HOW TO GIVE YOUR PET A TABLET

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - PETS - DR KEVIN CRUICKSHANK Dr Kevin Cruickshank, Gold Coast Vet Surgery, gold­coastvet.com.au

Ev­ery day I see peo­ple’s faces drop as I say that I’m pre­scrib­ing their pet some tablets, so I would like to share with you some tips on how to get the job done.

The most re­li­able method is to put them down their throat your­self — the best tip is to fully ex­tend their neck so that their eyes are point­ing di­rectly up to the sky.

Hold the up­per jaw in your hand and the lower jaw should start to open.

You want to put the tablet right over the back of the tongue, ei­ther drop­ping it di­rectly there, es­pe­cially with cats, or putting it on the tongue and us­ing the tip of your fin­ger to push it fur­ther back.

There are also a va­ri­ety of pillpop­ping de­vices avail­able that save you from hav­ing to put your fin­ger in their mouth, but I am not a fan — to me, they make it too cum­ber­some.

Fail­ing the di­rect tech­nique, you can re­sort to hid­ing.

Check with your vet if your pill can be crushed or cap­sule opened.

If it can be, then a pow­der is eas­ier to hide than a solid pill, but even solid pills can be dis­guised with some in­ge­nu­ity.

Think of things that your pet re­ally likes — a strong smell can be use­ful to mask the smell or taste. If it is sticky, even bet­ter!

A square of toast with a dol­lop of Vegemite works very well, or some peo­ple use honey or peanut but­ter in­stead.

Yo­ghurt can work a treat for some dogs, while oth­ers like ice cream. But prob­a­bly my favourite is a small cube of cheese — push the tablet in­side and “Hey dog­gie,” down goes the pill.

Fail­ing this, speak to your vet and see if the med­i­ca­tion comes in a liq­uid form or a flavoured chew in­stead.

If not, just about any med­i­ca­tion can be com­pounded into a cus­tomised, flavoured for­mula, in var­i­ous forms such as pastes or liq­uids, and some med­i­ca­tions can even be made to sim­ply be ap­plied as an oint­ment and ab­sorbed through the skin.

One way or an­other, they need to get their med­i­ca­tion or they won’t get bet­ter.

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