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How to Administer Medications

How to Administer Medications

Drug administration to a cat or dog might be difficult for newbie pet parents. Even for a pet professional, giving medication to a loving pet can be unpleasant. Stubborn animals can make the work extremely challenging, resulting in the animal receiving an insufficient amount of medicine or none at all. When your vet diagnoses an illness or infection, he or she will usually prescribe you some drugs to give to your cat at home. 

Here’s some advice on how to use oral, eye, and ear medications:

Oral Medications

Your veterinarian will advise you whether your cat’s medication(s) can be administered with or without food. If the pill or capsule can be administered with food, create a “meatball” by placing the drug in the center of a small ball of canned cat food or cheese. Always give your cat a test “meatball” to determine if she is willing to eat it and if she chews it or inhales it whole. Cats chew their food more than dogs, therefore they will frequently consume the “meatball” and spit out the tablet or capsule. As a result, the pill or capsule partially dissolves and becomes extremely difficult to manage. If the cat chews into the tablet or capsule, leaving an unpleasant taste in her mouth, she will be more difficult to medicate on the second try. So you’ll have to figure out what works best for your cat.

If you are unable to provide the medication in a “meatball,” the instructions below will assist you. Oral medications are available in pill, capsule, or liquid form.

  • If you are right-handed, hold the cat’s head from the top with your left hand. The cat’s cheekbones serve as a suitable grip for firmly holding the head without causing discomfort to the cat.
  • Hold the pill or capsule between your thumb and index finger of your right hand. Use the same middle finger.
  • To pry open the lower jaw, use the hand holding the tablet or capsule. Pull open the lower jaw by placing your middle finger on the little incisor teeth rather than the sharp fangs (canine teeth).
  • To assist the cat to swallow, close the lips and rub the cat’s neck or blow on his/her nose.
  • Keep the lower jaw open with the middle finger, then drop the pill or capsule as far back on the tongue as possible, or use the index finger and thumb to slide the pill over the back of the tongue.

If the medicine is spitting out by the animal, try hiding it in a piece of food. A tiny slice of meat or cheese will serve. Use low-fat cheese, and a few seconds in the microwave will make it soft and simple to hide the pill in the ball of cheese!

IMPORTANT: If you use your thumb and index finger to put the pill over the base of the cat’s tongue, your fingers will be inside the cat’s mouth and you will need to act quickly to avoid being bitten.

Using a Pill Gun

There are numerous pilling devices available that can be used to slip a pill or capsule at the base of the cat’s tongue without having to put your fingers in the cat’s mouth.

  • Hold the device between your index and middle fingers and position your thumb to “press” the trigger.
  • As explained previously, open the cat’s mouth. Insert the pill into the pilling device and place it over the base of the tongue. To deposit the pill further back in the cat’s mouth, use your thumb or index finger to push the plunger on the pilling device.

When this procedure is not possible, consider utilizing a “pill gun.” This device has a straw-like barrel into which the pill or capsule can be loaded and then fired into the rear of the pet’s mouth. Using a pill gun will assist you to avoid being bitten or injured as a result of your pet’s reaction to the medication.

Ear Medications

Ear cleaning and medicating can be messy, so wear clean clothes and operate on a clean surface. The majority of cats dislike getting their ears cleaned.

To keep your cat in your lap while applying for ear medicines, drape your left forearm across the cat’s torso. Hold the head with your left hand and press the ear flap against the head, leaving the ear canal open. With your right hand, hold the medication.

Place a little amount of medication on the inside of the ear flap and the specified number of drops into the ear canal, whether using ointments or drops. To ensure that the medication enters the ear canal, insert the tip of the ointment tube or dropper a few millimeters into it. When the ear is stretched away from the head, the bend in the ear canal straightens, allowing the medication to be deposited throughout the ear canal. When the drug hits the inside of the ear, prepare the animal to react. Rub the base of the cat’s ear.

“DO NOT insert the ointment tube’s long neck as far as it will go down the ear canal as this could puncture the ear drum.”

Eye Medications

Even humans dislike eye medications, so giving them to an animal might be extremely difficult. You could suggest the following to pet parents to help them give their dog or cat eye drops.

  • Make sure the animal is at ease and relaxed.
  • To keep your cat in your lap while applying eye meds, drape your left forearm across the cat’s body. Hold the head with your left hand and pull down the lower eyelid with your left thumb.
  • Hold the drug in your right hand while balancing your right hand’s heel on the cat’s head.
  • On the other hand, hold the medicine bottle or dropper with the tip about 2cm above the eye. Drop the necessary amount of drops into the eye.
  • Allow the eyelid to close, then place the flat of your hand over it to keep it closed.

If you are right-handed, cradle the head in one hand, generally the left. Massage the ointment around the surface of the eye with the eyelids closed to distribute it evenly.

Eye drops are also inserted in the pouch formed when the lower eyelid is forced down. Hold the head and draw down the lower eyelid as recommended in the section on applying ointments to the eye. Drop the required amount of drops into the pouch without allowing the bottle’s tip to come into contact with the eye. Eye drops spread quickly across the surface of the eye and does not need to be massaged across the eye.

Medication Tips for Pets

Here are some basic suggestions to help with medicine administration:

  • Provide your pet with the whole prescription. Resist the temptation to discontinue antibiotics or pain medicine as soon as your pet begins to feel better. If you do not finish an antibiotic treatment, you may need to restart because the initial round did not completely treat the infection.
  • When giving medicine to your pet, always keep an eye on his or her mood.
  • Don’t try to push medication into a pain-affected dog or cat. If your pet becomes afraid or begins to grumble, take a break from the medication.
  • When necessary, conceal the medication within a meal. You can utilize very tempting foods for the animal, such as cream cheese or peanut butter, etc.

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