Q & A: Administering medication

Q: What is the best way to get pets to take medicine at home?

A: This will depend on the medication type and formulation. Most pets will take tablets with ease if you place them in a tasty treat like a piece of chicken, cheese or a vienna. I find that fish paste also works well as it has a strong smell and taste so the animal does not smell the medication. Peanut butter is another option as it is sticky, which makes it harder for the animal to spit the medication out – just ensure that you do not use the sugar-free peanut butter with xylitol as xylitol is toxic to pets.

If the medication is a liquid, use a syringe and place it in the corner of the mouth and slowly trickle the medication into the animals’ mouth. If you use too much force or squirt it straight down the throat, the animal may aspirate the medication into the lungs, which can cause pneumonia. If these methods don’t work for your pet, ask your veterinarian for help.

Dr Vanessa Mcclure, veterinarian

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