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Desperately need tips on getting Yoda to take his meds!!!
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Madison, WI
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2 October 2009 - 10:17 pm
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Getting Yoda to take his pills is just becoming more and more of a struggle and I'm starting to worry I might end up hurting him in the process.  At the least, I'm sure I'm perpetuating his resistance, by not finding a stress-free way to get him to take them.

He's not eating full meals, so maybe he still feels naseaous from the problems caused by the Piroxicam he was on (but there hasn't been any more vomiting since he's been on Cerenia in addition to Pepcid), but he is eating.  And he likes the stuff I'm putting his pills in as long as there are no pills in them (though sometimes he's suspicious).  I don't get it because he had no problem with taking many of these same pills before - before his amputation.  He used to gulp them down whole if covered with peanut butter or wet food, but now he keeps licking and chewing until he can find the pill and spit it out.  So I'm worried his refusal isn't about his stomach upset, or isn't anymore.   I try opening his mouth to put it down his throat, and have to hold it closed, but he struggles and thrashes to the point that now I'm afraid he's going to get hurt.

Jake's Mom, I think it was, has suggested I ask the vets or vet techs for advice on how to get it down his throat, and I will try, but I don't know if I'll be able to get this info from them this weekend without paying for an emergency visit (which is a pretty big hardship for me right now) and this situation is getting out of hand fast.  Thus far, when I've mentioned Yoda is refusing his pills, his vet has advised covering the pill in food, which I have been doing, or just popping it down his throat (like it's that easy). 

So, please, any and all tips for taking pills are welcome here!  Even if you've posted them recently, and even if you've posted them to me before, this thread may come in handy to others later on.

I'm going to try searching the web for tips too, and will share what I find.

Yoda&Mom united: 9/5/06 …….… Yoda&Leg separated: 6/5/09……… Yoda&Leg reunited: 10/14/09 ……… ……………….………….………….……. Yoda&Mom NEVER separated! …………………….….……....….…… Though Spirit Yoda currently free-lances as a rabbit hunting instructor for tripawds nationwide

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2 October 2009 - 10:26 pm
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I will tell you that Shilo did that about 2 days after surgery. She would dig through what ever food we gave her and spit the pill or both pill and food. I had to manually give them to her. I would stick them inside a small piece of hot dog(mostly cause she wasn't eating too much either) and she would open wanting the treat initially. I would slide it down the side of her check all the way to where you are just passing the teeth. This kept her from pushing it out with her tongue. Once we got past the teeth I would pull my hand and kinda rub her throat while holding her head slightly up. She didn't choke or gag and she swallowed them quickly. Her Dad still has a hard time with her, I was just lucky finding what worked.

I hope this helps.. Poor Yoda, I hope he lets you help him out. It is so hard when you feel you are stressing them, stay strong. OUR prayers and thoughts are with you and Yoda

Shilo diagnosed with osteosarcoma 9/4/2009, amputation 9/9/2009. ShiloAnne lost her battle 11/23/2009 where she regained her fourth leg and is patiently waiting for her parents to join her. We will always love you baby girl.

The Rainbow Bridge

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2 October 2009 - 10:30 pm
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Here's a great video, "How to Give Your Dog Pills" that might help. It had some good advice I hadn't thought of, like don't call your dog to you to give him pills, go to him.

Also, being calm, and not nervous, is so impawtant. Are you calm when you try to do it? Maybe Yoda is picking up on any nervousness?

When my Mom gave me pills, she was really quick about it. She would catch me off guard, open my mouth real quick, and slide the pills down back behind my molars so it went down in a jiffy. When I had to take a lot at once, she mixed it in my food. There was a time though, when I just refused to take them. So she would back off for a while, and only give them to me when I was really hungry. She knew it was better for me to take them on a schedule, but at that point, she would take what she could get.

You don't need to make an ER visit to do this, we know you can do it!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Madison, WI
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2 October 2009 - 10:42 pm
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Thanks... wish I had started looking for help on this sooner.  I've probably made it worse by doing it wrong.  I do psych myself up to be calm every time and I think I am, but he recognizes what's coming immediately anyway and hops away and hops away and starts to thrash when I barely touch him.  Doesn't seem to matter how calm I am.  Wouldn't be so hard with a second person's assistance, but I can't get that on a regular basis.  Oh well, just venting, still gotta stay pawsitive and take everybody's tips and resources into advisement...

Yoda&Mom united: 9/5/06 …….… Yoda&Leg separated: 6/5/09……… Yoda&Leg reunited: 10/14/09 ……… ……………….………….………….……. Yoda&Mom NEVER separated! …………………….….……....….…… Though Spirit Yoda currently free-lances as a rabbit hunting instructor for tripawds nationwide

The Rainbow Bridge

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2 October 2009 - 11:39 pm
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Don't be so hard on yourself, you're doing the very best you can, it's all a learning curve. Eventually you'll both get into a routine where it works for you. Hang in there.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Madison, WI
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2 October 2009 - 11:52 pm
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Thanks, Jer.

These instructions seemed pretty clear and helpful (though much of it was already in the video Jerry posted): http://en.wikib.....medication

My main challenge is keeping Yoda from running off when I approach and/or from thrashing once I start to open his mouth.  I'm thinking/hoping that praciticing the right technique with someone's help this weekend (probably one of my parents') - to keep him from getting away from me while I get the hang of getting the pill to the back of his throat quickly - will lead to less resistance when I have to give him pills the same way on my own.

In the meantime though, maybe cream cheese will fool him... he's never had that...

Yoda&Mom united: 9/5/06 …….… Yoda&Leg separated: 6/5/09……… Yoda&Leg reunited: 10/14/09 ……… ……………….………….………….……. Yoda&Mom NEVER separated! …………………….….……....….…… Though Spirit Yoda currently free-lances as a rabbit hunting instructor for tripawds nationwide

Livermore CA
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3 October 2009 - 4:56 am
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It sounds like your biggest challenge is getting Yoda to hold still.  What sometimes works for me when doing something unpleasant to the dog is to do it when he's been sleeping.  And the trick of blowing on his nose to get him to swallow is a good one, or rubbing the cream cheese or whatever ends up on your fingers on his nose while holding his head up, assuming he's quit thrashing around.

Cemil is pretty good about taking pills, and I always sit and explain to him that even though it might taste bad, it's for his good.  But one of my other dogs, who has been great at taking pills her whole life, has now decided she's had enough and does all the clever things about hiding it in her mouth until I ease up, then spitting it out.  I haven't found a way to convince her that this is a good thing, so I understand your frustration.  And she's too old to thrash around.

Maybe try giving it a little break and just talking to Yoda to get him (and you) calmed down, like Jerry said.  It is frustrating when their stubbornness wins.  Wish I could offer more.

Cemil and mom Mary, Mujde and Radzi….appreciating and enjoying Today

Cemil's blog

Madison, WI
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3 October 2009 - 5:42 am
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Thanks!  Yeah the blowing in the nose trick sounded great and I just finished trying it.  Though I think he may have swallowed before I managed to do it anyway this time.  And yeah, he was a little sleepy and resting on the couch, which probably helped a bit.  The question is whether he will come to accept the couch routine or whether he will learn to leap away from the couch when I come over with pills and treats.

Oh, and I did hope that maybe he'd be so excited about the cream cheese that he'd gulp it down on his own, but he's way too suspicious now and wouldn't do more than sniff it (sigh).  But I did get the three pills of the morning down him with minimal thrashing.

He used to be this way (thrashy) about getting Frontline applied.  He seemed to think I was about do something terrible to the spot between his shoulder blades.  His vet records from the Humane Society showed that he had had a cyst or something aspirated in that area in the past, so I guessed that's what scared him about it.  But that was only a once a month chore, and for some reason, just on his own it seemed - nothing that I did differently - one day he decided not to freak out about it anymore.  He never had trouble with pills until recently, but I'll just keep hoping he'll learn that pills, like the Frontline, aren't worth freaking out about.

Til then, feel free to keep the tips coming!

Yoda&Mom united: 9/5/06 …….… Yoda&Leg separated: 6/5/09……… Yoda&Leg reunited: 10/14/09 ……… ……………….………….………….……. Yoda&Mom NEVER separated! …………………….….……....….…… Though Spirit Yoda currently free-lances as a rabbit hunting instructor for tripawds nationwide

Michigan
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3 October 2009 - 8:17 am
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Hi Yoda's mom,

Sounds like Yoda's being a pistol when it comes to taking his pills.

Well I'm going to give you my two cents, and I hope you don't take this the wrong way. It comes out of concern for you and Yoda. Smile

When our dogs first get diagnosed with cancer, we realize that out time together is now limited. So we do everything we can to make the last weeks/months together happy ones for our dogs. In doing so, they sometimes start to get a bit spoiled, and they begin to take advantage of this.

Dogs are like kids, they are actually happier and feel more secure when they have boundaries and rules. The number one rule of being a dog owner, is that you are leader of the pack – not the dog. And because of that, you are responsible to show your dog what behavior is acceptable, and what is not. That way your dog knows what is expected of him. I sort of forgot this for awhile after Rocky's amputation, and he took full advantage of this. He would rip off his bandages, and get up on furniture he wasn't supposed to be on. And he didn't get in trouble, because I felt so sad and sorry for him, that I couldn't bring myself to stop him. Boy was I wrong! I might as well have been encouraging his behavior!

I know it's hard to discipline a dog who's time on this earth has been shortened because of this horrible disease, but if Yoda is acting in a way that he shouldn't be, you have to let him know who's boss. There should be no chasing him around the house, no thrashing around, and no spitting out pills.

Believe me, I've been there too. At one point I was giving Rocky 6 pills twice a day. And at first I would try hiding them in food, but of course he quickly learned to eat the food and spit out the pill. I would then try to put them directly in his mouth, but he would clamp this jaws together so tight, I was afraid I would hurt him trying to pry his mouth open. Then I thought, "wait a minute, why am I fighting with him to get him to take his pills? Who's the boss here?"

 I began to just throw his pills in his bowl of kibble and he would eat some of them, and spit out others. The ones he spit out, had to be put down his throat. Once he was done eating I told him to sit, gave him a good ear scratching and then proceed to open his mouth. If he clamped his jaws together, I scolded "ROCKY NO!" and eventually he would let me open his mouth. If he tried to spit out the pill, I scolded "ROCKY NO!" and put the pill right back in his mouth. He needed to know this was not acceptable behavior and I was not going to put up with it. After he swallowed the pill(s), I would reward with more ear scratchings and "good boys". Rocky is a dog who doesn't like to be scolded and quickly he learned that I was going to give him his pills whether he liked it or not. He also learned that the more pills he ate from his kibble, meant the less pills he had to have put down his throat. 

Obviously I don't know you or Yoda , but I just wonder if he's acting this way because you're letting him. Are you getting on to him when he misbehaves? Because that is what he is doing – misbehaving. Be alpha dog and take a no nonsense approach to this. You both will be happier.

Ok, so I'm done being an armchair animal behaviorist now. I really do wish you and Yoda the best .Smile

Michelle

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3 October 2009 - 8:59 am
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Yoda

I admit that I have not read everything above. But the one pill that really gets Tazzie into suspicious mode is tramadol when it is in tablet  form. In capsule form, he is happy to consume that or anything else in butter, even if the butter does not fully coat it.

So, IF your tramadol is the dry yucky horrible kind, can you ask the vet to provide it in capsule form? And is such a request possible for any of the other meds?

Tazzie 2

Madison, WI
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3 October 2009 - 9:06 am
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Thanks for your honest attempt to help.  I am firm with him and don't let him get away with it - as much as I'm physically able to, but maybe I'm not communicating with "no" enough.  I could try that more.  I've been worried about hurting him, and maybe I need to just put that out of my mind, but I've only worried because he really has come close to getting hurt while he has been thrashing, not because I'm being a softie.  But I'll try to think more like an alpha.  A calm in control alpha. 

It is certainly good advice in general, and I hope it may make a difference in our case too.

Yoda&Mom united: 9/5/06 …….… Yoda&Leg separated: 6/5/09……… Yoda&Leg reunited: 10/14/09 ……… ……………….………….………….……. Yoda&Mom NEVER separated! …………………….….……....….…… Though Spirit Yoda currently free-lances as a rabbit hunting instructor for tripawds nationwide

Madison, WI
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3 October 2009 - 9:16 am
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That sounds like a worthwhile idea, thanks Tazzie 2!  That could make a difference.  I am cautiously optimistic.  I will ask his oncologist if it's possible to get capsules.

When he first started spitting out pills he did crunch on his K-9 Immunity capsules a couple times and spit them out, but that was only 1 out of 3, so maybe the capsules, especially smaller ones than the K-9 Immunity, would be more acceptable to him.  With all the meds he's on now, I had to give up having him take the K-9 Immunity too, so I'm not positive whether he'd refuse them now too or not.  I might try one as a test.

Yoda&Mom united: 9/5/06 …….… Yoda&Leg separated: 6/5/09……… Yoda&Leg reunited: 10/14/09 ……… ……………….………….………….……. Yoda&Mom NEVER separated! …………………….….……....….…… Though Spirit Yoda currently free-lances as a rabbit hunting instructor for tripawds nationwide

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3 October 2009 - 10:44 am
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Have you tried Pill Pockets from Persmart  We all try food so this may trick him!  (They may have them other places, too.)  Yesterday I tried for 45 minutes to get Emily to take her pills so I feel your pain!

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

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3 October 2009 - 10:57 am
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Have you tried letting him see you eat whatever it is you are giving the pills in?  Cheese, hot dog, cream cheese, peanut butter

Take a bite, give him a bite. Take a bite, give him a bite with pill.  Don't give every bite for him with a pill,, that way he doesn't know when it's coming.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

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3 October 2009 - 11:00 am
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I've had this problem with Mac ever since the amputation.  Good lord is it frustrating!  When he was eating better, hiding the pills in food worked sometimes but the particular food would have to be switched out every couple days.  The longest running food was warm chicken skin and fatty pieces with the pill stuck inside.  The slimier it was the better since it would slide down his throat and he would rarely try to chew it--the chewier the food the worse because there's a higher chance he'll bite down on a pill and discover it.  For a few days sticking a pill in soft white bread, pinching it around, and dipping it in sauce (like gravy, bean juice, meat drippings, etc) would work.  One day chevre (creamy goat cheese) worked. 

Since Mac has stopped eating pretty much I have had to stick the pills down his throat manually.  For a while I would pry open his mouth and stick it as far back on his tongue as possible while my mom squirted water in his mouth with a syringe and I'd massage his throat and blow in his nose.  My hands were pretty sore from doing that twice a day.  Right now Mac takes over 10 pills at a time so I bought one of those pill dispensers and I wish I had gotten it sooner.  It really has worked, although we still have to squirt the water in to encourage him to swallow.  It only costs a couple of bucks --this is the one we got http://www.amaz.....  I'm glad that Yoda has been still eating though--that's encouraging. 

Good luck and I hope this helps. 

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