Administering a pill
A step-by-step guide by Feline Advisory Bureau
|Start with a calm and relaxed cat||Place your cat on a large towel|
|Wrap your cat in the towel|
|Wrapped and ready for medicating...|
|....or gently restrain the cat||Hold the forelimbs gently and safely|
|Hold the angle of the jaw firmly|
|Tip the head back gently|
|Hold the pill and open the mouth||Place the pill as far back in the mouth as possible|
|Release the head and allow the cat to swallow||Syringe a little water after medicating|
Helping the medicine go down
It is now common for vets to recommend oral treatments for cats with a variety of medical problems.
Tablets are the most common but other types of medicine include capsules, liquids and pastes. Recently, several papers have appeared with some startling news concerning the safe administration of tablets and capsules to cats. Several studies have demonstrated that tablets or capsules given 'dry' to cats (ie, dosed orally on their own) often sit in the food pipe (oesophagus) for prolonged periods of time
. One of these studies reported that after five minutes nearly two thirds of the pills were still in the oesophagus. This gives us cause for concern as it has recently been demonstrated that some medicines can cause damage to the lining of the oesophagus (oesophagitis). There have been several case reports where this has caused such severe inflammation that a stricture (narrowing) of the oesophagus has developed.
Prevention of this very serious potential complication is simple - giving a small amount of water, a knob of butter or offering some food rapidly takes any stuck capsules or pills to the stomach. This was demonstrated in one of the scientific studies where giving the cat 6ml (about a teaspoonful) of water by syringe, immediately after pilling, took all of the pills to the stomach within a couple of minutes (see picture above right).
Alternatively a small amount of butter can be smeared onto the nose to stimulate swallowing and encourage the tablets to move to the stomach (see picture right).
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