Getting medicine down a Basenji
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    Hi, I am new to the forum but wish I had found this years ago.

    My Basenji is 16. He has arthritis/hip dysplasia, big lumps and most recently had a very scary seizure. Needless to say – the medications required to treat him are ever expanding. He now has 3 pills and vitamins (liquid form) to take daily. Any suggestions for how to administer these?

    I've tried pill pockets, braunsweger, wrapping it in sandwich meat... these all work for a time but then (in usual basenji fashion) he eventually detects the pills and won't take it anymore. Just thought I would throw it out there to see if anyone had anything new to try.

    Thanks so much!

    Senji's mom

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  • Welcome to the forum! I too have tried all the methods you list, and none of them work any more. I even fed them pieces of the meat without pills for a few mouthfuls before the piece with the pill inside, and they know, they just know. They carefully eat what's around the pill and spit it out. I tried a tube big enough to fit the pill in and gently tried blowing the pill down them - they hacked it up. So now, I just open their mouths and put it in their throat with my longest finger, and hold their mouths closed while stroking their throats to make them swallow. Not fun for me or for them, but they did have options and rejected them. So unfortunately, it's the way it is.:rolleyes:

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    Thanks so much Shaye's Mom….

    One other question and it's kind of embarassing but do you have help with putting the pill down their throat? I think I could probably swing that one time and then he would run away if he saw it coming --- just like bath time!

    If I had someone to help me I think I could do it but it's just me and him...so if you do that solo I would like to know how you manage...

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  • @Shaye's:

    Welcome to the forum! I too have tried all the methods you list, and none of them work any more. I even fed them pieces of the meat without pills for a few mouthfuls before the piece with the pill inside, and they know, they just know. They carefully eat what's around the pill and spit it out. I tried a tube big enough to fit the pill in and gently tried blowing the pill down them - they hacked it up. So now, I just open their mouths and put it in their throat with my longest finger, and hold their mouths closed while stroking their throats to make them swallow. Not fun for me or for them, but they did have options and rejected them. So unfortunately, it's the way it is.:rolleyes:

    +1…. That is what I do also. I make a "pack" with them that if they let me shove the pill down, I will not hide pills in food. I hold the mouth open and with the other, shove the pill as far down the throat as I can hold the mouth shut till they swallow

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  • The only thing that works 100% of the time for hiding pills for pill taking in my house is cream cheese. However, when Brando went into anaphylaxis this summer and couldn't take food to take a pill, I pilled him with benadryl by basically doing what Shaye's mom did, except instead of stroking the neck, I put the pill as far back on his tongue as I could reach, held his mouth closed and blew in his nose which I was taught would elicit a swallow. Thankfully that worked. So I would say it is really important to know how to pill a dog - and not just by hiding it in their food. Because had I not known how to pill Brando, he would have died.

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  • And always watch for the 'lick' action after they swallow. That tells you that it made it 'down the hatch'.

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    Is there anyway to get the medication in liquid form? Sometimes the liquid form is more expensive. I have even seen antibiotics in liquid form.

    A few of my dogs are on Metacam for arthritis/spondylosis and it is a liquid that you can either put in food or down the throat.

    Jennifer

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  • I grind the pills and add them to a jar of chicken baby food or mix them in with raw diet, mine wont do any solid pills in anything.

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    @lisastewart:

    I grind the pills and add them to a jar of chicken baby food or mix them in with raw diet, mine wont do any solid pills in anything.

    I also grind mine and make a paste with either butter or cream cheese. Since this an everyday thing though, I would suggest the baby food. Too much butter or cream cheese could make him sicker.

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  • @lisastewart:

    I grind the pills and add them to a jar of chicken baby food or mix them in with raw diet, mine wont do any solid pills in anything.

    That sounds like a good idea since Senji's Mom has to get more than one pill down her guy. In answer to her question though: Yes, I do it solo - my husband prefers that all things the dogs hate must get done by me. That may be why they are "daddy's girls." that may also be why when they are hurting or unhappy, they come to me, so it's a good tradeoff. Anyway, I open their mouths with one hand and stuff the pill down with the other. I do it when they are calm, and I go to them rather than calling them over. Usually it works best when they are sitting, then I can stroke them a little, then gently open the mouth and put the pill as far back as possible, then hold their mouth shut and stroke the neck. Never heard of blowing in their nose, but if it works, that's worth a try too. Good luck.

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  • I also use Peanut Butter. The boxer takes about 7 pills a day and she never, ever, misses her Pb. She hears the jar and comes running-as do all the rest! Even Soda, who didn't like Pb when he came back-I don't think he knew what it was, runs for the Pbutter now.

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    @klshoe:

    Hi, I am new to the forum but wish I had found this years ago.

    My Basenji is 16. He has arthritis/hip dysplasia, big lumps and most recently had a very scary seizure. Needless to say – the medications required to treat him are ever expanding. He now has 3 pills and vitamins (liquid form) to take daily. Any suggestions for how to administer these?

    I've tried pill pockets, braunsweger, wrapping it in sandwich meat... these all work for a time but then (in usual basenji fashion) he eventually detects the pills and won't take it anymore. Just thought I would throw it out there to see if anyone had anything new to try.

    Thanks so much!

    Senji's mom

    I'm lucky enough that my pup thinks meds are treats.. :) But I had one med once that he hated… but usually if I dipped it in peanut butter he loved it. Have you tried putting it in a bowl of wet dog food too? Could work for the liquid meds?

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    I grind up some chicken or turkey breast in a mini food processor and make a few balls containing the pills, as well as a few "decoy" balls of meat. Cream cheese works occasionally too. If he's really being stubborn, I have to make balls of cream cheese wrapped with pieces of turkey lunchmeat.

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  • I just read through this thread and it brought back (painful!) memories. Fortunately I do not currently have any dogs or cats to pill. They all seem to figure out the food disguise thing sooner or later, and then it's back to opening the mouth and shoving it down…...and hoping it doesn't come right back after the swallow. I had one girl that I swear could fake it every time, then back would come the pill. Cats are worse! That shallow mouth makes it harder to avoid getting nailed with the canines. My biggest laugh was my Border Collie. He spit out the pill one time, and I expressed my disapproval, at which he said "sorry Mom" and picked it up off the floor and swallowed it! Would never happen with a Basenji! :)

    BTW, be it dog, cat or horse, I have always found it easier to work alone. Too many people ganging up makes the animal suspicious and much more likely to fight. If you have the right relationship with your pet you should be able to finesse it alone just fine. Lots of love and treats (if appropriate) afterwards takes the sting out of it. I am convinced animals read your intention and allow even painful treatments if they trust you.

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  • When Oakley came back from the hospital he had to take prilosec and a liver enzyme once a day, the first two days I put it in between two small pieces of cheese and it worked great, didnt even care. However, once he caught on to the pill hiding it stopped working and he would end up wasting ( IMO) A whole piece of cheese and still I'd have a messy wet blue pill in my hands. I found that If I hid it in cheese as I normally did but had a second piece of cheese readily in front of him, it tricked him into swallowing the first piece quickly in order to devour the second. I imagine with any food motivated dog you could trick them this way using anything ( pb,treats,cream cheese)

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    @eeeefarm:

    My biggest laugh was my Border Collie. He spit out the pill one time, and I expressed my disapproval, at which he said "sorry Mom" and picked it up off the floor and swallowed it! Would never happen with a Basenji! :)

    LOL! I had the same experience with my Border Collie. And now am learning the painful lesson of how this just won't happen with my little Basenji :)

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  • I forgot to mention that we are very successful with putting pills in a small chunk of well aged cheddar cheese. :D Of course, a nice Chianti with it makes it more memorable. Oh… pilling dogs? :D Yes, for them, the cheese works too.

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  • ROFL @ Kipawa!

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  • Maybe the trick would be to give wine to the Basenji before the cheese with the pill in it? I don't know about wine, but my last Basenji had an appreciation for beer if he could get his nose in the glass when nobody was looking. :)

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    I vary giving pills with the individual. Some I grind up and mix them well in raw meat. I have several pices of meat only in my hand, give one of those and then tease the dog with the rest (it helps if there's another dog around). I find that then I can easily give the ground pill with the meat. After they've taken the pill I hen I give another piece of meat. With some i have to put the pill at the back of themouth as the others describe. i do it on my own as I can more easily keep the dog calm then.

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  • Blowing pills down a dogs throat with a straw or something similar isn't a good idea since it can wind up in their lungs…

    If you're hiding pills, handle them with tweezers, not your fingers: that way your dog can't smell the meds on your hands and realize what you're doing. I find peanut butter works really well for hiding pills--Ki can't spit out pills when her tongue is stuck to the roof of her mouth : ) Kraft unsweetened PB won't contribute to any dental issues. A friend took it a step further and got CHUNKY pb, she swears her dog can't tell the difference between the peanut chunks & pill fragments.

    Also blue cheese or Goat Cheese/Chevre are so stinky they conceal the pill odour/taste. Just a reminder, 'tho, cheese contains a lot of calcium which will interfere with absorption of Thyroid meds if that's what you're administering.

    Finally, check with owners in the Fanconi section of the forum for more Pilling Tips, they're UBER CHAMPIONs at administering pills.

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