Martha's Pilling Stress
- Martha has HCM, Pancreatitis, IBD, and is a diabetic in remission. So you can see that she has many meds she must take every day. She used to take her meds crushed up in her food with no problem whatsoever, but, for some reason, that has changed, and now she absolutely refuses to eat any food with any kind of medication in it. The dish of food can sit there for hours, she will return and sniff, then walk away. As soon as I put down a bowl with "unmedicated food," she digs in and pigs out. Her appetite is wonderful as long as there is no medicine in her food. I am concerned that she will grow to hate food if I keep trying to get her medicine in her this way.
I have never, in all her life, been able to pill Martha. She refuses her liquid medicine, flavored or unflavored. She has taken transdermals in the past but they did not seem to help. I have tried everything I can think of. The closest thing I've had to success is with a new Buster piller. But even with this, it's taking about 30 minutes to get her to swallow the gel cap or single pill. My husband and I hold her down, wrap her in a towel, rub her throat, blow on her nose, chase it with water, only to have her spit it out, or see it dribbling down her chin. She growls, hisses, fuzzes up, screams---this has to be a LOT of stress on my little cat.
My question: How much stress is too much on a heart kitty? Thanks for listening.
Blessings,Lynda, Martha, Morelli and Angel C.B.
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- Hi Lynda,
I'm so sorry you're having such a terrible time pilling Martha. I'm sure all that stress isn't good for her not to mention all the stress for you and your husband! I was hopeless at pilling Chloe until a vet tech taught me how to use a regular-style pill gun. (Amazon "Pet Piller" - $1.42 I purchased mine from my vet - $12.00 YIKES!)
I have some little technique hints that work for Chloe, but Chloe is not the feisty, active kitty she used to be. Using a pill gun, I can pill Chloe by myself in about 3 seconds I'm successful on the first try about 95% of time.
Wrap Martha in towel and place her in a chair facing the "pill-giver" (use a chair with arms to prevent escape - or have someone hold her - one person holds Martha/the other "pills").
The "pill-er" needs to be at Martha's eye level to then gently pry open the jaws with one hand, and "shoot" the pill gun with the other hand. Speed is key: Wrap Martha/Face Martha - Open Jaws/Shoot the pill.
Be sure to coat the pill or capsule liberally with some margarine/butter beforehand to help it slide down...I do follow up with a little syringe of water and then a lick of Laxatone (Chloe's favorite treat) as a "reward"... If Martha is more stressed out by the water, leave it go - the margarine should make the pill slide down on its own.
It's taken me years to get to the point where pilling Chloe isn't an issue... I still remember when Chloe, then a kitten, needed antibiotics 2X a day. I'd actually drive Chloe to the vet's and back every day before and after work so the vet tech could pill her for me...
I know time is of the essence, but maybe you could try desensitizing Martha to the whole "pill experience" by wrapping her, petting her, giving her a treat, then letting her go then move on to wrapping, petting, opening her mouth, giving her a treat, then letting her go and so on
Good luck with Martha I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for success
Suzanne and Chloe
- Lynda -
With great success, I have been using Pill Pockets for Rumby for over two
years. I take all his morning or evening pills and roll them up in part of
a Pill Pocket for large dogs. I purchase the large dog size, and usually
purchase on-line, because it is most economical that way, but most pet store
or feed stores usually carry them (much cheaper on-line at Mr. Chewy
[http://www.chewy.com <http://www.chewy.com/> 1-800-67-CHEWY (672-4399)].
I simply break off the amount of Pill Pocket material I want to use.
Because Pill Pockets are the texture of Play Do, you can mold it any way you
wish. Warm it in your hands and it softens and becomes more pliable. Pills
stick in it pretty well. Roll the PP material in your palm (with the pills)
just like Play Do. Rumby's favorite flavor is usually duck, but we change
it off to keep it interesting for him. PPs also come in chicken, beef, lamb
- maybe some other flavors.
One sign that I have from Rumby that he's feeling poorly, is that he either
just nibbles or licks at, or he only stares at his meds in the Pill Pocket
lump. When Rumby feels good, he gobbles the lump right up, pills and all.
The nice thing about Pill Pockets is that I can also shape the lump like a
long roll (as opposed to a ball) and slide it down his throat. Now that
Rumby is taking more medication than before, I will sometimes need to form
two rolls to manually pill him. It slides down easily when pushed to the
back of his throat with my finger. Forming it into a long roll also makes
manual pilling easier because you will not need to be so invasive with your
finger assist. The beauty of using something like Pill Pockets is that the
medium is so wonderfully pliable, tastes good, and is gentle and easy to
For medicating kittens, I've also crushed pills and thoroughly blended the
powder into the Pill Pocket medium, then balled it up again and offered them
their medication as a treat. It works pretty well as long as the ratio is
in balance for taste appeal.
I hope this information helps.
Love & hugs,
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