Friday, 21 December 2012

How to Give Medicine to an Uncooperative Cat


Step 8: Get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
Step 9: Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

- from HOW TO GIVE YOUR CAT A PILL IN TWENTY EASY STEPS


Shironeko - Results may vary
< Some cats are Zen masters. Sub cutaneous fluids seemed sooooo easy from the video demonstration by the very pregnant lady vet (nope). We are talking about a longhaired cat that thinks fur brush is medieval torture device so the road to health was always going to be a little extra challenging. She didn't even like the pentoxifylline transdermal cream (pea sized blob rubbed into ear twice daily) The only patient more uncooperative than the cat is my husband - the doctor.

Fortunately Mishka eats size 3 capsules pretty reliably like kibble if we put them in a teaspoon of moist food served as the entree when she is hungry. Most supplements have to be downsized anyway - get empty gelatine capsules. More excellent tips on medicating cats from Joel Kehler. Here's one method for getting the little pills down without upsetting kitty. (although it looks like i faked it she did eat the pill!)

What's worse than pills? Liquids. Even 6 mls is a lot of liquid for a cat if it tastes bad. Their natural response is to drool like Niagara Falls and squirting too much in fast may choke kitty. It doesn't actually need to be medicine. The early days of FIP with a dehydrated, inapetant cat required some syringe feeding of electrolytes and food. We found the process so distressing initially - and then we discovered the magic of soothing music. It still wasn't a picnic and if she hadn't perked up within 48 hours we would have pulled the plug. Here's a how to give liquids video from Lauren via FIP fighters on facebook. Her cat doesn't look impossibly upset by the whole process.
"One thing I would like to add that Brian (giving the syringe) did during the video: It looks like when she turned her head he was giving the syringe head on/under nose. Try and avoid this at all costs. It's a lot easier on the cat if you do it on the side and they naturally open their mouth when you do it there.Here's a few pointers:- Smaller syringes are MUCH easier to use. If you're doing this long-term always keep a few on backup because they do tend to break a lot.- If the medicine/food is cold, you can take the syringe in-between your hands and hold it/roll it for a few seconds to warm it up.- If your kitty is nervous be sure and massage the back of her neck and talk to her while you're administrating the medicine/food.- This is A LOT less of a mess but still keep a napkin nearby. You can still make a papertowel bib if needed.- If your kitty doesn't like being on her back AT ALL you can still do this technique but have her on her tummy instead. Still go from the side and still hold her close, it'll make her feel more safe and secure. You don't have to grab the scruff hard. It's only for a little bit of control and comfort on her end. I'm fully against hurtful techniques against cats even if a vet is doing it to get medicine in. I can assure you this in no way harms your cat and it should be instinct for them to accept it.Be sure and give your babies lots of love and kisses after this and possibly a treat if they're not too stressed over it so they associate this with some kind of positivity instead of a majorly hated event."

Polyprenyl immunostimulant is a taste issue for some cats, the insert says 1%. It was initially tested via injection - now it is approved for oral use so unfortunately the company are refusing to advise on injection except to say it will sting as it is hypertonic. After a somewhat traumatic first effort when i tried mixing the entire dose into Mishy's lunch we settled on a pattern of putting it a ml at a time into a well in a level teaspoon of moist food and carefully pushing this shut and serving it piecemeal to a very hungry breakfast kitty. Any higher ratio leads to rejection. If she starts to look satiated we stop and start again an hour later - she is sometimes full after 3-4 mls. A heaped teaspoon is actually a prey sized meal for a cat. The PI is only stable after mixing with food for about 30 mins and must be kept out of the light. Video of how we do it

here is Tanja's unhappy experience of using PI with her cat Sampson :

 I chose to go with PI as I was looking for that miracle that would keep Sampson alive a lot longer, and the successful cases looked better on paper than the interferon; unfortunately for Sampson he threw a clot and with everything he was battling at the same time I could not morally try to make him recover from that plus the FIP. 
Personally I do not think the PI was working for Sampson, before he threw the clot I had already decided to stop the PI treatment, his belly was also starting to feel quite fluidy and I believe it was transforming into the wet form. It is a gamble and I do and don't regret using PI. If I hadn't I would always wonder but the process of giving him the PI in such a large amount by mouth was quite stressful for him and I wish we hadn't spent our last days doing that.

 Sampson, he was honestly the furry love of my life and miss him so much that it feels like a piece of me has been torn to shreds, if i could go back and they could offer me an injectible, absolutely without a doubt i would do that, giving it orally was the worst part of the whole thing, no matter how i did it.

Videoing the method could be good, i was giving S-man the full amount in one go because he wouldn't eat the food with any on it, and i didnt want to give him the meds more than once in a day because i felt bad making him do it again, we just had a big treat of chicken loaf afterwards.

Injecting sub cutaneous vitamin C was actually orders of magnitude less stressful than a misguided attempt to use ascorbic acid in her food or as a syringed supplement. (note: Sodium ascorbate though is virtually tasteless to a cat.) Although it must have stung like a bee, it was quick and we were forgiven eventually. We decided 4 shots only after the IV was removed to taper the dose down and give her the best start at the beginning of her illness. Mishka now gets interferon by injection. Actually it is knowing the routine that makes it unstressful - shot and then noms. It really helps to be given at a consistent time and the same 'medicine location' not used for sleeping or feeding, held by her bff Michael. She even stays relaxed with him in the car and at the vets.


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