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Any tips for giving pills?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Trying to give Festus his Paxil (2.5 mg; very small) - the vet said to hide it in some tuna/chicken, which I tried earlier . . . he ate every last bite except the pill. Given the reason Festus is taking the Paxil in the first place (unpredictable aggression), I'm not that comfortable giving it to him straight. Does anyone have any tips or know if Paxil can be crushed? My vet's office is closed and I'm trying to get that pill in him tonight . . .

Thanks,
Noelle
post #2 of 23
Try grinding up the pill and mixing it through a tablespoon or so of mince! Just put the pill in an envelope and crush it using a large book or something - then you can tip out the powder into the food and give it a quick mix! Your kitty won't even know the difference!
post #3 of 23
I can't see why it coudn't be crushed... it will probably disovle into his system quicker?
post #4 of 23
Good luck, I have never been able to effectively master the fine art of convincing one of the little darlings to swallow a pill. Hopefully an expert will be along soon to give you some tips.

What I have had some success doing is opening the kitty's mouth wide and throwing the pill as far back of the tongue as possible then shut the mouth and hold it closed whilest massaging the throat very lightly to encourage them to swallow. Sometime the pill is not swallowed, and I have received some nasty scratches using this method.

Our dear Trixie who passed away several years ago developed hyper para thyroid when she was 14 years old requiring a daily pill. She would not swallow a pill, would not be handled and would not fall for any tricks so the doctor made an ointment out of the medicine that we rubbed inside of her ear every day. It cost more for the preparation but we just didn't have the heart to struggle with her.

I have seen a plunger type deal for getting the pills in and some treats called pill pockets but haven't had the opportunity to try either (knock on wood).

Good luck, and clean your wounds with peroxide after.
post #5 of 23
Hold the cats head back from behind and open it's mouth. Put the pill as far back in the mouth as possible and it will automatically swallow it. Keep the cats head back until it is swallowed. Of course if you have a very resistant kitty with sharp claws this may be difficult but it is how the vet showed me and it works like a charm for me.
post #6 of 23
Ask your vet for a "pill popper". They work great! You can also get the cat treats that you can hide a pill in, although my cats bit into the treat and after getting the taste of the pill, they would not eat it!
post #7 of 23
there are vet compounding pharmacies that can compound paxil and many many other drugs into chew treats-- they are soft treats in either beef, liver, chicken, fish, or seafood flavors. they can also make paxil in a flavored suspension. Very reasonable costs as well. my cats love the liver and chicken flavored treats that a local vet compounding pharmacy makes for me.

Amity
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hey Amity -
That's good to know, thank you. The service that provides your treats, are they only local, or is it perhaps a national chain?

Thanks again,
Noelle
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by njaroch
Trying to give Festus his Paxil (2.5 mg; very small) - the vet said to hide it in some tuna/chicken, which I tried earlier . . . he ate every last bite except the pill. Given the reason Festus is taking the Paxil in the first place (unpredictable aggression), I'm not that comfortable giving it to him straight. Does anyone have any tips or know if Paxil can be crushed? My vet's office is closed and I'm trying to get that pill in him tonight . . .

Thanks,
Noelle
I have to give Kotton antihistamine each day for itchiness. SHE has CLAWS so I wrap her in a towel facing away from me. I put the pill in an empty gel cap #3 and put the cap in a small can of cat food that has gravy in it.

Then I take a small syringe and syringe some gravy in her mouth to make it slippery and pop the pill in WAY down her throat and syringe more gravy in to help her swallow it.

Then I give her a bit of the canned food with gravy that helped her swallow the pill, as a treat.
post #10 of 23
Random Tip:

In my experience, when you are unsure if your cat has swallowed a pill, watch to see if he/she licks their nose when you release them.
If they lick, then they have swallowed it. If they don't, they're waiting for you to turn your back and they'll go spit it out
post #11 of 23
Hi!
I am a veterinary technician and although it is something that I do everyday, it is not as easy as it looks. Pilling a cat is the hardest but there is a new product out called Pill Pockets. They work GREAT!!! I have 5 kitties and it seems like one of them is always sick. The Pill Pockets work great as a cleverly disguised treat. You simply place the pill in the pocket and it self seals into a yummy treat. They come in both chicken and salmon flavors. I have found in my own experience that if I give my kitties 1-2 "decoy" treats and then the one with the pill in it it seems to go over a little bit better. I think that when it is something new they will always chew it slower and have more of a tendenncy to crunch on the nasty tasting pill. There is also what the call a pill-popper, a small syringe looking contraption that holds the pill while you open the cat's mouth and then you "launch" the pill into the back of the throat, I do not have much success with it and seems way more traumatic to your kitty. Some pharmacies will compound medications into a tuna or chicken flavored liquid but that gets expensive and kinda messy if your cat does not like taking medication. Good luck!!!
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hey Kittycorner -
Thanks for the tip - where would I find Pill Pockets?
Noelle
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Nevermind - I just found Pill Pockets online (they're sold at my local Petco). I'll pick some up tomorrow and give them a try.

Thanks again!
Noelle
post #14 of 23
Pill Pockets work great...for dogs. My parents have a 14 year old Jack Russell who has twice daily heart pills. He loves the pill pockets although I am not sure about them for cats.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yes, I've been trying the Pill Pockets all day - Festus won't go near them, even w/o the pill inside. My other cat could eat the whole bag in one sitting. AAAARRRRHRHHGGHGHGHG!!!

Anyway, I put Festus in confinement for awhile, b/c he's been doing his stalking thing - he has a little food and his pill hidden inside a different treat, so I'm crossing my fingers he takes it.

Noelle
post #16 of 23
Esp with something that its important for him to take at the same time every day, I wouldn't leave it in food and just hope he takes it. There are ways to do it where you basically put it far enough in his mouth so that he has to swallow it, and after a couple days it takes about 3 seconds. You can try a pill gun, which basically shoots it down their throat, or use your finger. If you search the forum, someone else asked this question the day before you, and there were lots of good answers.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
I know we probably just need to give it to him manually, but we're scared of making him mad/provoking another attack. Anyway, thanks for the tip, and I'll check that other thread you mentioned.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by njaroch
Hey Amity -
That's good to know, thank you. The service that provides your treats, are they only local, or is it perhaps a national chain?

Thanks again,
Noelle
sorry it took so long to get back to you-- working in downtown houston is crazy! lol

the pharmacy i get mine from is local to Houston but ships nation wide-- i have had them ship me a few things to my moms house in mississippi when we visited last month and the treats where there before i got there-- i had ordered them the day before i left expecting them to arrive after i got there. Very nice people and VERY VERY reasonable prices.I know that this pharmacy is used by thousands of vets nationwide from San Diego Zoo to Sea world to small town rural vets and species specific vets. The paper did an article on them awhile back ( a few years ago) that i happened to dig up and it said that they even made meds for lions, polar bears, and monkeys as well as cows,dogs, cats and horses.

-- there are two of these type pharmacies in Houston but only one that i recommend-- for some reason neither the cats nor the dogs liked the treats from the other pharmacy-- they were a bit stinky and greasy.

PM me if ya want to know the name-- i hope im not breaking any board rules with this post if so, Im sorry mods-- delete if need be.

Amity
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by njaroch
Hey Kittycorner -
Thanks for the tip - where would I find Pill Pockets?
Noelle
My vet sells them at his office, but they may also be available at a pet store like pet co. I don't have one near me so I have never beenin one, but most vets probley sell them.

Another tip I try is to blow in their nose after I have put the pill in the back of their throat while in rubbing their throat, but then again I don't have eratic cats that try taking my arm off, lol, mine are sweet natured ragdolls and behave them selves (for the most part)
post #20 of 23
I have a suggestion if you have to give him the pill manually. Try a kitty burrito. We had to use it when our crew all had a bad case of worms and they flat out refused to allow us to give them the medicine. It’s the same concept of wrapping a newborn baby snugly in a blanket so they feel secure. We calmed our cat down with a nice long rub and scratch. Then we took a square blanket and spread it out on the bed in front of us in a diamond shape. Lay the cat down on his side (takes extra calming and reassuring) and make sure he is still calm and slowly wrap him and his legs up firmly where only his head is sticking out. Then one of us held him snug to our body while the other administered the medicine manually. It’s a slow process to keep them calm enough to get into the kitty burrito but move quickly after you get them firmly wrapped up and then let them go fast when you are done. You have to make sure they are wrapped snugly too because if one leg gets out it will undoubtedly latch into your flesh. It is also a good idea to trim nails before you do all that. Ours stayed ticked for about an hour but they get over it. It may not work for every cat but it worked well for ours and they really fought the medicine we had for them.

It may seem a bit harsh but for me I would rather see them have their medicine and be ticked for a while than to not be getting what they need.

Good luck in any case.
post #21 of 23
The transdermal (cream on the ear) worked well for my friend whose had to give her cat meds for his aggressiveness. Sometimes, though, it might take 2 people if he smelled it or didn't feel like having his ear rubbed. However, she still wasn't having to risk both claws and teeth.

When my cats have to have pills, I got a pill popper (with the split rubber tip). I have one that HATES pills. If you have a treat that he really likes, this is what I try do with mine at pill time-I sneak up (like when she's sleeping) grab her by the top of her head from behind with my left hand-to help open her mouth, and PROMPTLY pop the pill popper in with my right, and POP! that pill. It has to be done with confidence (you know, like you've done it a hundred times-always have to psych myself up first ) Then I'd make her lick her nose (blowing is a good idea)and give her a treat (If it's a gooey treat, like hairball meds, canned catfood, etc. you can put it on top of his nose), all pretty much in the same 2 seconds. If there are 2 of us home, the swaddled with in an inch of her life method works as a last resort.

Whatever you try, good luck!
post #22 of 23
When I had to give my former cat, Brodie, some Elavil every day, the vet showed me a trick to force the jaw open, and force the cat to swallow which does not harm them, and gets the pill in quick with practise. Bring your hand under the cat's mandible (lower jaw) and squeeze on each side of the mandible where it joins the skull (I guess some people do it from behind the head, but my fingers are too short to do that). While the jaw is open, toss the pill in towards the back of the throat, then let go of hte jaw and RUB THE NOSE!

Rubbing a cats' nose forces them to swallow. Try it on yourself.. it works! You swallow without thinking while trying to get the hand away. Unfortunately, my cat was good at coughing the pill up again.

NEVER GRIND A PILL WITHOUT THE VETS' CONSENT! I used to do this to foil Brodie (I'd grind the pill w/ a mortar and pestle, then mix it well in canned food.. he was sceptical at first but got used to the new flavour) but now I know better. Some pills can be done this way, but some lose their effectiveness if chewed, or may cause the medication to take too much effect too soon, and wear off very quickly, requiring lower doses multiple times a day.

TALK TO THE VET before using any technique that may cause the pill to break.

The reasons are the same as why you can't break those same medications for humans.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by eupnea
Random Tip:

In my experience, when you are unsure if your cat has swallowed a pill, watch to see if he/she licks their nose when you release them.
If they lick, then they have swallowed it. If they don't, they're waiting for you to turn your back and they'll go spit it out
That's an awesome tip -- I never connected the two before, and I've administered a lot of pills. At one time, even my vet said Jasmine had been on about every prescription there was (for a bladder infection that just would not go away).
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