Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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Syringing, Pilling, Pill poppers ,transdermal gels,
Can you syringe your cat?
Inserting the syringe in the corner of the mouth between the cheek and teeth. Never squirt directly into the back of the cats mouth.
A good illustration video
Video showing Preparation a 1 and 2 person procedures.
We personally prefer the syringe. Syringing is less stressful for our cats.
You have to be careful with how you administer liquid medication, administering too fast or improperly could lead to aspiration pneumonia.
The syringe should be placed at an angle on the side of your cat’s mouth. Pause and give your cat the time it needs to swallow the liquid at its own pace. Never just squirt the medicine down their throat.
What is Aspiration Pneumonia?
Aspiration pneumonia is caused when a liquid or foreign substance makes its way into your cat’s lungs. It causes the lungs to become inflamed and infected. It’s an incredibly dangerous condition, and is considered a veterinary emergency.
After you give your cat its medicine if you notice signs of coughing, labored breathing, or a discharge from its nose, go to the vet immediately.
Can you pill your cat –
Please follow up with water or food afterwards!
Pilling your cat with a Pill Gun or Pill Popper –
Please follow up with water of food afterwards!
Pill pockets – Pill pockets are great if you cat will eat them! Our cats are wise they only get tricked a couple times;) Then the pill pocket is eaten and the pill is still sitting there. In our experience with our cats they are great short term.
After surgery you do not want to rely solely on a pill pocket and your cat eating it. Use them but have a back up plan just in case.
Your pain meds are key to recovery !
You want to be certain you can administer meds. Do not make pain meds optional .
Can be pilled, they can be crushed in a pill crusher or mortar and pestle, mixed with a little liquid to be syringed back up the syringe and then syringed to your cat.
Some tablets are are slow-release , or are in a protective coating to survive stomach acid and become active in the intestine. Crushing or grinding such tablets decreases their effectiveness and should be avoided.
( Make sure to check with your veterinarian if the type of medicine is ok to be crushed)
Can be pilled, or they can be opened and poured out in a bowl and mixed with a little liquid to be syringed back up the syringe and then syringed to your cat.
Liquid can also mask any unpleasant tasting bitter medicine.
(Always make sure and ask the vet if this is ok with the type of medication)
I always test a pinhead size taste of medicine to see if it is bitter or awful and what I need to do to make it less awful .
Bitter or unpleasant tasting medicine can make your cat froth at the mouth.
It is unpleasant for the cat and for you to watch them run away upset and frothing.
Then I wish you the best of luck the next time kitty is due for his/her meds, 👀kitty will see you coming!
For bitter, gross tasting medicine we use tuna juice or sardine water this masks the bitter taste.
- Liquid could be – Tuna juice (juice out of the tuna can)
- Sardine water ( juice out of the can)
- Whiskas a kitty milk (it will not hide the bitter as well as the fish)
Another trick to try if the medicine is not bitter, crush it or open capsule and put it in some Turkey and Gravy baby food, Ham & Gravy , Chicken & Gravy baby foods work great. Our cats love the turkey and gravy baby food. I give them their supplements in baby food. They lick it right up.
Remember baby food is high calories! That can be good after surgery. It also can lead to weight gain quickly if you continue . A small jar is 90 calories !
A lot of times medications can be compounded, Liquid flavored, tabs, treats , melts etc. made into a form that your kitty will not mind taking.
Ask the vet prior too if you know in advance . It can help the entire process go smoother.
Transdermal Gels – Medication compounded to be applied in the ear
Keep in mind (All cats are different. What method works best for you and your cat is what matters.)
Be Calm – (Use whatever method that is successful and less stressful for you & that will be less stressful for your kitty)
Lots of Praise and Treats are apprecaited
22 February 2013
WOW HOLLY!! You are such a valuable resource for information! This is such a grrrreat tutorial. Thanks sooo much for taking the time to pass on this important “how to” instructions.
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!
Your the furthest thing from a bad mamma OMC!
You don’t know what you don’t know until we have to know!
I have aspirated the boys before! I was also lucky no pneumonia! Wyatt doesn’t know and we aren’t telling him!
Do hope all is ok with Wyatt!
Good bump Wyatt;) the VERY important video link would not work & I have replaced with working ones!
17 September 2017
Now, they need to create the videos for those of us that need to keep the cone on when administering the meds!
Rusty "The Bunnyman" adopted us in 2014. Aug/Sept 2017, back left leg amputated (HSA cancer). He is cancer free, at least for now. He is hopping around, getting spoiled by Mommy Gina & Daddy Nick, new tripawd parents who are still learning! Head Scritches & Sandpaper kisses for all his fellow tripawds!
New Way to Give Medicine (or supplements) to your Cat
Anyone tries this method; please let us let us know how it works.