By Dr. Julie Damron
Stockton Record March 21, 2009
Getting your dog or cat to take prescriptions can be challenging. Not all dogs or cats are willing to let you force a pill down his/her throat; and liquid medications may not be much easier. Some tricks may work initially; but become more difficult as products are repeatedly given. This makes caring for your cherished companion difficult, and can be frustrating if the medication is needed long term.
When concealing medication in foods such as cream cheese, peanut butter, or canned food doesn't work; try Pill Pockets. These are hollow nuggets of soft food in a variety of flavors; a pill can be inserted and covered inside. This product has been very successful in both dogs and cats.
When crushing a tablet in canned food or liquid doesn't work; consider compounding. Our clinic has successfully used a local compounding pharmacy for several years. They are able to blend medications into a variety of flavored liquids including chicken and bubble gum. Depending on the stability of the compound, this product can be mixed for a two week to several month supply.
When liquids are not a viable option, consider trans-dermal treatment. This process doesn't work with all medications, and your veterinarian can coordinate with the pharmacist for your companion. In a trans-dermal formulation, the medication is made into an ointment, that is then placed on the inside of your pet's ear. When using this therapy, it is recommended to alternate ears with each treatment, and to clean your pets ears at least twice a week with ear cleaner.
A longer term veterinary injectible antibiotic, Convenia, is now available. This product is given in the clinic, and then no medication is dispensed to go home. It lasts for 7-14 days, and has broad spectrum antibacterial coverage in both dogs and cats. Currently it is approved to treat a specific episode of infection, as opposed to long term chronic use. Your veterinarian can advise you regarding using this product for your companion.