View Full Version : Giving meds

8th March 2009, 08:40 PM
We're having one heck of a time here getting both pills and liquid down Abbey. I used to hide them in meat but guess she has gotten smart and plus she's not eating really except the one time that I posted about. So last night and two times today we have been forced to force her to take them--shove them down her throat etc. She's a stubborn little thing--she lets them sit in there and won't swallow and I tried blowing in her nose--stroking her throat etc. Still she won't swallow--in the meantime she's drooling horribly and I know some of the meds are coming out and these meds are so dang important right now. She gets pills at bedtime tonight and I'm thinking about putting them in peanut butter and putting on the roof of the mouth. Do you keep their mouths shut when you do that or ??? How do I know she got the meds etc? Any ideas sure would be appreciated. This added stress has really gotten to me today. Yesterday was a pretty good day considering all that we have gone through the past 2 months and today I just feel like s h - t again. Help.

8th March 2009, 08:45 PM
You can buy pill pockets, made by Greenies and I think some other companies, at pet shops -- you tuck the pills inside a pocket that is a chewable treat. I don;t think peanut butter is great; you don't want the pull stuck to the roof of their mouth. I give pills in a ball of soft cheese like cheese spread/cream cheese. All mine take them easily if they are coated in something nice, maybe wet cat food or even just a bit of butter! Or take some cooked liver and drill a little hole with the tip of a sharp knife and push the pills in that. I never gave liquid so can't help much with that.

8th March 2009, 08:55 PM
won't work Karlin. She had surgery on tuesday and just doesn't want food or anything. I finally got her at mid day today to eat chix breast run through the meat grinder and mixed it with yogurt and was first thing she's eaten in a week. I know of those pill pockets but wouldn't work. She plain don't want food after the sm surgery. She's on alot of meds too. Gabapentin which is liquid which used to be the hardest to get down her but is actually easier now because of her not taking any food so the enticement is down. She's on pain meds, antibiotics, omeprazole. This is a nightmare. The only thing we can think of to try tonight now is shoving them down her throat and then taking a syringe with a bit of water so she will be forced to swallow. This is just lovely when you're doing this and she shreaks--not real bad but we're so afraid we're hurting her. *sigh*. I'm freaking out again.

8th March 2009, 09:15 PM
I see your dilemma. Who usually gives her the pill? If it's you, maybe your husband can casually wrap it in ham and give it to her? Maybe she's got wise to you making her take them. I don't know, it's just an idea.

8th March 2009, 09:31 PM
We've both tried Pauline and makes no difference. I can only think of like I said--force the pills down her and take a medicine dropper and put some water in through the side of her mouth--hopefully she will swallow--Like I said we're so dang afraid of hurting her neck and she did cry a couple times. :( Still open for suggestions!!!

8th March 2009, 09:32 PM
Sounds very frustrating as you work at doing the best for her. Youtube has this and other videos on technique


and of course whatever treat she will take to follow. A little caution with forcing water as she could aspirate it and get it into her lungs. I hope the days get better :xfngr::hug::hug:

8th March 2009, 09:34 PM
OMG with the aspirating. I want my mommy.

Daisy's Mom
8th March 2009, 09:43 PM
I'm really sorry this is all so hard, Linda! You certainly don't need this additional stress! I hope Abbey starts cooperating soon. Surely her appetite will catch up with her eventually, right?

I think trying something raw might be worth a try. Like raw hamburger or raw liver. As far as the liquids go, I've been told to put it outside her row of teeth on the side of her mouth (as far back as you can) and then hold her mouth closed. That way she really can't try to push it out with her tongue. I don't know if it would work, but I'd give it a shot.

8th March 2009, 09:48 PM
Anytime I have to give pills they go onto the top of my thumb (my OH used his finger), I open their mouth a little and, quickly, I put them as far down their throat as possible - they are forced to swallow by doing this and it work (almost!) everytime! I have done this with both big and small dogs and it is so handy when there are lots to be given (plus no need to wrap it up of hide it in stuff) :thmbsup:

Some people use banana to give it to them - just squish it into a slice and they tend to eat it no problem.

(I have just watched the video "frecklesmom" put up, what we do is very like this except we put is far down the throat so that they don't spit it out - you do need to do it pretty briskly or else the dog gets antsy)

With liquid, I put it in something nice - maybe a little (very small amount of) milk. Using a syringe to put it at the back of their throat and then a tasty treat afterwards (distracting them with it as you pump it down) does work quite well too. Once it is all into them they will lick a lot and try to get the taste out of their mouths but if you give them the treat they tend to forget about it quickly :D. We used to pour it down their throat using a plastic spoon but they sometimes spit is back up and it's a pain in the bum doing it like that :yuk:. With liquid just be aware and stop if the dog starts to cough because you don't want it going down the wrong way! I think the trick is to get it done quickly and efficently (it does take practice) so that when you have to do it the dog (or you!) is not dreading it and knows that something bad is going to happen.

Good luck!

8th March 2009, 09:56 PM
The "spoon" method-I remember it well. Tried to give my Old English Pepto Bismol this way-uh huh-she and I ended up brightly pink :eek:.

8th March 2009, 09:58 PM
Have you tried mixing it with honey?

8th March 2009, 10:01 PM
Syringing water can be very dangerous -- if it gets into the lungs -- a full syringe or two -- the dog can drown.

If you are having this much trouble, really I would take her to your vet right away, and just have them properly instruct you on giving pills down the throat. There's also a little device you can get from many vets that just pops the pills right down their throat that might make it easir. It really isn't that hard if someone shows you the correct positioning and takes just a second. If you keep doing it in such a way that she keeps spitting them out and getting aggravated, she will get extremely stressed even at the sight of you approaching to give pills -- and this may bring back the seizures -- please don't risk it. Get professional guidance on doing this so you are comfortable with it.

8th March 2009, 11:44 PM
We've never had this problem with her before and sure its because of what she has been through and her appetite etc. Even with putting the pills down her throat have never had this problem either. I think we're both nervous about hurting her is probably what we are dealing with. If we are still having trouble like this tomorrow I will take her into the vet so they can help me. Thanks for all the responses. I know sometimes I probably sound uptight etc. and to be quite truthful I am. These past two months has been quite the roller coaster ride. I have always loved roller coasters but I sure hope I never ride this one again.

9th March 2009, 12:01 AM
Linda, so sorry you've got these extra frustrations and worries to deal with on top of the surgery worries.

My malamute, Kaya had to take antibiotics one time for two months, three times a day and she got to where NOTHING would fool her anymore. I even used to put the pills in vienna sausages and she'd not eat them (and this is a pig of a dog who will eat anything!
For the pills, I'd just poke it way far back into her throat, keep her nose pointing straight ahead and blow on her nose. It was too far back to NOT swallow, and holding her mouth shut kept her from working her tounge. I'd also make her sit in the corner with her back facing against corner so she couldn't back away from me while I was giving the pills to her.

I've never tried this, but I have heard for liquid, squirt it in the cheek pouch of the lower teeth between the teeth and cheek towards the very back of that pocket. It isn't going down their throat, but they can't spit it out and wind up swallowing it. You could try it with a little something like milk so you can see if it dribbles out before you try to give her the medicine that way.

Margaret C
9th March 2009, 12:24 AM
Try tilting her head so her muzzle is pointing straight upwards, opening her mouth really wide with one hand on upper jaw, one on lower jaw & drop the pill right into the back of her throat.
Swiftly hold her mouth closed & stroke her throat until she swallows.
Takes two until you have practised a lot.

Margaret C

9th March 2009, 12:38 AM
Margaret we're afraid to tilt her head too much--afraid thats why we are having problems. She had sm surgery this past tuesday. Only 5 days ago.

Suzie: We're obviously not getting the pills far back enough and again I think its because we're afraid in a sense if you can understand that. If it doesn't go any better tonight then I'm heading to the vet tomorrow. Also, tomorrow afternoon I'll be on my own and we've been doing this with her on the kitchen counter on a large towel and no way will I have her up at that height with just me --can't hold on to her and give meds at the same time. Don't know how I'm going to handle that one. Maybe give them to when she is in the playpen somehow. Thanks for all everybodys help.

Cathy Moon
9th March 2009, 01:24 AM
After Charlie's decompression surgery we avoided picking him up and moving him unless absolutely unavoidable, and that included when giving him his medicine and/or food.

After his surgery, Charlie rested and slept in a large 2 door wire crate with a 24 inch high x-pen attached. Whenever it was time for his meds, we wrapped each pill in either sliced turkey lunch meat, sliced american cheese, sliced string cheese, or hid it in a small blob of cream cheese or even soft butter. Then I just calmly and quietly leaned down and put my hand with the wrapped pill close to his face so he didn't have to lift his head, held it right up to his nose so he could smell it and put it directly in his mouth when he opened it, so there was as little movement on his part as possible. We did this because it was often painful for him to lift his head after surgery.

Charlie also had some liquid medicine that was flavored by a compounding pharmacist. The pharmacist told us to drip it on small bite sized pieces of soft bread and give it to Charlie that way.

I avoided moving Charlie against his will at all costs because I needed his trust more than anything (we only had him a short time before his surgery), and was afraid to cause him unnecessary pain. So I wouldn't have lifted him unto a counter top or done anything intrusive or that would cause unnecessary movement on his part.

I hope this helps.

I'm wondering if you could mold some soft cheese around the pill and put it on a small saucer or rubbermaid lid and put it near her, then move away and watch her from a distance to see if she'll eat it. She may be afraid of the pain and she may feel more secure to move herself instead of having you move her. Just a thought. Good luck. :flwr:

9th March 2009, 01:25 AM
have you tried a liver pate? Dogs go crazy for it and it wraps well.

I'm so sorry you're going through this, please take care.
Jen and Ilsa

9th March 2009, 02:22 AM

my only real advice is watch yourself carefully and make sure you're not communicating concern or worry with your body language when she's getting a pill. this was my big problem with pilling Maggie. she would spit out everything, no matter what it is wrapped in.

i know this might be hard for your baby since she's still healing but we solved it by making our girl work for her pills, like they were a special treat.

any little trick will do, for instance Maggie has to sit or speak to get her pill and when she gets her reward it is gone in an instant. i can't describe how much of a difference this has made. we tuck them in greenies or wrap them in a piece of deli meat.

with maggie we have also had success in tucking smaller pills inside a blueberry, which is a super high value treat for her and goes down in one gulp. we push the pill in through the top of the berry, SIT! SNORF! and it's gone.

good luck and hang in there!

9th March 2009, 03:25 AM
cathy, jen & lorna: What I'm not getting across is that she doesn't want food period and she's smart--she knows about the hiding of the pills for the last month etc. We've tried chicken, turkey, ham, cream cheese, swiss cheese, american cheese, liver. She just has no desire for the food although I did get her to eat twice today but she's smart she's really sniffing everything now to make sure there are no hidden surprises. We just gave the end of the night pills and I think I'm taking Karlin's advice and going to the vet tomorrow when its time to give the pills and liquid gabapentin to see if they can assist me. Also, the neurologist will probably call in the a.m. and will ask him too.

In regards to the liquid like I said its liquid gabapentin and it is flavored chicken by the compounding pharmacy and we were putting it on small pieces of bread and then wrapping it in ham, turkey etc. but thats just not working anymore.

I think the hiding of this stuff is really history for her. We're going to have to manually do it and like I said I think the best thing is to go in and have them assist me.

Thanks everybody.

9th March 2009, 04:43 AM
Poor little thing. Sorry to misunderstand that she isn't even food-motivated at the moment. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Good luck tomorrow, let us know how it goes with the vet.

9th March 2009, 11:53 AM
My only concern is the stress of the vets office again. Different vet but same scenario to her--trouble. When I call this a.m. to ask for assistance on this afternoon's pill will ask them if right when I walk in the office if they will put me in a room soand get me in and out of there quickly. Besides that she is doing really well considering this is day 6 post-op. Drank more yesterday and even ate two different times of rice, chix and yogurt mixed and last night gave a little bit of cheese also. Yesterday was really the first she had eaten since a week ago.

9th March 2009, 01:28 PM
I've been reading through this thread and I really feel for you. I cannot imagine how difficult things have been for you recently. You sound like a fantastic mum and the care you are giving your little one sounds amazing.
Does she have to take the pills whole or can they be crushed? I'm just wondering because I had a nightmare trying to give my little one her tablets a while ago. I ended up crushing them, mixing them with a teaspoon or two of water, sucking it up into a syringe and squirting it slowly into the side of her mouth, then immediately giving her something yummy to lick like a bit of pate or something fishy. I realise your little girl isn't eating much at the mo, so what about using something she will take, like yogurt, or even sucking yogurt up (watered down a bit maybe) into the syringe with the powdered pill and then squirting it gently into the side of her mouth. I'm just trying to think of a way that might cause her the minimum amount of disruption, as I would also be nervous of moving her around too much or encouraging her to lift her head etc.
Please forgive me if I'm way off the mark because her tablets have to remain whole and just ignore me, but I felt I had post, as you are obviously desperate to do the very best thing for her.
Very best wishes to you and your little girl.
I will keep an eye out on here to see how she is progressing and also how you are doing:)

9th March 2009, 02:02 PM
I really understand the problem, as Sammy is a master at spitting pills out. He's excellent at seeming like he's eaten them and then when my back is turned out they come.

Once I had to give him antibiotics that shouldn't be taken with food. I quickly discovered that battling with him was just upsetting for both of us. So, I decided to do it in a calmer way instead. In the evening when we were sitting on the sofa watching TV, I'd just quietly pop the pill into his mouth and he'd put his head on my hand. Then we'd wait to see who'd get bored first. :o It would take over half an hour before he'd finally swallow it. I never fussed about it - just stroked his head while he looked at me stubbornly. After a couple of days of this, he gave up much sooner. The plus side was that it wasn't stressful. The minus side was that it took lots of patience!

I understand though that if Abbey's drooling all the time, it makes it even more difficult. That vet device that Karlin mentions sounds great - you should check if they can give you something like that, as I'm sure they must know it's difficult to give a sick dogs pills.

9th March 2009, 02:04 PM
Ohhh Phoebe thank you for your kind words. Its words like yours that help me so much. I know I'm a good mom and I'd do anything for her just like I would for my 2-legged kids who are grown and gone with kids of their own. She is definitely loved alot!!! I called the vet and I'm going in at 3:30 and they are going to help me. I also voiced my concerns about the stress etc. since she had seizures last week and right when they see me walk in the door they are having a room ready to put me into. Thanks again. This is a hard journey and we have faith that this will work in the end once again our beautiful Abbey will come out again. Meaning I haven't seen my dog's personality in a very long time.

9th March 2009, 05:43 PM
Hi Linderbelle
I would really try the Greenies pill pockets. they were a life saver to me! Little polka would spit out her pill in cheese, turkey, anything I gave her. These she loves the smell. I pop them in and tip her nose up a bit and they go right down. She takes 2 pills daily, and since I have found them, it hasn't been a problem and she is difficult when it comes to food.

9th March 2009, 05:51 PM
Linda, I just wanted to say how well you are doing. I looked at your journal and could see your play pen set up, it looked very safe and comfy. Hang in there, you're doing a good job. :hug:

I loved Laura's idea, oh if we could all stay as calm as you. We could learn a lot from you Laura. :thmbsup:

9th March 2009, 06:31 PM
It must be very stressful but you seem to be coming out the other side at this point. Sometimes it would be so much easier if someone would just invent a decent veterinary suppository that you could just administer in less than three seconds.
As the Borg Say in Star Trek "Resistance is futile".
Try to not get too stressed over it, as long as she's eating and drinking she's well on the path to recovery.Just don't forget to look after yourself.

9th March 2009, 06:47 PM
Echoing Sins -- the other key issue is that if you are stressed, and especially if you are stressed and paying her extra attention to 'comfort' her all the time because you feel she is stressed or worried, especially when going to the vet, she simply learns to be extra stressed when going to the vet because you are. She will pick all this stress from you and respond to it as she will look to you for a cue on how to react -- and 'comforting' is actually positive reinforcement for her fear reactions, teaching her to be fearful! and *definitely* not what anyone should be doing! Dogs are not children so you cannot explain what is going on -- they are reading your body language and scent and reaction and also, looking for what they can do to elicit your praise and reward (eg comforting actions).

So while it may be difficult, it may be worth having someone else in the family try taking her to the vet -- for her sake -- and have them not pay a lot of attention to her when taking her in -- dont even look at her -- trust me, 'reassuring' a dog can simply create a problem in the first place or make it far worse. Sometimes we just don't see how we are being over-attentive and a dog will be a totally different dog going in with a different family member (just as so often those extremely finicky dogs eat with no issue at all when they are staying someonwhere else, and someone else feeds them!). It may be worth a try, because of the serious risk of seizures which could set her back badly. :flwr:

10th March 2009, 03:55 PM
I loved Laura's idea, oh if we could all stay as calm as you. We could learn a lot from you Laura. :thmbsup:

:o Well, it worked with pills. But you should see me trying to do anything more difficult, like squirting liquid gabapentin in his mouth or inserting eye drops. Then it doesn't matter how calm I am, he's having none of it!

How did it go at the vet's Linda? Does a pill popping device actually exist?

10th March 2009, 07:17 PM
Ok we did go to vet yesterday and he gave me this pill inserter--looks kind of like a tampon plunger (sorry guys but thats the truth-lol) but much narrower. Has the plunger--same sort of idea. Of course like all of you have said the trick is to get it way back there. I'm still having trouble with that but its better. About a hour ago I found a pill in her playpen--that little sucker--I don't think its from today though as her last pill episode I took her outside right after giving her the pills. The vet yesterday in his exact words "I see your dilemma". In regards to being stressed yea I am at times but overall I'm doing pretty good. Of course I get worried and have my moments etc. Overall this is alot easier than I thought it would be. Of course she is sleeping 98% of the time.

Read my blog and it will tell you about today and my anxiety lets say. lol. You do notice that I can put lol. I'm not sitting and crying all the time but of course do sometimes. When we go by the playpen and say hi abbey her tail wags and she's happy. Sometimes she stands up like she is saying Mommy I want to sit with you and I get her out and put her on my lap for awhile which I will do right after these posts.

In regards to liquid vs pills--I'm finding it MUCH easier to get the liquid down her than the pills and I know its because I'm not getting the pills far enough back but like I said everytime since going to the vet its getting better.

Thanks everybody for caring about both Abbey and us. Means alot.

10th March 2009, 09:17 PM
Wonder if you talked to your vet about giving injections instead of pills if they are available? We were going to try this with a guinea pig who's on daily liquid meds that are stressful for her to take. Animals sometimes react much better to the injections, though many Cavaliers seem very sensitive to these as well.