It would be absurd to think that your pet will not need to take any medication at some point in its life. As a matter of fact, you will need to administer worming treatments at least every three months for the rest of its life.
Apart from preventive measures such as this one, you may be practically sure that your pet will have to receive some other kind of medication during its lifetime. This is why we will try to explain how some medicines are administered, and how to restrain your friend so he is quiet while being given these products.
Medicines come in different formats, including creams, drops, pills or injections. One of the most frequent ways to administer medication is through the mouth, in which case the patient must swallow it. This seems simple at first, but you may find different degrees of difficulty with this route.
After visiting the veterinary surgeon and once you are back home with a specific diagnosis and clear treatment instructions, you might have certain doubts: Will I know how to give my pet the pills? Will he want to swallow them, or will he bite my hand?
There are different methods to get your pet to swallow medicine. The first one is the “now you’re jolly well going to swallow it” method: you open the animal’s mouth and put the pill as far back as possible in it. This is the most commonly used method, and it must be followed by closing your pet’s mouth after tossing the pill in. You can help your pet to swallow it by gently stroking its jaw, massaging its throat or softly hitting its nose, especially if it is a cat.
A second method is to put the pill inside a piece of food or something that is a delicacy for your pet. This is a useful system, except if your pet is skilful at eating the food and leaving the pill.
You can also crush the pill and mix it with water. Put the mixture in a syringe and administer it under pressure by closing your pet’s mouth and fitting it between his lips. It is usually an effective strategy.
Finally, some animals are so good and so well trained that they will swallow anything their owner offers them, even if it tastes horribly, without complaint. It is doubtless the best method.
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Colegio Oficial de Veterinarios de Alicante
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