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Giving pills to strange dog

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  • Giving pills to strange dog

    I'm pet sitting for a friend. The menegarie includes a dog who recently was injured and needs pain pills (2 pills Am and PM). The dog is in obvious pain, and needs its pills. However, I am NOT shoving my hand down this dogs throat. It is a nice dog, but I do NOT trust it enough to do that. I've pet sitted many dogs I would willingly do this to, but not this one.

    How do I give the dog its pills? Food isn't an option, it hurts and isn't really interested in food/treats even at the best of times. I've been basically trying to shove the pills through the side of its mouth through its back teeth, then holding its mouth closed and stroking its throat. She has an unbelievable ability to spit those damn things out. I basically keep trying untill the pills are pretty much dissolved, so she is getting some. But, with each attempt the dog starts getting (understandably) testy and starts to tense up. I'm not stupid enough to keep trying after a few tries. Her body language very obviously says "I am NOT okay with this any longer. Back off. Now." So I do.

    So... what do I do? She needs her pills. I need to be sure my my fingers will remain attached to my body.

    I should probably note she has bitten me before. It was a minor bite, almost completely the fault of the owner and I don't blame the dog, nor harbor any fear. I would read the dog's body language the same whether it had already bit me or not.

  • #2
    Try the smelliest cat food you can find...

    If that doesn't work, I would recommend getting a hold of the dog's owner to see what they recommend. Were it me, I would have boarded the dog at my vets office so that they could monitor it and give it pain meds.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"


    • #3
      Go to a vet clinic and ask them to show you how to properly pill a dog (and have you do it). Doing it properly really reduces the risk of getting bit, even with the really nasty ones! Shoving it in her mouth through the side it only going to make her worse as she will likely bite/taste the pills and be worse for pilling next time. Most pain meds (esp. tramadol) taste HORRIBLE and I dont blame the dog for not wanting to taste them!


      • #4
        Have you tried small pieces of American cheese? (I know you said it won't take treats, but cheese is irresistable to many dogs.). If he eats cheese, put pill inside a small piece of cheese and press edges around cheese to seal it. Then break off a small piece of cheese. Give the cheese with pill, while holding the other piece close to his face and offer the piece without the pill as soon as the 1st piece is in his mouth. Usually, they'll gulp the 1st piece to get the 2nd. Then do it again with the next pill. The key is to not give them time to chew/separate the pill from the cheese in the first one.


        • #5
          My dog cannot resist anything I put in a small piece of hot dog.


          • #6
            I worked at a boarding kennel and gave many different dogs their pills. this is how I do it.

            stand behind dog ( if a tall dog, or sit behind dog if small) and stroke head, nose to ears with left hand (I am right handed)

            quickly pick up upper jaw with left hand, curving lips around teeth so dog knows if he/she bites she is biting herself.

            pop pill in back of throat with right hand, use finger to push back even further.

            use right hand to bring bottom jaw to upper jaw,

            stroke throat.

            give cheese

            I had 200 + dogs in the summer, there was no time to lolly gag. you can do it...and if you are hesitant you have a slight fear of this dog even though you said you dont. the dog senses this and is using it to her advantage.

            Good luck!


            • #7
              Pill Pockets! Same company that makes Greenies.


              • #8
                Stick it in a big wad of butter.


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks for the advice guys.

                  The dog doesn't 'do' treats. So butter, cheese, hot dogs, pill pockets... not happening I could throw her a raw steak and she wouldn't care.

                  Muchingonhay: I tried your method. It worked pretty well, although the third pill escaped and had to be readministered. Dog was NOT happy and I'm betting next pilling will not go as well, but we should make do.

                  I've spoken to others who have cared for/been around the dog and they all get the same 'feeling' from the dog. Nice dog that no one would hesitate to play with or pat. but, it's NOT a dog they want to get back into a corner or get in its face.


                  • #10
                    Can you pulverize the pills into a powder and mix them into stinky cat food? Downside of that, of course, is that you've wasted medication if the dog still won't take it that way.


                    • #11
                      They do make a pill pusher/plunger that is about $3. You can put just about any size pill in it (other than the teensy ones) and you grab the mouth open, put the 6" plunger into the mouth, push the handle, pill goes down the throat. I use it for my cat when she needed pills.

                      I do get your concern - the idea of putting a pill in a dog's mouth that has bitten you, isn't my idea of safe. I hope you are charging EXTRA $$$ for this. Friend or no friend.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by oppsie2 View Post
                        They do make a pill pusher/plunger that is about $3. You can put just about any size pill in it (other than the teensy ones) and you grab the mouth open, put the 6" plunger into the mouth, push the handle, pill goes down the throat. I use it for my cat when she needed pills.

                        I do get your concern - the idea of putting a pill in a dog's mouth that has bitten you, isn't my idea of safe. I hope you are charging EXTRA $$$ for this. Friend or no friend.
                        Where do you get the plunger? That sounds like it would work well.

                        Friends paying for gas, but that's it. She's done enough favores for me before, and the rest of the menagerie are great.


                        • #13
                          I think I got it at the pet store... Petco or Petsmart. It was cheap! Here is alink to the one at Petco on line... I am sure you can get it at the store I know I did not order it online.



                          • #14

                            Geeze - Petsmart is way more expensive


                            • #15
                              My cat method might work. Buy one tube of super-sticky "Nutrical" at Pet store (its like a tube of molasses with vitamins), put a dab (dime size) on paper plate. Grind pill, mix pill with sticky . Use finger to mix. Pile mixture on tip of right hand pinky finger.
                              Straddle the dog from behind, hold head in left hand, with right hand (but not the pinky) pull right lip back towards back of mouth. Smear/rub finger against teeth .You do NOT have to open his mouth at any point. Placing it on the teeth, between the lip and teeth is enough. Release dog.
                              My cat can not shake off this mixture and is reduced to licking swallowing it with many dirty looks shot my way

                              If you are worried about the dog, do this procedure near a door, with the dog facing away from the door, and you between the dog and the door. That way when done, you can slip out the door and shut it if he seems to want to um, express his displeasure.
                              If your dog had an appetite I would prepare his dinner and place it in front of him so he can see it while doing the procedure. They tend to get distracted when food is placed in front of them. Sorry this isnt the case with yours.

                              If you can grind the pill and mix with water, you can do the same method. Instead of smearing on the teeth, you hold the bottom side lip out a bit and pour the liquid down the lips "valley" while tilting his head back (nose high). The liquid goes to the back of the lip and into his mouth. You may have to hold his mouth shut and tilt his head back until he swallows.


                              • #16
                                Have also seen the pill poppers at Walmart....it was in blister pack with a pill cutter, pill box and something else. The one the vet gave me is a little different as it has a rubber end to help hold the pill.

                                What about mixing the pill up with some sort of liquid (chicken broth, etc) and
                                putting in a small syringe sans needle and administer it that way. I much prefer liquid meds for my foster kittens than pills.


                                • #17
                                  OMG, you brought back a 20 yr old memory! Pet sitting for an older mini-spitz, whose equally elderly owner used to follow him on walks w/a poo-catching gizmo of his own invention-very proud of it, too - a Chock Full O'Nuts coffee can attached to a stick, which he'd stick under the dog's tush at the moment of creation....in hindsight, not surprising what happened-

                                  Had to give the dog his heartworm pills in peanut butter, every day---ah, the good ol' days! 1st day, 1st time, I offered the pill in PB. Dog took lump and ate PB. Spit out pill. Ok. Another lump of pill-loaded PB, which he took very politely again. Spit out pill, again. OK!! 3rd time's the charm, right? I offer the 3rd PB lump, and said sceptical spitz eyed it, eyed me, decided I was offending him in the most odious way, and snarled, snapped, and took off for the basement, where (of course) there were at least 3 houses worth of moldy furniture in a scary warren equal to any horror movie. 95 humid degrees in Aug. in NJ--otherwise known as sheer hell. Old man doesn't believe in A/C, or open windows. I personally never saw more than a glimpse of Said offended doggie again, but I heard lots of growling. Got my asst. to try to get him out--no luck. Had to call owners home. I still can see the dog's face, when he decided that I had gone just....too...far.

                                  You have my good wishes. I it all works out.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by RougeEmpire View Post
                                    Pill Pockets! Same company that makes Greenies.
                                    I have to use those for the horribly stubborn Rhodesian Ridgeback/Boxer cross that belongs to my mother in law, I have been successfully giving pills to dogs for 35 years, and this is the first dog that I cannot get her jaws open.

                                    She still manages to sometimes eat the pill pocket and spit the pill out, that takes talent.

                                    Before pill pockets we tried hot dog bits, cream cheese, bread, and she still manages to eat around the pill.
                                    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                                    • #19
                                      I would really get a pill popper, usually inexpensive and you don't have to put your hand in their mouth.
                                      If no pill popper can be found and you can at least get the pill to the back of the mouth, you can try getting a syringe with water and following with the water after getting the pill in. So you'd put pill as far back as you feel comfy, hold mouth closed, syringe water in and wait for puppy to swallow. Not saying that can't still spit them out, but most will swallow the pills with the water.
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