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giving feral fosters meds

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm fostering two 8 week old previously feral brothers for my local shelter. These guys were caught at about 7 weeks, given shots, neutered, the whole nine yards. They are completely scared to death of me. I'm going through all of the baby steps to try to socialize them so they can be adopted. My question is: I'm supposed to give them L-Lysine everyday. It seems as though I'm never going to gain their trust if I'm catching them and shoving cold medicine into their mouths. I'm afraid they'll just associate humans with shots and meds i.e. torture...what can I do if anything about giving them their meds? Is L-Lysine that important that I should be risking their progress? I can tell this is going to take tons of time to gain their trust. I'm only supposed to have them for 2 weeks, but I may ask the shelter to give me more time so I can get them ready for adoption. Any advise is always appreciated! Thanks!

Meet Sanchez and Cota
post #2 of 13
Ah, Malena knows quite a lot about fostering feral kittens AND giving them unpleasant medicine. It ended well can I say, although I strongly suspect she used gloves.
In any case, they are now healthy, tame and friendly to Malena.

But what is L-lysine? isnt it a amino-acid? Ie something you do have also in good food?

Please tell more about this l-lysine and how to admister it.
post #3 of 13
I have never used L-Lysine but I read here on the forum that a lot of people gives it in the food.
I just medicated our feral kittens antibiotics for seven days. We have had them longer but the three older ones have already had a lot of medication so they are really shy.
Small pieces of raw meat works great. First I got them used to having raw meat from me at the same time every evening. We started it as a game - me throwing pieces and them catching it. Now they all pick there piece from my hand so this is also great for socialization.
If the medicine smells try to mix it with the jelly you find in wet catfood and hide the jelly in the middle of a piece of meat. See to that you have more pieces to distribute to keep the other one busy if one is eating slower.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I think L-Lysine is kind of a vitamin that helps boost their immune systems. It's a chalky liquid that's administered through a syringe. I'm not even certain what it is, I just know they always give it to me for my fosters that were strays or ferals.
post #5 of 13
Originally Posted by Hdizzy View Post
Thanks! I think L-Lysine is kind of a vitamin that helps boost their immune systems. It's a chalky liquid that's administered through a syringe. I'm not even certain what it is, I just know they always give it to me for my fosters that were strays or ferals.
I've head lots of people at the feral clinic I volunteer at talk about L-Lysine...but I also believe they mix it with the food since they cannot touch these cats. You may want to wait until a few more individuals read your post and could also ask on this yahoo group:

post #6 of 13
L-lysine is an amino acid that can help to hinder viral replication (i.e. herpes virus) and also works as an immune booster. Try asking the vet/rescue about Viralys. It's a gel form of lysine and you only need to adminster about 1/8 of a teaspoon to kittens. It would be very easy to hide in their food, and it's also pretty tasty to some kittens (it's maple flavored)
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Maybe I'll try putting it in their wet food. If I heat it up and mix it in there really good, they might not notice. Like I said, I just think that giving them oral meds everyday is just going to make them associate me with that fear. These guys are so scared and I'm not making tons of progress just yet, so I want to take those baby steps to get them to trust me. Right now we're at the "we'll eat wet food about 3 feet away from you" step. Sanchez will eat out of my hand if he's in the mood.
post #8 of 13
When I got my boys I had to give them meds by syringe and I did it by mixing the meds with goat milk and then trying it close to their mouths to start. They soon decided they loved it and I was able to get them to take their medication every day. It is very good anyway to get all cats used to being fed by syringe so they don't fight it if ever they need feeding or meds this way.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
That's a good idea. I've been thinking of trying something similar to that. It's just that these guys won't let me get near them yet...poor boogers. I have been making progress though, hand feeding, petting them while they're eating, playing...I think I'm gonna try your idea, Jenny. They're a little sneezy so I'm guessing they'll need antibotics now too, so I gotta get them used to this while getting them to trust me
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Now they're on Clavamox for the sniffles. So I have no choice but to catch them and give them meds. Cota took it like a man, Sanchez scratched me right between my pinky and ring finger! lol.

They're really making some progress though.
post #11 of 13
This morning I had to give my feral a Drontal tablet for worms and I cut it up and hid the bits inside chunks of warmed up fishy cat food. He managed to find half of it and leave it carefully for me in the bowl, but the second round I got him to take the rest. I didn't dare try to shove it down his throat, especially since he is learning to trust me.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
The tech at the shelter told me that they won't hold it against me. They're still young enough to turn them around. I've been doing okay with the meds. I don't think it's hindering our progress. I just keep telling them that it's to make them feel better! Cota is so sick he's breathing out of his mouth, so I don't feel as bad having to medicate him. Sanchez, the one I thought would be the easier of the two to tame isn't as easy to medicate, but I think we're all doing okay. They have to get better, so I have to do this. They're getting more used to me everyday.

Speaking of which, I better go give them their morning dose...
post #13 of 13
Giving medication to feral cats is never easy, and should always be done in close coordination with a vet.

Cases in point:

Anna, a feral female currently in our care requires a half-tablet of Baytril daily for both a respiratory infection and a tail wound. I feed her only once daily to make sure she's really hungry--the pill is chopped up and concealed in her food. It's worked so far.

Lilly, a feral we treated for an abcessed foot got liquid antibiotics--unpalatable normally, but the same feeding/medication strategy worked.

Shlomo required oral medications for a number of infections--he's FIV/FELV positive. Fortunately he's also very well socialized and a very sweet and affectionate cat. We gave him his meds by means of a syringe, injecting it beyond his tongue so he had to swallow it, but always gave him a tasty reward afterwards....
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