If your pet is sick or has a chronic issue, your veterinarian may prescribe an oral medication. Successfully administering the medication is very important to ensure the recovery or treatment of your pet.
Some common reasons oral medications are prescribed:
- Infection (antibiotics)
- Injury/arthritis (pain control)
- Allergies (antihistamine)
- Medical conditions (hyperthyroidism)
- Heart conditions
- Monthly prevention
Discuss with your veterinarian what form of medication will be easiest for you to give. In many cases, there are alternatives if one is hard to administer. Oral medications can come in several forms, such as tablets or capsules, chewable tablets, and liquid suspensions.
Here are a few different methods you can try to medicate your pets. Use the method that is safest and easiest for both of you.
1. Try hiding the medicine in a treat such as Pill Pockets®, cheese, yogurt, or canned food. Sometimes having a “dummy” treat without medicine in it before and after tricks the pet.
Watch your pet to be sure they have swallowed! Some are very good at eating the treat and spitting out the medicine.
2. Directly open your cat’s mouth and place the pill or capsule in the back of the tongue. Close their mouth. Tilt their head back and gently rub their throat until they swallow. Having a water chaser in a syringe helps wash the medicine down.
3. Pill guns are also available in your local pet store. They allow owners to place the medications far back in the throat without worrying about biting.
Place the medication in the pill gun. Once ready, place the tip at the back of the mouth and depress the plunger to release the medication. Please be careful of your pet’s mouth. This is a sensitive area and you don’t want to cause injury.
4. Oral suspensions or solutions are usually given in a syringe. After drawing up the indicated amount, place the tip of the syringe under the lip on the side of the mouth and squirt the contents in the cheek pouch.
If the medication is thick or if there is a large amount to administer, squirt little amounts to prevent possible aspiration.
Certain medications MUST be given a certain way or they will NOT be effective. Follow the directions exactly as prescribed. Otherwise, talk to your veterinarian before crushing, mixing, or altering medications in any way.
Feel free to ask for a demonstration if you want some extra pointers.
For more information, please feel free to call Pet's Friend Animal Clinic about any questions or concerns you may have at 408-739-2688.