the same as you do with your dogs. It's easier to ahve Fly Boy hold them while I push the pills. I press on the outside of thier jaws and while thier mouths are open I put the pill as far down the throat as I can then hold thier mouth shut and rub thier throat a few seconds and the pill usually goes right on down. I use the syringe foe liquids and do the same, put it in the back of the throat and then hold thier mouths shut long enoug for the liquid to go down. Sometimes they have fought me and some comes back out and same with the pill but I'm persistant. It gets easier after you've done it a couple of times.
Keep us posted on your friend's kitty.

Thursday, March 08, 2007 9:56:00 AM  
Blogger jdt said...

I give my cats pills the same way you give the dogs pills. I tilt their heads back, open their mouths, and drop the bill all the way down the back of thier throat. Then I hold their mouths closed and rub their throat for a minute. It usually works alright. Sometimes Scruffy gets a little ticked off and I have to get my arms wrapped tight around her or she will escape. Now when it comes to the dogs, if it is liquid I use the syringe and they usually think it is some kind of treat and drink it right up. If they have to have pills to swallow, I put a little bit of peanut butter on the tip of a spoon then I put the pill on it and cover it up with more peanut butter. I use to not cover it up, but my Abby got smart and wouldn't take it because she knew the pill was there. Then I just tell them to open up and they take it right off the spoon like a baby eats off a spoon. It is really kind of cute the way they open their mouths instead of just licking the spoon. (They use to lick, but over time I have taught them how to eat off silverware, sad I know).

I hope your friend's kitty is okay, maybe she just has an upset stomach, we all get them sometimes.

Thursday, March 08, 2007 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I am a big fraidy cat when it comes to giving my kitties pills. My big boy Bubby has bitten me on several occasions-nothing major but it does hurt like h#ll. So I always ask for liquids. Even then it is a 2 person job for me. I have to get You Should to wrap the kitty in a towel and then I do the squirting.

My dogs are easy pill takers too. They love anything that comes out of the fridge so I just conceal the pill in a piece of cheese or sandwich meat.


Hope your friends kitty is going to be ok!

Thursday, March 08, 2007 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I'm usually on my own to give the cat meds, so I roll him up in a towel like a burrito. I have to make sure ALL his legs are in he can escape. I lay him on the kitchen counter and pry open his mouth and down the hatch. When i brought Jazzy home he had runny stools. Our vet said to boil hamburger and rice. It worked and he loved it. I'm really bad about taking any of the animals to the vet. The only time they go is if the problem persists for more than 2 or 3 days. I have a home vet book and tend to treat them my self for most problems. We even give there shots. If I can avoid the vet I will. Pep-to works for dogs and diapoo. I would ask the vet if the cat can have it, I never have.

Thursday, March 08, 2007 2:34:00 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

Yep, the above ways are what I use too. Cats are more difficult but we are the humans so we have to be smarter. I pry open the jaws, drop the pill in and shove a finger on it and push back. Not HARD... just so it gets past the patooey stage. The runs could be bacteria, so the vet should take a look. All good adbice! Well done, all!

Thursday, March 08, 2007 2:57:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Okay, this cat/pill situation sounds like you really need two people to do it. Even if I could hold the cat with one arm, I wouldn't be able to pry open AND give the pill, shoving it down properly with just one hand. That means The Boss would have to hold the cat while I try to get it down, which means I'll need a pill of my own afteward!

How do cats do if you put the pill in a piece of meat? I guess they eat around it, as they don't wolf down a tidbit like a dog would.

Thursday, March 08, 2007 6:33:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Sandy, don't know about the others but hiding it in food doesn't worl for my girls. I tried putting it in thier food and they do eat around it. I've tried crushing it up and they can taste it isn't the same and walk off. I have times when I was alonfe and had to give mine pills alone and it isn't easy. I've used the towel thing and wrapped them, it's really hard to hold them and do it all but it is doable. I know that is probably a made up word but I've heard it a lot. And yea, theres been times when I needed a pill to do it but settled for Beast or a glass of wine instead.

Thursday, March 08, 2007 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

My friend a vet tech uses a pill injector. It's a tube like thing that has a tulip-like opening at one end where you insert the pill and then you hold the cat's head and wiggle it into the cat's mouth and hit the plunger. That shoves it into the throat without endagering tender digits. I personally have never had to use it. I catch them unaware, grab the head with my hand over the eyes and grasping the jaw. I use a finger to pry the jaws open and poke the pill down. They are usually so surprised that they just blink at me and then stalk away. I have not had a mutiny or ambush afterwards. I know it sounds easier than it is... I'm pulling for ya!

Thursday, March 08, 2007 8:50:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

How does a cat or dog swallow a pill without water?
I have never had to give any of our animals a pill before, but tried unsuccessfully to give my moms Tortie, Punkin a pill. She is one tough gal. I ended up crunching it up and putting it in her food only to find out I was doing wrong because it was a time released pill! Arggg. Thank goodness I was cat sitting for only two days so I did not kill their cat…..

Friday, March 09, 2007 9:44:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Skeeter,
It really isn't as bad as it sounds. You put it far enough in the back of thier throat so that it goes down when they slwallow. It doesn't hurt them.

Saturday, March 10, 2007 3:24:00 PM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.
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