Learning to Pill

At my job at St. St. Francis Animal Rescue in Venice, FL, I collaborate closely with our wonderful veterinarian and shelter manager to care for the health needs of our many felines. My greatest challenge has been learning how to “pill” or give oral medications to these feisty, acrobatic creatures. Hiding tablets in food or the tasty little pill pockets sold commercially seems to work only temporarily with our population. I believe that at night, when there are no humans around, the older cats educate the newcomers about how to avoid meds. The general directions on the internet of swaddling and gently opening the cat’s mouth to insert a pill are OK with my own cats but a high risk method for acquiring scratches and bites from our shelter population.

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We also have a standard pill ejector apparatus and I have failed miserably to master its use. Most of the time I drop the tablet or the cat ends up spitting it out onto my lap. Some medications dissolve easily and can be given with gravy in a syringe. Most of the kitties like the gravy taste and actually cooperate. A few refuse to swallow my tasty concoction and simply drool it out. However, not all pills can be dissolved so it is better to check first with your veterinarian. Many antibiotics are in liquid form and are flavored with chicken or tuna. Absolutely my favorite medications!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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