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Pill Administration Methods in Cats

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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At some point in their life, many pets will need to take oral medication. Administering that medication can be challenging. The easiest was to give medication is to hide it in food. This way, the pet received a treat and the medication. But what do you do with the finicky pet? You can place the pill in the back of the throat and make the pet take it or you can try some other, sometimes less stressful, methods.

Pill Gun

In response to difficulties giving pills to pets, a "pill gun" was developed. This device is a long thin piece of plastic with a rubber tip and a plunger. The plunger is pulled back to allow room for the pill to be placed in the rubber tip. After the pill is correctly positioned, the gun can be placed as far back as possible in the pet's mouth. As soon as the pill gun is in place, the plunger is pushed and the pill is dispensed in the back of the mouth.

Having the pill gun in the mouth will generally stimulate the swallowing reflex and the pill is swallowed. A good thing about the pill gun is that the pet can bite all they want on the gun. The gun will still work and the pill will be given.

Oral Syringe

Some medications are in liquid form. These medications come with either an eyedropper or an oral syringe. Oral syringes come with dispensing amounts written on the syringe. Usually both teaspoon and milliliter is listed. Just draw up the prescribed amount of medication and administer with the oral syringe.

Even pill medication can be given with an oral syringe. Take the pill and place in a pill crusher. After the tablet is crushed, place the powder in the syringe and add water. Shake the syringe to suspend the powder and give to your pet.

Pill Crusher

Pill crushers work well with medication that cannot be given in pill form. Most crushers come in two parts: The part that the pill sits in and the part that is placed on top of the pill. The majority of crushers have threads on the device. The top and bottom pieces are simply screwed together. As the top and bottom become closer and closer together, the pill is slowly crushed into powder.

Pill Cutter

Some medications are prescribed as part of a tablet to be given. In these situations, a pill cutter comes in handy. Some tablets do not have score marks. This makes breaking the pill in half with your hands very difficult. Using a kitchen knife can be dangerous. Pill cutters can safely and effectively cut a pill to the proper size.
Place the pill in the V section of the pill cutter base. The top of the cutter typically has a razor blade firmly attached. Close the lid on the pill cutter. As the lid is completely closed, the pill is cut by the razor blade.

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