Getting a dog to take pills

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Missy, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jun 27, 2015

    Our Bernese was diagnosed with pancreatitis yesterday. Luckily it is treatable, but I am having trouble getting her to take the 12 pills per day she needs.

    Yesterday she gobbled down the pills in pill pockets I bought, but today she won't touch them. I have also tried wrapping the pills in bread, with no luck, then cheese, with no luck.

    She is very gentle and I am sure there is a way to "make" her swallow, but I am not sure how and the vet isn't open yet.

    Ideas?
     
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  3. K1teach

    K1teach Companion

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    Jun 27, 2015

    I've had some luck hiding the pills in peanut butter. But I recently heard that some peanut butter has xylitol (sp?) which is poisonous for dogs.
     
  4. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I heard of people putting it in a small piece of hot dog for them to eat. LOL!!!
     
  5. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Jun 27, 2015

    We have had luck with cream cheese. Eventually they wouldn't eat cream cheese so we started rolling the cream cheese in a little bit of jelly. Currently, we are using American cheese.

    Do you have more than one dog? I ask because we do, and we make a big deal out of giving pills. The one dog is notorious for eating the cheese and spitting out the pills. When he does we scoop them up off the floor and give them to the dog notorious for being a little piggy. The first dog can't stand this and begins to turn in circles until we give him his pills. Then he is fine for a couple of weeks. If the second dog doesn't need the pills we "pretend" to give him the pills to fake out the first dog. We just have a little treat in our hand ready to go.

    Also, we pet them and praise them and talk to them in silly voices during pill time. They now come running as soon as they hear us taking the wrapping off of a piece of American cheese! Also, we do the pills at the exact same time everyday. The dog that is a piggy will come paw at us now if we forget. I swear he has a clock in his belly!!
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jun 27, 2015

    Thanks for the suggestion; I have used peanut butter in the past, but the pill pockets are basically pb and she just spits them out.

    I finally got her to eat them with a bit of pepperoni, but I need a better solution for the next two weeks.
     
  7. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Thanks for the ideas!
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    We wrap ours in American cheese. It's sticky so it's harder for him to spit out but he also loooooves cheese.
     
  9. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    My dog will not eat pills. I can put it in peanut butter, cheese, whatever. She will lick the good stuff off and leave the pills behind!

    I've resorted to a) shoving the pills down her throat, or b) crushing the pills, mixing it in peanut butter and then rubbing the peanut butter-pill mix on the roof of her mouth.
     
  10. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jun 27, 2015

    - wrap it up with some food/treat
    - crush the pill up & sprinkle in the food
     
  11. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    I have to give my dog antibiotics that smell really bad and Benadryl daily for her allergies. It's hit or miss if she will eat whatever it's wrapped in. If found if I throw it to her and she catches it, she will just swallow it. If I slowly feed it to her, it's like she can sense it. I usually use cheese, hot dog or deli meat.
     
  12. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    We sometimes have the same issue with our dog. Not usually a problem when it's an occasional pill, but when she's on an antibiotic that tastes horrible. . . Hold her nose closed and rub her throat downwards. I think we were told that for one of our dogs or maybe the cat.
     
  13. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Thanks everyone! I will let you know how it goes with the next dose tonight.

    The vet also recommended boiled chicken and rice, so now I have to COOK, and I don't even like to do that for my family! But my pup is worth it so I am defrosting chicken.
     
  14. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    This is random but I had purchased a rotisserie chicken from Costco and wrapped my dogs pill in some of the skin. She downed it. (I don't normally have that, though.)

    I don't like to give my dogs processed people foods because too much can cause pancreatitis. However, I have purchased the healthiest hotdogs I could find, cut them into chunks and pushed pills into the center. I always give a non-pill piece right after the pill piece to help with the taste and make sure they eat it.

    Peanut Butter works. I sometimes wrap pills in small slices of deli meat.

    If your dog will eat watermelon, stick the pill in a small chunk of that.

    Also, sweet potatoes, some dogs love them. Throw one in the microwave, let it cool and then put a pill in a small piece of it.
     
  15. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jun 27, 2015

    How sweet. I'd cook for my furbaby too. I hope the meds work!
     
  16. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    We never give her table food, so she must have eaten something in the yard to get sick.

    The problem is with this condition, she doesn't want to eat anything - so unlike a Bernese!

    Hoping a few more doses of meds will bring her appetite back.
     
  17. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I remember rice & chicken dog days. Our dog loved bananas!! If we froze them she would lick them. We gave ours plain yogurt as well!!
     
  18. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Poor puppy! I always thought dogs would eat anything. What does he love that you eat? Will he fall for it if you are pretending to eat his pills? i discovered how much my cat loves coconut oil - I mean LOVES it - so I use that to hide the taste of her pills. My vet had never heard of this, but said it's fine. And it means I no longer have to torture us both twice a day. She gobbles it up and reminds me if I am late. She HATES the pill, but will swallow it in the oil, hidden in a cat treat doused in more oil. (very little total)

    for cats I have heard human-baby food chicken or turkey work wonders - will that work for your dog?

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  19. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    I have a dog that won't take pills. He will eat around whatever food or pill pocket it's stuffed in and spit out the pill. I had to literally shove it down his throat, hold his mouth closed and massage his throat. Luckily, he's a little silky terrier and only weighs 13 pounds.
     
  20. Arzen

    Arzen Guest

    Jun 28, 2015

    Crushing pills or putting them into his favorite food is the best option.
     
  21. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    She doesn't want to eat ANYTHING - that is the major symptom of pancreatitis.

    She did eat some of the boiled chicken the vet recommended because it is so bland.

    We got a syringe, crushed the pills and dissolved them in warm chicken broth. We give her a mouthful of just broth, then the syringe with the broth and pills, and she managed to spit out about half. I am hoping she is getting enough meds to get better.

    Twice a day for 9 more days - hope we both make it!
     
  22. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    The truth is if a dog is vehemently opposed to the pills, shoving in down their throat with your thumb is probably the best way to get it done. I would, however, recommend dipping the front end of the pill in a little vegetable oil - that will help them go down better. Most of the things in pill form taste lousy, so crushing doesn't work well, and now you have to throw away the meal and the medicine. I had a dog who would eat EVERYTHING except her heartworm medication. Even the cat would eat those pills, but she wouldn't touch it. Eventually the routine became stuff Jessie's down her throat, then give a treat, and offer the rest their tablets as treats, which they loved.

    Big dogs, lots of pills - hard combination. Hubby is a vet, so I know what you are going through right now. She needs the medicine, so forget the "treats" she is in no mood to eat, and just be ready to wash your hands well when the pill popping is over.

    Best of luck!
     
  23. msrosie

    msrosie Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2015

    My puppy man is a terrible pill taker, even when stuffed in treats. So as much as I hate it, I have to do the stuff it down in throat thing. But I give him yummy treats before and yummy treats after so it makes it more bearable for him...or maybe for me.
     
  24. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I've also heard that people have good luck with the pill "guns". It's basically a big syringe that shoots the pill down the dog's throat. If you're unable to do it yourself you could look into one of those!

    (Again, shoving the pill down her throat is the only way I can get pills into my dog)
     
  25. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Ugh. Cat just had a second med added to her regime today. Twice a day I need to give her liquid med in syringe. Can I put on food? No. The tech was kind enough to give the first dose with me watching so that I can do from here on out. I learned that the trick with cats is to hold by scruff of neck so they have to turn their face (mouth) up toward you. If pill for pup still giving you a problem, talk to your vet's lab tech. These people are VERY helpful.
     
  26. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My dog will eat anything, so I don't have a problem with her taking medicine, but my last dog was horrible!

    I also used the above method and it was the only thing that worked for me. I would give her a treat after each dose so that she didn't hate me for shoving a pill down her throat. :unsure:
     
  27. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    We are dissolving the pills in warm chicken broth and using the syringe, and it is going.....okay. She manages to spit some out. With 12 pills a day, I just don't think we could shove them down her throat, and as she is still eating very little, treats are not appealing.

    She seems happy and pees and poos and likes her walk, but I am checking in with the vet tomorrow to see if the poor appetite still is a bad sign. We are worried it could be something else, also.

    We rarely ever fed her table food, and I thought that was the main reason dogs got pancreatitis, so we are unsure why she has it. She is nearly 7, and for her breed that is on the older side although our last Bernese lived to 13.
     
  28. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Has she been tested for Lymes Disease? My mother's dog was first diagnosed with pancreatitis and later discovered the Lymes. It can be treated with antibiotics if treated early.
     
  29. Begather

    Begather Guest

    Jul 1, 2015

    Yeah you are right it contains a poisonous element and you should avoid use of it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2016
  30. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I never knew that about peanut butter. Hmmmm.

    I always pushed the pill down the throat, too. I would slide it along the inside cheek until it got back far enough first. Covered in something safe is good. Forget about hiding it in food; dogs are too smart for that one.
     
  31. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 25, 2015

    Just an update because you were all so helpful to me.

    Dissolving the pills and using the syrings worked very well once we all got the hang of it. Unfortunately, follow-up blood work numbers showed the pancreatitis numbers were still off the charts, so more meds.

    The next symptom was swollen lymph glands and cytology on the fluid has left us with a diagnosis of lymphoma. We see an oncology vet this week, but our primary vet is preparing us for a poor outcome.

    Luckily, she is still our sweet, lovable pup, and we are anxiously waiting to see if anything can be done for her. Thanking you all in advance for your support.
     

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