Monday, February 07, 2011
$0$0 No,this is not a joke! However, thepunch line is “with finesse!”First, you want to be on good terms with the feline patient. Ideally you have already established amutually respectful and understanding relationship in which you can hold andtouch the cat. This will makegiving meds much easier! I suggestbeginning with this at day one of getting your cat. If a cat is used to you touching his feet and face, then youcould easily trim nails ahead of time, so that you are less likely to bescratched while giving meds.
$0$0 Sometimesa gentle hold under one arm is sufficient for slipping the pill in the back ofthe mouth. Covering a pill withbutter will make it easier to swallow and more palatable. Bitter meds will often make cats droolprofusely, but sometimes even flavored meds will do that, so sometimes they arereally putting on a show for misery effects. Rowdy cats can be gently swaddled in a towel to keep allclaws and feet safely away and allow easier restraint.
$0$0Gentlyopen the mouth by using thumb and forefinger to softly lift the sides of theupper lips. This will open thecat’s mouth. Allowing the face tolift and the nose to point toward the sky will allow gravity to help withplacement of the pill. Round pillscan be dropped straight down the trough-shaped tongue and will roll straightdown. Cats have an excellent gagreflex, so pills are extremely unlikely to enter the windpipe. Pills that are not round usually needto be deposited directly in the back of the throat, with a swift gentlemovement that gets the pill far enough that it cannot be spit out, and quicklyenough as not to have fingers bit.Pill pushers can be used with nippy cats.
$0$0 Ofcourse cats who like treats can often be enticed to eat pill pockets, which aresoft treats designed to envelope medications palatably. Sometimes fish oils, wet food,hairball elixirs, or cat nip can be added to liquid or powdered medications orherbs to encourage cats to eat them.
$0$0 Liquidmedications should be given gently, with just the tip of the syringe enteringthe mouth behind the canine (fang) tooth, with only about a half of amilliliter, or cc, being given at a time.This allows the cat to smack his lips and swallow the medication. More given at once is likely to eitherroll right out the other side of the mouth, or be spit out. Syringes forced into the back of thethroat are quite likely to create a gag and prompt emptying ofmedications.
$0$0 Makesure that this is not the only time you have contact with your cat, otherwise,he will surely hide from you every time you solicit him. Some medications can be formulated intotransdermal solutions, which are rubbed onto the inside of the ear. Absorption is variable, although thiscan be a very helpful solution for difficult kitties. Acupuncture can be used instead of certain medications if acat is really difficult to medicate.Often cat guardians and referring veterinarians are astonished at howmuch cats respond and benefit with acupuncture.