Tagged with " medication"

Ways to Medicate Your Cat

Oct 17, 2013 by     No Comments    Posted under: Tips & Advice

I enjoyed reading Dr Ray’s post on medicating cats. It is always good when a veterinarian has first hand experience with medicating a cat – a task that is often a lesson in humility. My least favorite situation is the “I cannot catch you because you are hiding under the bed or behind the refrigerator.”

I often cringe when I hear “my husband grabs her and wraps her in a towel and after 3 attempts I finally get the pill in her.” I definitely would not want to be the source of that cat’s unhappiness; I would try and get my cat to agree with the medicating – especially critical for chronic medications. Easier said then done, right?

Dr Ray mentioned putting the medication in food but due to their keen sense of taste, and smell, that can prevent them from eating. We definitely don’t want that! Imagine someone putting something bitter in your food – would you eat it?

Pill pockets can be very helpful – until the day your cat says that was great for 8 months, but no thanks, I’m good, how about some of that yummy tuna instead.

The other hardship to consider is cutting tiny pills in quarters. With some of the extremely small medications this can be disastrous. With one pill, instead of 4 doses you get 2.

So when your cat says “no thank you” or you cannot cut the pills small enough, consider having a pharmacist compound the medication. Pretty simple, huh? Compounded medications are made to order only for your cat; it has become controversial since the issues at the New England Pharmacy. Congress is working on legislation to protect both humans and animals.

Medications can be made into such forms as: treats, liquids, or capsules. A very select few can even be made into transdermal gels. Your cat gets to decide what form he/she prefers.

So don’t despair, be sure and tell your veterinarian that you need help getting medications in to your cat. Trust me on this, we are here to help!

Dr Marcus Brown

Dr. Brown, founder of the NOVA Cat Clinic and co-founder of the NOVA Cat Clinic, received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1986 from the University of Illinois. Currently the medical director for Alley Cat Allies and is an active supporter in local, state and national feline organizations such as: American Veterinary Dental Society, American Association of Feline Practitioners, American Veterinary Medical Association and American Animal Hospital Association. Dr. Brown also contributed the creation of the Association of Feline Practitioners’ 2009 Wellness Guidelines for Feline Practitioners.

Dr. Brown enjoys continuing education and regularly attends seminars and conferences across the country focusing on the advancement in feline veterinary care. Dr. Brown also utilizes on-line discussion groups and veterinary networks to assist the clinic in maintaining the highest level of care and providing the newest treatments available in feline medicine.

NOVA Cat Clinic
923 N. Kenmore St.
Arlington VA 22201

Phone: 703-525-1955
Fax: 703-525-1957
Email: novacatclinic@gmail.com

Website: http://novacatclinic.com/
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Tough Talk About Teeth

Jan 17, 2013 by     3 Comments    Posted under: Tips & Advice

Can you imagine what your mouth would look like if you went 35 or so years without brushing your teeth?  I suspect you wouldn’t be having a second career as the “kissing bandit,” and you’d probably also be in the market for some good denture adhesive.  “Tuna breath” isn’t necessarily a term of endearment!

Most of us don’t feel right if we haven’t brushed our teeth at least once a day…but what if we’re a cat without any access to a tooth brush, floss and toothpaste? What would that feel like?

If your cat has gone more than 6 years without a cleaning, that’s the human equivalent of not brushing for 35 years.  Yuck!

I saw an absolutely beautiful cat named Rufus last year, and just like his name implies he had a very fluffy and foxlike orange coat, which he clearly fastidiously groomed and kept in tip-top shape.  He was in for a regular check up, and during his physical exam, I noticed that he had some inflammation along the gum line and a little tartar and plaque build up.  His parents and I talked about getting him in for a dental cleaning procedure, and at age 4 he was actually a little older than the typical age when we start to do cleanings.  Anyway, life got in the way for Rufus and his owners, and that cleaning appointment got rescheduled, and rescheduled again, and then finally forgotten.

Fast forward to last month, and beautiful Rufus was in for his annual exam.  He’d lost about a pound, which to put into perspective is about 10 pounds or so for us, and his previously shiny and gorgeous coat was looking a little ragged and matted.  Rufus also was accompanied by a pronounced and fairly nauseating odor, which was centered around his mouth.

Sweet Rufus cried when I opened his mouth to check things out, and what I saw was a real testimonial to the power of time.  His gums were red and angry, and had receded from his teeth to such an extent that the roots were visible.  The tartar and plaque I’d noticed last year had significantly worsened, and there were visible cavities surrounded by swollen gums.  Most ominously, the back of his throat was fiery red and obviously sensitive.  His folks reported that Rufus was hesitant chewing food and swallowing seemed an effort.  In fact, they thought he was spending much less time grooming himself than he usually did, and mouth pain seemed the likely culprit.  All in all, he had changed from a vibrant and happy youngster into a hesitant, stand-offish individual.

Could this be fixed?  Clearly, we needed to try something to see if we could stop Rufus’s deterioration and distress.  First step was scheduling Rufus for an in-depth evaluation of his mouth while he was under anesthesia—this hurt way to much to even consider doing the probing while he was conscious!  Second step was using medicines to manage his pain and discomfort until we could fully address his problems during his dental procedure.  This time there was no hesitation—Rufus got his appointment secured—stat!

The morning of his oral surgery, Rufus was anesthetized and bundled up into a warming blanket as a breathing tube was eased down into his throat.  What I saw when I slid my dental probe into the junction between his teeth and his gum line was shocking.  Basically, all the necessary attachments between the tooth roots and the bone were missing.  X-rays confirmed that the resulting bone loss was so severe that it could not be reversed. These teeth could not be saved.  His gums were so inflamed and irritated that even a gentle touch was enough to create bleeding, and there were several pockets of active infection.  No wonder our poor boy didn’t want to eat!

Cats have 30 teeth, 12 of which are those tiny teeth in between the big fangs.  This is just a few more than we humans have.  Most of us don’t want to lose our teeth and false teeth are only a last resort when all else fails.  So even thinking about removing most of Rufus’s teeth just didn’t sit well with his parents.  But did we have options?

I know cats feel better and are happier when their mouths don’t hurt them.  But what I saw when I probed Rufus’s teeth meant we had a situation where our only solution was radical.  What I was proposing was the extraction of every single one of his 30 teeth.  Was this too extreme?  Could he eat?  Would he look funny?

Reluctantly, Rufus’s parents gave the OK and we began the long process of gently and thoroughly removing every single tooth he had, down to the last root tip. We also surgically biopsied a small piece of tissue at the center of the worst area of inflammation, to try and make sure that the swelling and redness wasn’t caused by anything potentially aggressive, such as a cancer.  This kind of dental surgery takes time, and my staff made sure Rufus was kept warm and hydrated, and that his pain medications never ran out.

Hours later, Rufus was in the recovery stage of the procedure, and wrapped in enough warm towels to make any self-respecting cat happy!  So far, so good.  But what could we expect in the days and weeks to come?

Continue to Tough Talk About Teeth – Part 2

Dr Cathy Lund

Cathy Lund, DVM, owns and operates City Kitty Veterinary Care for Cats, a cat practice located in Providence, RI. She is also the board president and founder of the Companion Animal Foundation, a statewide, veterinary-based nonprofit organization that helps low-income pet owners afford essential veterinary care. She lives in Providence, and serves on several architectural and preservation commissions in the city, and is on the board of directors of WRNI, RI’s own NPR station. But her favorite activity is to promote the countless virtues of the “purr-fect” pet, the cat!

City Kitty
18 Imperial Pl # 1B
Providence, RI 02903-4642

Phone: (401) 831-6369
Email: email@city-kitty.com

Website: http://www.city-kitty.com/
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Tips on Medicating Cats (Part 2 of 2)

Jun 9, 2012 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Tips & Advice

You can read part 1 here.

Some cats are more challenging, and none of the previous suggestions will work. Since our goal is getting the medicine into the cat, discuss with your veterinarian when things aren’t working so they can choose another option. “Compounded medications” may be more expensive, but can make life easier for you and your cat. Compounded medications may be available from your veterinarian or from a compounding pharmacy by prescription; your neighborhood pharmacy may not be able to do this. Some pharmacies will mail or ship medications to you.

Options include:

  • Flavored Chew Tablets
    We have found that beef-flavored metronidazole is working well for Katie!
  • Liquid Medications
    Chicken and fish are two popular flavors. Some cats will take the flavored liquid food mixed into their canned food, making it easy to have pet-sitters medicate your cat when you are away. If not, the oral liquid to squirt in the cat’s mouth can work well.
  • Transdermal Cream
    If your cat will not take anything mixed in food and won’t let you near their mouth, some medications can be formulated into a cream that you rub on the inner (pink) side of the cat’s ear. Methimazole for hyperthyroid cats can be formulated as a transdermal medication. The pharmacy will send syringes or “pens”, and you’ll squirt a measured amount onto a gloved finger (so you don’t medicate yourself!) to rub in your cat’s ear.
  • Injections
    Some cats tolerate a small needle and injection better than anything given by mouth. Again, not all medications are available this way, but if you’re having trouble, ask your veterinarian for help.

We know that giving medicines to cats can be very difficult, and the last thing we want is “Every time my cat sees me, s/he runs away”. So, if things aren’t going well – please contact your veterinarian to let them know. We want the best for your cat – and for you.

Flavored tablets, liquids and some can even be administered as a “transdermal cream”, to rub on the inside (pink part) of the cat’s ears. Some medications are available in injectable form, like giving insulin with a tiny syringe and needle. Since our goal is getting the medicine into the cat, discuss with your veterinarian when things aren’t working so they can choose another option. Compounded medications may be more expensive, but can make life easier for you and your cat.

Dr Dale Rubenstein

Dr. Rubenstein opened the doors of A Cat Clinic, the first all-feline veterinary practice in Montgomery County, in 1986. She earned her BA in Biology from Oberlin College, her MS in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Maryland and her DVM from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. She became board certified in feline practice, one of only 80 diplomats in the U.S., through the American Board of Veterinary Practices (ABVP) in 1996 and re-certified in 2006.

Dr. Rubenstein is also a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Maryland Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), Cornell Feline Health Center, Montgomery County Humane Society Feline Focus Committee, Montgomery County Veterinary Medicine Association, as well as a member of the credentialing committee of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP).

A Cat Clinic, Boyds, MD
14200 Clopper Road,
Boyds, MD 20841

Phone: 301-540-7770
Fax: 301-540-2041
Email: messages@acatclinic.us

Website: http://www.acatclinic.us/
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Tips on Medicating Cats (Part 1 of 2)

May 26, 2012 by     4 Comments    Posted under: Tips & Advice

When your veterinarian recommends oral medication for your cat, most owner’s first reaction is “Are you going to come to my house? I can’t do this!”

Fortunately, there are a lot of options. Here are some tips for making the process easier for you and your cat.

  • If your cat will allow you to give a pill, tip your cat’s nose to the  sky so you have a straight shot to drop the pill into the back of the cat’s throat. Follow with a small amount of water in a syringe to help your cat swallow.
  • Pet PillerPet Pillers have flexible rubber tips. This allows you to get the pill to the back of your cat’s mouth without putting your hand in your cat’s mouth.
  • Pill PocketsPill pockets are a chewable treat, so you can put the pill inside. Try a pill pocket without medication to see if this will work; if so, put the pill inside and pinch the chew treat so the pill is coated with the treat. This works best for medications that have minimal taste, such as methimazole.
  • The “hairball medicine” trick: if your cat likes Cat Lax, put the pill in about one inch of Cat Lax and use a tongue depressor (or the back end of a spoon) to smear the Cat Lax and pill on the roof of your cat’s mouth. When s/he swallows the Cat Lax, they will swallow the pill. Some cats will tolerate butter or cream cheese.
  • Syringe with needle cut offThe “syringe and baby food” trick: ask your veterinarian for a 3-ml syringe with the needle cut off  (Precut Oral Feeding Syringes are also available).  Using strained meat baby food, put the pill in 2 ml of baby food, and squirt the baby food into your cat’s mouth.
  • Ask your veterinarian if the medication can be crushed and mixed with food – again, use this for pills that have little taste.
    • If your cat eats canned food, crush the pill and mix with a small amount of food first, then let your cat have the rest of the meal.
    • Does your cat like people food, i.e. strained meat (chicken) baby food? Or tuna fish? If so, you can crush the pill and mix with a small amount of these medications (always check with your veterinarian first, especially if your cat has food sensitivities). You may warm the food briefly in the microwave – test to be sure it doesn’t get too hot. Then mix in the pill.
    • The “melted butter trick” – this is also helpful when you’re trying to give 1/8 or some other fraction of a tablet that is very difficult to divide accurately. Crush the pill, mix with melted butter. Make an aluminum foil boat, freeze, and cut the butter into 1/8’s etc.

If your cat seems to be scratching you with all 4 legs trying to get a way, wrapping your cat in a towel can help. Ask your veterinarian or the hospital staff to show you how to do this.

If your cat is still says “Nope, not going to happen”, read part 2 here.

Dr Dale Rubenstein

Dr. Rubenstein opened the doors of A Cat Clinic, the first all-feline veterinary practice in Montgomery County, in 1986. She earned her BA in Biology from Oberlin College, her MS in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Maryland and her DVM from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. She became board certified in feline practice, one of only 80 diplomats in the U.S., through the American Board of Veterinary Practices (ABVP) in 1996 and re-certified in 2006.

Dr. Rubenstein is also a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Maryland Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), Cornell Feline Health Center, Montgomery County Humane Society Feline Focus Committee, Montgomery County Veterinary Medicine Association, as well as a member of the credentialing committee of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP).

A Cat Clinic, Boyds, MD
14200 Clopper Road,
Boyds, MD 20841

Phone: 301-540-7770
Fax: 301-540-2041
Email: messages@acatclinic.us

Website: http://www.acatclinic.us/
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