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Tips to getting antibiotics in a reactive dog?

(50 Posts)
thwinka Fri 03-Jan-14 12:20:42

Hi, visited the vets yesterday and my boy is suspected of having inflamed tissues in his nose/throat? So the vet has put him on liquid antibiotics but we are finding it impossible to get him to take them? We have no hope of syringing them into his mouth as he is VERY reactive where anything to do with the vets is concerned and I believe would actually bite if we pushed to far and held him down to do this. I have tried putting it in milk, in chicken, in gravy, in a normal meal, etc but he wont take it any of it. He hasn't eaten now for over 24 hours and I am out of ideas!!

He is no better with tablets, but we can occasionally get one inside him. He will tolerate his worming tablet once every 3 months for example. But he has to have this medicine x2 daily. Vet says we could go back for an injection, but he is absolutely terrified and they pinned him to the floor last time he had to have an injection as he wouldn't let them near him. I found this quite upsetting tbh and don't want to put him through that again.

Any ideas would really be appreciated?? Thankyou smile

NuttyMuttie Fri 03-Jan-14 12:37:56

Inject the medicine into a bit of banana - the stronger flavour seems to trick some dogs.

LEMoncehadacatcalledSANTA Fri 03-Jan-14 12:42:56

Can you inject him yourself? its very easy to do. If he has sore nose/throat then trying to manhandle his face to syringe is going to be dystress him. The vet could give him a long acting AB injection. If you could inject him yourself you could be crafty and catch him out while you are petting him, he wont be expecting it, it really doesn't hurt that much hmm and it will be over before he has time to react. Some vets will allow you to take doses pre-made home to do yourself if you are confident enough.

thwinka Fri 03-Jan-14 12:43:05

Thanks Nutty. Good idea, just tried it but he wont even touch the banana on its own! Doesn't help that he is a small breed dog. He chews his food rather than just wolfs it down so he spots any meds immediately

LEMoncehadacatcalledSANTA Fri 03-Jan-14 12:43:37

Nutty - im impressed that you can get your dog to eat a banana!! smile mine would rather have medicine

thwinka Fri 03-Jan-14 12:49:32

Hi, I am confident enough as I am a nurse and have asked if I could try this before, but the vet wont allow it. It would be a good solution I think but they insist on doing it themselves. Problem is, he starts kicking up the minute we enter the consultation room, so they cant even take him by surprise in there hmm

tabulahrasa Fri 03-Jan-14 12:52:12

To be honest, I'd treat him like a cat...wrap him in a towel, stick it in and then give him a treat.

Mogz Fri 03-Jan-14 12:53:25

If your dog gets stressed going in to the vets building ask if the vet will come outside to give the injection. That way you can walk him around a bit out in the fresh air, then give him lots of fuss and treats as the vet pops the injection in. Hopefully he will barely notice.

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Fri 03-Jan-14 12:57:31

Put it in pilchards or sardines in tomato sauce. The strong flavour will mask it and ASDA cheapo tins are about 45p. This also works for cats. don't be tempted to use the ones in oil as it will give him the scuds (!) or brine as it's too salty.

mistlethrush Fri 03-Jan-14 13:00:12

Pills always go down in butter here - if necessary, you give several little curls of butter with no pill, then when they're slipping down easily you slip in the one with the pill wrapped up inside and then another bit of butter for good measure. Or stilton - but that's rather messy on the fingers, although the smell overpowers any possible medicine smell.

MrsHappyBee Fri 03-Jan-14 13:02:17

We have the same problem getting our SBT vaccinated, he gets himself really het up in the surgery, has to be pinned in a corner etc, impossible to muzzle. Our vet has let us take the syringe home in the past, but the last 2 times a very determined young vet managed to get it done. She couldn't get the kennel cough squirt up his snout though! DH does that at home waiting until he's asleep on the sofa. Ear drops have also been a nightmare.
Is there another surgery that would be more accomodating?
As for using food to hide tablets / medicine, I use a lump of cheese, or a blob of peanut butter (may not be good for dogs though, but mine really likes it), what's your dog's favourite treat?

thwinka Fri 03-Jan-14 13:03:49

Oooh, that's not a bad idea tabulahrasa Hadn't thought of restraining him in a towel. I could do that and then wear my partners big thick biker gloves to syringe in his mouth once 98% of him is covered in towel!!
Ok, I might be being a bit precious now, but this would actually be going against the advice of work I have done with a behaviourist with him though? He is a very nervous/ fear aggressive dog, and we have been advised never to push him over his boundaries as it would effect the trust he has in us as his owners?
Please come and tell me now whether I am just being precious and should just wrap him up and dunk it in. I spent £90 yesterday on a 5 min consultation and this medicine, so tbh, I am a bit pissed of at the prospect of going back and paying out again just because my dog wont play ball and take his medicine!!

thwinka Fri 03-Jan-14 13:08:53

mrshappybee its good to know there are others with this problem!! We can muzzle our dog, but I have to do it here. We wouldn't get near him if we attempted to do it in the surgery himself as he starts the minute we get through the door. I had to pin him against me just so they could listen to his chest, he really is that bad. His favourite food is meat or cheese, but he still finds the smashed up tablet and spits it back out.

Mitchy1nge Fri 03-Jan-14 13:12:20

liquid in a ball of crab paste? or pate (dunno how to do circumflex or other accents on this) hidden in a cooked sausage?

tabulahrasa Fri 03-Jan-14 13:12:47

I think medical need trumps behavioural advice...if you see what I mean, if he needs antibiotics then he needs them.

To be totally honest, I'd do what I do with my cat, sneak up, shove it in run away, lol. If you can do it fast enough, he won't have time to get upset.

I actually find liquid much easier than tablets to give, you don't need to have their mouth open, as long as your aim is at the back they swallow whether they want to or not.

xxMrsCxx Fri 03-Jan-14 13:17:25

Used to have same problem giving medication to our dogs but stick the pills in small bit of pate and it disappears in no time grin

thwinka Fri 03-Jan-14 13:20:01

Yep, your righttabulahrasa he has to have the antibiotics and I really don't want to go back and spend another £80 on tablets just to have the same problem. I shall swaddle him up later when other half gets home and hunt out some thick gloves!! Thanks guys for your help, I feel a little less frustrated with him atm grin

MrsHappyBee Fri 03-Jan-14 13:24:51

Good Luck OP, the things we have to do for our four legged friends!

daisychicken Fri 03-Jan-14 13:29:31

My Dog has take a liquid medicine twice a day.. the only way we've got him to take it is to add a small amount of tinned dog food to his meal and then carefully dribble the liquid on to the meat. He'll then eat it happily, anything else we've tried is rejected...

Might be worth a try?

thwinka Fri 03-Jan-14 13:38:21

We've found we have managed to get away with that in the past daisychicken when it has only been a small amount such as Metacam. But he needs 1.5ml of the liquid x2 daily which is a hell of a lot to disguise as he is only a little bigger than a Chihuahua!! He only eats small meals, so that amount of liquid is really noticeable!! He only has to have 0.2 of the metacam so hid that inside a piece of cheese with the middle cut out, but not a chance of doing that with the antibiotic liquid as it is to big a dose to hide in the small amount of food he has hmm

mrshappybee Tell me about it. Its like having a third child!!

tabulahrasa Fri 03-Jan-14 13:52:02

My dog thankfully quite likes metacam - but I haven't found anything I can hide tablets in that doesn't get rejected or spat out afterwards. I now just outright bribe him ( I have to get them in somehow as he's on metacam longterm and currently 3 capsules of other stuff twice a day). I get a tube of primula, say mouth, stick tablets down the back of his throat wait for him to swallow them and then he gets some primula...that has taken about a month though.

The cat has two different tablets and a liquid painkiller...not metacam as one of her tablets is a steroid, the tablets I just always feed her straight afterwards so she's stopped objecting and comes running when you rattle the bottle, but the liquid she hates, it smells like nail varnish remover to be fair - I've just got good at shoving it in a split second and moving away.

I'd love to say like a ninja...but I think I may not quite be ninja-like, lol

If it makes you feel any better, I'm currently working out the logistics of getting the dog to the behavioral specialist next week without him being car sick because I leave him in it to go say I'm there or deciding to jump at anyone in reception snarling and barking...

daisychicken Fri 03-Jan-14 15:12:12

That is a lot to hide! I wonder if it could be mixed with say peanut butter and then wrapped in a little bread to make a ball? Have the vet specified how it's to be given or if it can be mixed with food?

I think towel, gloves and syringe might be the way to go - get it in and then give a treat... it's a pain but at least you will know he's had it..

I've done a lot for my pets but running round the garden after my dog to get a urine sample was I think the one that sticks out in my mind the most!!

NuttyMuttie Fri 03-Jan-14 15:59:35

Could he just be taken to the vet and the vet give him the injection in the car rather than the full stress of the surgery.

I would then work very hard on counter conditioning to get him happier at the vets - very easy to do but can take a little time.

thwinka Fri 03-Jan-14 16:48:19

nuttymuttie We did work hard at the counter conditioning. We travelled to the vets every day for 3 months working on it. He started showing stress signals the minute we are in the road and there was just no improvement? We have spent a fortune on behaviourists to help his reactivity towards different things and I just dont really know what else to do sad

I am very upset now tbh. I tried to put his Advocate on a little while ago and he has just gone bonkers and bit me. He will usually tolerate his Advocate (although it has taken 18 months for him to accept this even) but he is that stressed from me trying to get his antibiotics and the vet visit yesterday that he has now bit me and I am just at the end of my tether with him sad Its ridiculous that I am sitting here crying but I am just exhausted from him. He is reactive towards people, other dogs, the list goes on. He is alot better than he was in some areas but we cant even have people round our house without him going mad if he doesn't know them.

Sorry for the rant, I just need to get it off my chest sad

NuttyMuttie Fri 03-Jan-14 17:41:47

thwinka at times like this only cake orwine will help. Reactive dogs are hard work and it does seem like to owners that you are going backwards more than you are moving forward at times despite all the hard work owners put in.

Give both of you a break for an hour or two.

Counter conditioning is effective but as you know you need to work well below the stress level so re the vet you may need to click and treat at the top of the road and not even make it into the carpark for a while.

However it does sound like he is an anxious little chap so maybe just generally confidence building training would be better for him and also show you what he can do rather than concentrate on what is so frustrating.

I can link to some videos but off out for a bit now.

Don't blame him or yourself just have a chill out with out him for a bit - this will get better

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