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Genever's got Giardia; any pill-popping help?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yep, dropped off a bag-o-poo at the vet yesterday and it tested positive for Giardia.. poor Genever's had soft poos for quite some time, rarely the tootsie rolls, since i've had her really, and I feel so bad that she might've had this since we got her! I know there was one thing the first vet didn't test for when we adopted her and i think it was Giardia. But i might have that wrong.

Anyway, the real challenge now will be the pills for 10 days. You can do anything to that cat if you have to, she's almost too well-behaved sometimes, but you can't give her a pill. She's been on Pepcid AC the last 2 weeks and i have to crush it in her food.

The vet said to try pushing the pill into soft treats, so I'll try. Do you have any other suggestions to try if that won't work? Thanks!
post #2 of 13
You can get Pill Pockets at Petco or Petsmart - they're soft treats with a hole in the middle for the pill. The bag has instructions for how to insert the pill - IIRC, you want to sort of smooth the pocket closed with the non-pill holding hand so, with luck, they don't smell anything.

Good luck, and hope your baby feels better very soon!
post #3 of 13
When Kody has had to take metronidazole (don't know what you are giving), the pill pockets didn't work. It wasn't easy, but I just had to hold him, force his mouth open and throw them in. What really helped though was "glopping" them up with butter. It helped disguise the taste and made it much easier for them to slide down his throat.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Perhaps I will try the pill pockets then, and also get some backup regular soft treats, because I know this isn't going to do well. And I can't just crush it and mix it with her food because the vet said they're very bitter pills so she probably wouldn't eat it..

Ah yes, fun times await..

ps- just read the butter thing, I will try that if the treats fail and i have to throw it down her throat.. Thanks!
post #5 of 13
Oh yes, Flagyl a.k.a. Metronidazole is a very bitter medicine. I've sometimes glopped them with butter prior to putting them in the pill pocket.
post #6 of 13
You might want to try this out... i hear that often Giardia returns after a while when treated with Metronidazole... Dr. Jean is a Vet who was an adviser in here for a while.
Good luck!!
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Good news, she LOVES the Pill Pockets! Last night and this morning she was so good! I was nervous cos it took her a bit longer to eat it than normal treats but maybe just because it's bigger, and she obviously didn't chew it because no pills were spit out. Then I gave her regular treats to make sure she really really swallowed. And she did! Yay! Hope she keeps it up for the next 9 days!!

As for that Dr. Jean's stuff, thanks for the info. I need to check that out later (really busy at work right now), but I think i might just stick to the Flagyl for now, and see how it goes. I like to think it won't come back, but who knows... Genever's an only pet and i'm being extra conscious of keeping blankets, bowls, litterbox/mat, etc. clean. Wish us luck!
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Update... this morning Genever decided she didn't like the Pill Pockets anymore. So we've had to resort to holding her and prying her mouth open. She is such a good cat with everything else, I am really kind of shocked that she hates the pills so much! I guess they really must be horribly nasty-bitter.

A MILLION THANKS for the butter suggestion though, that worked like a charm tonight. That is, after the first attempt resulted in a disintegrated pill... ugh. Gonna be a long 8 more days..
post #9 of 13
I know what you mean. I was so relieved when the first time Kody had to take medicine he just wolfed down the pill pockets. That lasted for about 3 days. Then the fun started. But the butter was such a help. At first, I just put on a very, very thin coating--but then I decided it was better to just glop it on. Those little pills (Kody's were blue) would start to dissolve so quickly without the butter layer--and be spit right back out.

Good Luck--I was so happy when all those pills were gone!

post #10 of 13
butter usually works for me too - pill pockets come in a few flavours, the chicken ones dont seem to be as popular as the salmon ones at the shelter so we just buy salmon now.

You could always try a pill gun too, I only use them if I have a feral that wont take a pill pocket but they are fairly effective with a feral, I would imagine moreso with a more friendly cat
post #11 of 13
Pilling technique that works really well for us....

"Sit" on your knees on the floor with your legs in a V behind kitty (distracting kitty with treats while getting up behind her). Their reflex is to back up, so this gives her nowhere to go. Hold her head in left hand, force mouth open with left index finger at very back corner of mouth. Have pill in right hand, held between thumb and index finger. When mouth pops open, tuck pill in mouth and push it over the hump in the tongue.

Now - when they flail their head around, it gets hard. And when/(if) they reflex bite down, it'll hurt your finger, but won't break skin.

But with - 7 days? - to go, within a few days you should be good at this. The trick is to be really quick about it (which takes a little experience).

But at this point I can get goop down our most difficult-to-pill kitty without having it all over her, me, the floor and the furniture, and goopy stuff is even harder than pills.

Good luck!


BTW - did the vet tell you that several weeks to a month after the pills for giardia you should take several poop samples in over a couple day period so they can send it out for the giardia tests? The "cysts" can "hide" in the colon, so one poop sample won't necessarily tell whether or not the giardia is actually gone. That is why it "reappears" - because it was never fully "killed."
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks you Laurie, I knew there was a method I read somewhere but i forgot. It's been a few years since i had to give pills to a cat. Luckily 'daddy' is in town for a while so we've figured out that he can hold her better AND get her mouth open and all i do is put the butter-pill in the back of the mouth, and down it goes. Yay!

The vet did say to bring in another sample 5-7 days after I'm done with the pills. Not several though. I'll ask about that. Sigh.. at $38 a pop this poo-testing is expensive!! Worth it though if it makes Genever feel better.

On a positive note, her poos are significantly less stinky (hardly smell at all actually!!) and somewhat better formed the past few days, and i didn't even give her the probiotic stuff in her food the past 2 days. So I like to think that's a promising sign that the Giardia is going away... we shall see after re-testing though.
post #13 of 13
Definitely several, giardia is very good at 'hiding' and it may look like 100% recovered one day and not at all a few days later. If it is Metronidazole you are giving her, it is also used for regular diarrhea so it is a side effect and nothing to do with the giardia
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