Is it OK if my dog or cat does not swallow the entire tablet?
Animals are usually medicated according to their weight and there is always some variation in the dose of each medication. Depending on how much tablet is not swallowed will depend on whether the animal will get the right amount of active ingredient to do its job. Obviously an animal that does not swallow 75% of its medication is not going to get the appropriate drug level. If the animal does not swallow 10% of the medication it most probably is going to do fine.
We would recommend you talk to your vet if this is occurring regularly to make sure the animal is being given the appropriate amount of medication.
I have seen the nurses give a tablet with an instrument. Can I get one of those?
Yes. They are called a “Pill Popper” and can be bought from our animal hospital. All our staff use these pill poppers with cats – it protects our fingers from being traumatised by the cat’s mouth.
Is there an easy way to give my cat a tablet?
No there is not. Cats will not eat their medication if you mix it with food. The only way to be certain that the cat got the medication is for you to place the medication in the mouth of the cat and make sure it swallows the medication. Our staff will assist teaching you how to give a tablet to your cat – just come in and we will demonstrate how to do this procedure.
I have heard that it is best to give my dog or cat some water after giving a tablet. Why is this so?
Some medications get stuck in the “food pipe” or oesophagus of the animal after giving a tablet. We recommend that you syringe some water into the animal’s mouth to assist the animal swallowing the medication. Having said that –some cats will get more upset with the water being syringed into their throat and will get very defensive. Sometimes it is easy just to give the tablet.
Do I need to medicate with food or on an empty stomach?
Most medications can be given with food or on an empty stomach. It is best to discuss the different medications with the veterinarian or the animal health professional at the time of purchase. If the medication needs to be given with food or not, then this will be pointed out by the veterinarian. As a general rule though – most medications can be given with or without food.