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Tuxedodog

Need pilling help

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Hey everyone, I have been meaning to drop by and say how great things are. Charley and my husband are perfect for each other, and for me too. Charley plays ball, he has also taught my husband patience with his unusual learning style. Unfortunately one of our failures to fix is the ability to open Charley's mouth, or even just lift a lip, the other is clipping his nails. Nothing that involves restraining him is accepted, a major flipout happens if you try. I spent a lot of time with touch and treat for his feet and again for his mouth, but the sessions were very short and never progressed past 1 or 2 treats and then he would shut down.

 

Our last vet visit brought a positive Lyme disease diagnosis so now I have big capsules twice a day to pill him. Charley is one of those dogs who savors every bite of food, so anything that I hide the pill in, gets licked off. I got a couple down in Sunflower butter, I tried emptying the capsules, but I don't feel that he is getting the whole dose since part always remains stuck to the capsule. I am going out of town for a few days, so I need a fool-proof way for my husband to medicate Charley. I am going to try pill pockets, but I am not holding out a lot of hope that he will be fooled. Any suggestions are welcome.

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I have to give Molly pills, daily. She tends to chew and lick her food so hiding it was a total no-go and more of one after she chomped down and bit into the pill and become wary of food.


At this stage I ask her to come get her pill, she sits, I open her mouth, poke the pill down her throat (gently!) with my index finger and THEN give her a treat.

 

...I'm a terrible person, but it works and doesn't traumatize her, so.

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I'd just empty the capsules into something extremely yummy like liverwurst and mash it in. Sunflower butter or PB are also fine, but the liverwurst tends to be a little firmer, allowing you to make balls out of it. Some soft cheeses will lend themselves to this method as well.

 

You should be able to get everything out of the capsule by sticking a toothpick into the capsule ends to dislodge anything that remains.

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I can't open his mouth. One vet poo pooed me saying that and he reached nicely for Charley's mouth and Charley climbed over the tech that was holding him.

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How old is Charley, and how long have you had him?

I would definitely encourage you not to give up on working with him on this issue, because it may be very important to be able to handle his mouth and his feet.

 

How, for instance, can you keep his claws trimmed or brush his teeth if you cannot handle those parts of his body?

I know that for some dogs it is a real challenge. I am just encouraging you not to give up. If you worked with him on it for a few weeks or even months and he did not change, it is not time to give up, in my opinion. I have worked with a dog for two years to get something changed. It is worth it.

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I don't know that I would pre-mix the meds with the liverwurst or other treat. Some things do not do last well once they are exposed to air or other materials.

 

I have one dog that is easy to pill, one that is less easy but who will eagerly swallow a treat whole, and one that is hard to get meds in, unless the med is liquid, and then he's a saint. The last one has a long muzzle so it's harder for me to get a pill far enough back in his mouth, plus he resists opening his mouth well. And he isn't fooled by hiding meds in treats, either. But he's easy for liquid meds, at least what I've had to administer so far.

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I'd be concerned about the medication degrading if mixed with something much ahead of time, too. If it were me, I'd mix it fresh each time. PITA, but better knowing he's getting what he needs.

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Charley is 5, we have had him about 3 years. The first time I got him trimmed he was fine - they ground down his nails. That was the last time we were able to trim him unmedicated. There were several attempts that failed by experienced groomers. We used to give him a big dose of Ace (we started with increasing doses under supervision by my vet.) and then calmly trim him. It has been awhile, so I asked my new vet and he flipped out, got the muzzle off and went for her. Mercifully he isn't a mean dog, as soon as she let go, he backed off. She gave him a shot of Ace and it caused an opposite reaction and he flipped out when the vet approached him, he backed off when she stepped back. He has an unusual learning style. He knows to sit and stay or back up from the door, but when we moved, we had to retrain him at just one of the doors. We literally had to pick him up and move him away from the door to get him to back off. The mouth thing has always worried me, but the severity of his overreaction makes us avoid pushing him.

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Burger balls. Raw hamburger with the pills wrapped in the middle. One pill per burger ball. Make them small enough so they just cover the pill. You can give him one or two first with nothing in them so he doesn't get suspicious. Alternate between a loaded one and an empty one. He will soon look forward to his burger balls.

A

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Burger balls. Raw hamburger with the pills wrapped in the middle. One pill per burger ball. Make them small enough so they just cover the pill. You can give him one or two first with nothing in them so he doesn't get suspicious. Alternate between a loaded one and an empty one. He will soon look forward to his burger balls.

A

 

You can do this with anything soft enough to wrap around the pill, liverwurst, soft cheese, etc.

 

But yeah, offering some without pills to prime his enthusiasm before sneaking in a pill loaded treat often works like a charm for sneaky dogs. ;)

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Except for Dan, who is suspicious and will check anything out carefullythat's big enough to hide even a little pill...

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Whatever he likes - hamburger, liverwurst (what dog does NOT like that?!), cream cheese, peanut butter (without xylitol):


T = treat (whichever of the above)

 

Pattern: Give him T, T, T, T w/pill, T, T, etc.

 

Vary it so he never knows which finger-full is going to have the pill in it.

That has worked well for all of mine.

 

Another possible solution: Pill Pockets. But since he seems able to "life" the pills, it may take the pattern above to get him to use these. (I don't happen to like them due to some ingredients, but on an occasional basis - if it works, go for it!).

diane

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Whatever he likes - hamburger, liverwurst (what dog does NOT like that?!), cream cheese, peanut butter (without xylitol):

 

T = treat (whichever of the above)

 

Pattern: Give him T, T, T, T w/pill, T, T, etc.

 

Vary it so he never knows which finger-full is going to have the pill in it.

That has worked well for all of mine.

 

Another possible solution: Pill Pockets. But since he seems able to "life" the pills, it may take the pattern above to get him to use these. (I don't happen to like them due to some ingredients, but on an occasional basis - if it works, go for it!).

diane

 

 

This.

 

Also be sure that you don't have bitter pill residue on your fingers as you put them in the treats. When I had to give nasty pills I prepped the treats first, put on a nitrile glove (I have a bunch around for gross craft stuff) to carefully handle and poke the pills in, then took the glove off and washed my hands before molding the treat around the pill. Worked well.

 

I would consider practicing handling him and putting "pills" in his mouth by gradually desensitizing him and giving him "pills" of highly delicious food. You really do want to be able to pill him as needed.

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what Diane Allen and Rushdoggie said. The other thing to try is prep everything and then go to were you train or out of the kitchen. have your dog "work" for the treat balls by doing sits and downs or nose touches or tricks - something that engages them and gets their minds aroused so they are not fixated on being suspicious of the treat. I try to turn things into a game.

 

I also have one that did not at all like to be touched. Wiping off muddy feet and clipping nails was always a battle that we both dreaded. So I taught tricks that would make it easier, such as a hand shake. making it a game put us both in a better mindset.

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I don't know how you feel about raw feeding, but I will sometimes use chicken hearts to give pills. They have a nice little hole in them that is perfect. I will bury the pill inside of one heart. Give one that does not have a pill, give the one with the pill, and then give one more that doesn't have it.

 

I don't normally have to do this, but on the rare occasions that I do, it has never failed.

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Oh, yeah! How did I forget chicken heart hearts . . . nature's own ready made pill pockets!

 

They were a favorite for giving Tilly pills when she grew old and crotchety. :wub:

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One of my dogs seems to be able to find even small pills burried inside interesting goodies. I work on the one strick principle, one attempt with a goody, spit it out and I just pop it down his throat, which won't work for you . If you can empty the capsule then find something tasty like ground beef/turkey and give him that.

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Thanks for all the tips, so far (2 doses) liverwurst is working. I will try a few Just Treats to fool him. We do wipe feet, and he takes things very nicely from my hands, but when there is any element of restraint, it gets a little dicey especially when I I have my face near him and he gets stressed. He over reacts to the word No, and hits the deck even if it is just said calmly. He has come a long way in the past 3 years and we do still have positive changes happening in his daily behavior. We think of him as a work in progress, but he just doesn't respond well to training sessions. Everything for him is relatively situational and things don't always translate into real life, so we don't take a positive action indoors as a guarantee it will happen elsewhere. We were mortified when visiting family and he pooped in their basement. They live in a wide open area and he won't poop if you can see him.

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FWIW, I'm not really surprised that the issue escalated with the use of acepromazine. It renders the dog helpless without doing much for their mental state. So they're aware of what is going on but they can't do anything about it.

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I don't know how you feel about raw feeding, but I will sometimes use chicken hearts to give pills. They have a nice little hole in them that is perfect. I will bury the pill inside of one heart. Give one that does not have a pill, give the one with the pill, and then give one more that doesn't have it.

 

I don't normally have to do this, but on the rare occasions that I do, it has never failed.

What a great idea! Maybe that would work for Dan. Celt's easy to pill with cheese or pepperoni but Dan is highly suspicious and chews carefully while Celt gulps naively. ;)

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Thanks for all the tips, so far (2 doses) liverwurst is working. I will try a few Just Treats to fool him. We do wipe feet, and he takes things very nicely from my hands, but when there is any element of restraint, it gets a little dicey especially when I I have my face near him and he gets stressed. He over reacts to the word No, and hits the deck even if it is just said calmly. He has come a long way in the past 3 years and we do still have positive changes happening in his daily behavior. We think of him as a work in progress, but he just doesn't respond well to training sessions. Everything for him is relatively situational and things don't always translate into real life, so we don't take a positive action indoors as a guarantee it will happen elsewhere. We were mortified when visiting family and he pooped in their basement. They live in a wide open area and he won't poop if you can see him.

 

The key is to think about it as a behavior, vs a restraint. Think about how they train zoo animals to offer a limb for a blood draw by teaching it as a behavior in exchange for a reward. The animals calmly offer a body part for a poke because its a calmly learned behavior.

 

So if I was teaching a dog to accept pilling I would train him to offer to put his head on my hand, then open his mouth for me to put something tasty on his tongue, then down the side of his cheek, until he would willingly lay his head in my hand and let me poke my hands in his mouth.

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I had a really hard time with my last dog when I had to give him Tramadol, other pills he was okay with. I tried wrapping in raw chicken, bread, anything else he would scarf pills down with. Vet suggested salmon flavored cream cheese - it worked. I also will give my pills as if I'm giving a treat for a behavior, so it's not "pill time" I approach it the same as giving any treat so they are less likely to wise up.

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Tramadol is especially nasty tasting and usually has no coating so the flavor seeps into whatever it comes in contact with if it's moist. I put it into empty capsules that you should be able to buy at a pharmacy or health food store so that the dog can't taste it as easily. I had to cut the round pills in half to fit in the capsule, but it wasn't much trouble with a pill cutter and it was definitely worth the effort. If Tilly tasted tramadol she wouldn't touch whatever I'd hidden it in ever again, no matter how tasty it was. Putting it in capsules eliminated that problem.

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