The easiest solution is to administer in food, the following are popular with both cats and dogs:
- Cheddar cheese
- Cream cheese
- Dairy lea
- Peanut butter
- Chicken or white fish
- Tuna pate, sardines
Cats can sometimes be fooled if you rub the tablet with Felix meaty twists or Dreamies.
Of course there are some pets who will cunningly eat the treat and spit out the tablet. In these cases you will have to administer the medication yourself.
Take care though, if you think your pet might bite you make sure you let your vet know, they may be able to offer an alternative solution or medication. You definitely don’t want to end up being bitten and taking a course of antibiotics yourself! Safety must always come first.
Even vets find giving medication in the home much harder than at the surgery. Here is my method:
- Two pairs of hands are better than one, get some help if possible.
- Have our pet positioned in a sitting position on the floor.
- Always kneel behind your pet
- Position your pet between your knees/thighs and keep your heels together, this will avoid any ‘back door exit’.
5. Have your ‘helper’ either administer medication or hold the front legs stead
6. Hold the medication between the thumb and third finger of your dominant hand, use the other hand to grip the top of the your pets head securely, the palm of your hand should be placed over the base of the skull and your fingers should grip around the top of the nose and sides of the face on the upper jaw (but do not allow them to slip into the mouth!)
7. Tip the head back by pushing your wrist forward using the non dominant hand, the lower jaw should fall open slightly, a bit like a peddle bin opening!
8. Use the second finger on the dominant hand holding the medication to push the lower jaw open at the front (do not place too far inside the mouth) and push the medication to the back of the tongue.
9. Hold the mouth gently closed and stroke the throat of your pet. Keep the head lifted until they swallow.
For people with cats or a bad back, placing the cat wrapped in a towel on a table can be useful. Place the cat in the middle of the towel and wrap the edge of the towel around the cats neck so that only the head is poking out. The same method above can then be used.
If you are still unable to administer the medication then contact your vet.
If your pet stops eating whilst on the medication then you should also contact your vet.
Always read the label on the packaging. In some cases it is really important that medication is administered with food for example ‘non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs’ (NSAIDS) can cause gastric ulceration if administered on any empty stomach. Read here for more on NSAIDS.
Another drug that must be administered with food is doxycycline (ronaxon) in cats, it can cause irritation of the oesophagus (the tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach) and potential oesophageal stricture formation, causing narrowing of the oesophagus and difficulty swallowing which is very serious.