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Author Topic: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie  (Read 4501 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
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How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« on: July 01, 2022, 06:29:10 pm »
I think my Dot must have the world's most discerning palette.

She has what is almost certainly a tumour on her elbow.  She's 14, so neither the vet nor I are keen to put her through what would be a very complicated surgery, and no guarantees of what time she would have left afterwards. 

Apart from the tumour, she is in excellent health, and if we can manage the pain well, she should have a good few months of good quality life left to enjoy.

But, getting the meds *into* her is taxing me.  She should be having co-codamol twice a day, tramadol three times a day and Metacam once a day.  The Metacam is fine, I can squirt that on her breakfast and she eats up with no problem.

The other two are white tablets.  I have tried and given up putting them in her throat, she is a master at bringing them back up and is now fighting me when I try to open her mouth.  Fights with my best pal 5 times a day, eroding her trust in me, is not the happy last few months I was hoping for and is breaking both our hearts, so I've stopped trying to medicate her that way.

So it's crushing them up and mixing with her food.  But she can clearly detect them and is not enjoying her food nor finishing it (in fact mostly now she is not even eating it, unless I dish her up totally fresh, clean food) - and her twice daily meals were one of her top three pleasures. 

"Hide it in a chunk of meat" won't work : she can detect the smallest lump of tablet, and will mess around with a mouthful of Chappie (her favourite tinned food), spitting out all the bits with white powder in them. 

It is literally life and death, but we are only looking at a few more months, or maybe even only weeks anyway, so it is absolutely not worth making her miserable to get the meds into her.

Any bright ideas, anyone? 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2022, 06:35:06 pm »
For the avoidance of doubt, if she is in pain which can't be managed and/or is not enjoying her life, then she will be painlessly put to sleep in my arms.  I have told the vet emphatically that we are treat her for *her* benefit, not for mine - I can and will get over it when she goes, and will not prolong her life to defer that pain for myself.

But, when the leg doesn't hurt, she still loves her dinner, loves to see me, loves her walks, loves to meet other dogs, and if she is feeling really fit, loves to play her incomprehensible games that only she understands.  So if the pain can be managed, she will really enjoy her last few months - and yes, so will I. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

doganjo

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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2022, 08:08:36 pm »
I sympathise. Brittanys are working dogs like Collies.  Their nose and taste buds are their livelihood.

I've had success with liver pate, primula cheese and other strong flavoured things.  Worth a try if you haven't used them yet

Good luck,
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

SallyintNorth

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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2022, 08:56:32 pm »
Thanks Annie, I will add them to the list - chicken gravy, tinned pilchards in tomato sauce...  I am burning through the tablets but getting no medication into her as yet... 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

silkwoodzwartbles

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2022, 09:35:10 pm »
Can she catch food if you throw it to her? I used to play a game with my old dog when he needed tablets - I'd chop up chunks of cheese and Frankfurter sausage and hide the tablet in one piece. Then throw them one at a time, an unmedicated one first, and let him catch them. By the time I chucked the medicated one he was swallowing them whole in excitement.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2022, 09:52:53 pm »
Haha, she never swallows anything whole once she knows there are pills in the offing - and I have to give her 5 half pills each day  :o

I don't really think it's viable, just thought I had to ask, just in case...
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2022, 10:25:08 pm »
Most meds come in liquid form as well as pill, especially the human ones such as Tramadol and cocodamol.  Ask your vet if she can try those and mix with something very strong smelling. Some dog-specific meds come in tasty preparations so perhaps your vet can change the actual med, just so she gets some pain relief ?  Dogs watch their owner with laser eyes so she will see you preparing any tricks if you do it where she can see. Similarly if she can hear you doing it then she'll be onto you.
I so understand your dilemma, having lost 3 older dogs recently, poor Dot.


I think Silkwoodzwartbles is close to the mark with a selection of treated and untreated treats!  Sophie is easy as pie because she will swallow anything, but Brodie the pup is wiley.  I tend to use a small cube of mature cheddar with the pill pushed into the middle. I give one untainted cube, followed by the tainted one then have a third (or better still a piece of ham) hovering just out of reach so the pill has gone down in the excitement of wanting the next one. But if Dot won't swallow anything whole then that isn't going to work.  You could try giving her something she will like several times a day for several days before putting a pill in it, maybe sardines.


I'm sure you know that Dot will pick up on your emotions so if you are getting upset about giving her the pills your anxiety will show before you ever get as far as the kitchen or wherever to do the deed, so somehow you have to turn it into a happy play event.
If you have to take the decision that nothing is working and it's time to end it, then make her last few days extra happy with no pills, nothing she doesn't want to do, lots of play - for you as well as her   :hug: :hug: :hug: .
« Last Edit: July 01, 2022, 10:28:34 pm by Fleecewife »
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SallyintNorth

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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2022, 08:16:56 pm »
Thanks all for the ideas - and the understanding.

Good idea about a last few happy pill-free days, Juliet, but unfortunately they won't be happy and she won't be playing if she doesn't get any pain relief (and more than just the easy-to-administer Metacam.)

Anyways, I got some cocodamol down her twice today, the morning one hidden inside one of a series of "whole smelly dried small fish" treats (given alongside Jilly getting the same, so Dot would be in danger of losing any treat she dropped, making her slightly less discerning) and the second in one of four pieces of freshly-roasted fantastic organic happy Hampshire pig sausages scattered on top of her favourite dinner (pieces of roast chicken and skin.)  She did actually detect it the first time she picked up that piece of sausage, and spat that piece on the floor, but I retrieved and rewrapped it and snuck it back in her bowl, and it went straight down the second time.  (*)

The tramadol hidden in another "whole smelly dried small fish" treat was detected before the treat was even in her mouth, despite being totally encased within the fish's gullet, so it must have a very pungent smell to her, and it clearly tastes awful.  She wouldn't even eat the section of the fish where the tablet had been after I removed it, even with Jilly hovering nearby.  So I put on my big girl pants and managed to put the tablet right on the back of her tongue (first time I have ever managed that with this dog) and got it down her.

She was still limping but happier and running, wanting to play with Jilly, on the afternoon walk, so it is clear that the pain meds cocktail will work, for a while at least.

I have a variety of things to use as treats on her feed to hide the cocodamol in, so I am hopeful that I will be able to get those down her without too much bother henceforth. :fc:

I have ordered some "pill pockets" to try, which will be there by Weds.  The pill gets completely encased in a tasty treat, apparently.  I have my doubts even they will work with the tramadol, so I also bought a pill gun.  I figure pill gun, do it quick, then a piece of sausage (unmedicated); hopefully she will accept the indignity of being coerced to take the terrible pill in the light of the yummy sausage which follows it.  :fc:

And I will call the vet to see if there are any other ways the tramadol could be presented - a liquid to mix in a strong chicken gravy (her favourite gravy) served with half a tin of Chappie might just work. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2022, 08:21:57 pm »
(*)  Re: Dot eating the piece of sausage with the pill in it the second time...  Did she think there would only be one pill and she'd spat it out so now she was safe?   :thinking:  I had a cat once, Brendon, who always left one single piece of meat in his bowl, after he had found a pill concealed in a piece of meat on one occasion.  You could get him to eat that piece in another meal, so I reckoned he must figure, as he reached the last piece, that since he hadn't found the pill yet, it must be in that last piece.   ::)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2022, 08:24:53 pm by SallyintNorth »
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Backinwellies

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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2022, 09:07:21 am »
Hope your persistance pays off Sally.  I am so glad that Jessie will take her steroid tablets easily with butter  or cheese ..... as she is only 2 and other wise very healthy
Linda

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SallyintNorth

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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2022, 10:40:59 am »
The pill popper was useless.  Didn't loose the pill!   So had to do it by hand.  She took the post-pill sausage apology and went to eat it away from me  :'(  but loved me again this morning :relief:

Breakfast cocodamol-in-sausage down in one, she enjoyed her breakfast :yum:

But I am not sure even all these meds are giving her enough pain relief, so I really don't think we have very much longer.  ...  :'( 

I actually tried to get the vet to tell me to have her put to sleep, but he thinks we should give it a few weeks to be sure it is a tumour (which would get worse) and not anything else (which should start to heal) and let her have some more fun times until we can't manage the pain.

At the mo I am thinking I'd rather pay for an x-ray / CT scan than be anxious about how she is feeling, but I will  give the meds a few more days to be sure, as it sometimes takes a while to get back on top of pain.  But it's borderline at the moment.  And I suspect that when she is comfortable on her walk, she overdoes it, and then is sore later...   ::)  I don't want to be looking back and wondering, though, so if the vet isn't certain it's cancer, we need to do something to achieve that certainty! 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

doganjo

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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2022, 04:19:16 pm »
I think I'd ask for a further check on what the lump actually is too.  Aspirate and test, or if that is too much for her an x-ray/MRI

Costly but you'd have peace of mind, and if it's not cancer there may be other options in treatment.  Have you measured it since starting treatment?

I'd maybe restrict exercise a bit too - it is very easy to think 'oh well, let's just let her enjoy the time she has left.'  But if it isn't cancer and can be treated differently it's worth holding back on exercise - dogs don't feel pain when enjoying running
.
I think I'd pursue liquid painkillers if you can - and yes it takes about a week for the effect to build up.  It very quickly loses effect if you miss doses too - from experience I have found that if I forget to take a dose I suffer the next day
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

PipKelpy

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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2022, 12:42:18 pm »
Chocolate mini rolls?

Our 1st Rottie towards the end wouldn't take her pills, they were for her heart so necessary. She was watching me eat one, so I offered her some, she took it, shoved her pills in, hey presto!

Did this for the last 2 weeks (didn't know this though, she went into liver failure, heart was fine).



Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2022, 02:11:54 pm »
I may be called cold-hearted, but reading through all this.... I know what I would do, as of yesterday. I think if we see any animal is in pain, then it must be in a LOT of pain, as they are all quite good at hiding it. And to only gain a few more months, maybe...


I personally feel that we should let them go while the going is still good enough to not make me regretting not having done it earlier...

doganjo

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Re: How to get tablets into super-discerning collie
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2022, 03:03:13 pm »
I may be called cold-hearted, but reading through all this.... I know what I would do, as of yesterday. I think if we see any animal is in pain, then it must be in a LOT of pain, as they are all quite good at hiding it. And to only gain a few more months, maybe...

I personally feel that we should let them go while the going is still good enough to not make me regretting not having done it earlier...
To an extent I agree, if you know the dog cannot have more good life - but this tumour has not been investigated sufficiently in my view, and if painkillers keep her happy until that is proved to be untreatable then I;d carry on.

Not only that - all owners know when the time is right - dogs let you know.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

 

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