Cat Medicine and Dog Medicine

If you take proper care and appropriate precautions, you can administer cat medicine and dog medicine yourself.

| September/October 1979

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    The administration of cat medicine and dog medicine requires different tactics. An angry tabby can leave permanent reminders of its distress, so use the tranquilizing "maternal" back-of-the-neck grasp when administering a shot.
    PHOTO: RANDY KIDD
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    Lubricate a pill or "bolus" of this size with butter or mineral oil before you tickle pooch's tonsils with it, and then stoke the neck—or blow in the nose—to induce swallowing.
    RANDY KIDD
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    Liquid medicine will slip 'twixt Rovers tongue and his lip (then just tilt his head back and the elixir will be gone in a gulp).
    RANDY KIDD
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    Subcutaneous injections are given in the middle of the dog's back, in the loose fold of skin just over the shoulders. Have a helper restrain Fido so you don't get bitten.
    RANDY KIDD
  • 059 cat medicine dog medicine 06 dog gag2.jpg
    A gauze bandage is the best way to protect yourself from the little nipper. If you're dealing with a "short-snouted" mutt, though, have someone hold the dog's head in the crook of his or her arm, and cradle the canine's body with the other arm.
    RANDY KIDD
  • 059 cat medicine dog medicine 05 dog shot, butt2.jpg
    Give intramuscular injections in the rear third of the dog's thigh, a safe distance from the sciatic nerve that runs down the middle of the leg.
    RANDY KIDD

  • 059 cat medicine dog medicine 01 cat injection.jpg
  • 059 cat medicine dog medicine 03 dog pill.jpg
  • 059 cat medicine dog medicine 02 dog liquid.jpg
  • 059 cat medicine dog medicine 04 dog shot, back2.jpg
  • 059 cat medicine dog medicine 06 dog gag2.jpg
  • 059 cat medicine dog medicine 05 dog shot, butt2.jpg

People have kept dog and cat companions ever since humankind began to domesticate animals, and most folks feel that sharing life with at least one of the furry housemates is an educational and pleasurable experience. Unfortunately, such four-legged family members do get sick now and then. In fact, it sometimes seems that a household's animals require more medical care than do its humans!

You can, however, save a considerable amount of time, effort, worry, and money by treating many pet illnesses yourself. I'll describe some basic veterinary techniques that will help you administer dog and cat medicine. But first, a few important words of warning:

[1] Consult with your vet to find out what medicine you should be giving your pets (this piece will tell you "how to" but not "what to").

[2] Be careful about what you're doing. Know the proper techniques for cleaning and filling a syringe (as described in my article, "You Can Too Give That Animal an Injection.") Read medicine labels several times to be sure you're using the proper amounts. And be painstaking in your efforts to apply those physics properly.



[3] Don't become frustrated if Kitty keeps spitting out the pill or Rover squirms free just when you finally get the needle ready. Patience is an often necessary virtue for any animal healer to develop.

Oral Dog Medicine

The easiest way to give oral medications to your canine, of course, is to take advantage of the beast's gluttonous nature. Simply hide the powdered or capsuled remedy in your pup's favorite treat and let the "patient" gulp it down.






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