View Full Version : Need help with pilling Ripley please

05-20-2006, 01:25 PM
Ripley has a raging bladder infection again and has become down right hostile about taking his pills. I used to be able to trick him by hiding it in a treat, no more. Then I got to where I could put him in a kind of head lock and pop it down, no more. No matter how far I shove it he will work it back up and spit it out but unfortunately these new antibiotics make him foam at the mouth like he is rabid. Last night we moved to a pill gun and it worked wonderfully, he swallowed and no foaming and vomiting. This morning we tried it again and he fought like a wild cat, scratched both of us and then worked the pill back up. Now he is foaming and drooling and acting like he is going to vomit.

What can I do??? He is so sick and it's making his kidney failure worse. The stress of trying to pill him is making his kidney failure worse, I can tell. The vet said this antibiotic is available in liquid but I'll never get that down him. It's all we can do for two of us to attempt a pill, liquid will go everywhere.

This is his second antibiotic, the first we tried a couple of weeks ago was Clavamox and it make his sick and vomit for days. The vet said the only injection we could give doesn't work well on bladder infection.

HELP! Poor Ripley, this is wearing us all out not to mention I'm bleeding. :(

Also, wrapping him in a towel, holding his mouth closed and blowing in his face doesn't work either. He can always manage to get the pill back up into his mouth and then out.

Laura's Babies
05-20-2006, 03:03 PM
Hummmm..out witting him seems to be a real challange.. All the things I was going to suggest, you have already tried.

With Giz, the pill popper worked out great... for about 3 days then she'd have no more of that so I started hidding it in her treat. Last night I was on her third treat before she swollowed it.. I expect to join you in the desperatly seeking advice on what to try next...

05-20-2006, 03:05 PM
Are you able to hold Ripley "like a baby"?? (on his back in your arms)

This has always been my best position for pilling.

When he is upside-down on your lap (your lap is under his back) ... his side is against your belly ... your entire arm (the one that is holding the pill) is pressing his other side closer to you ... your other hand which is on top of his head uses thumb placed on one side of his mouth, directly behind his "eye" teeth and your pill hand uses one finger on his lower front teeth between the eye teeth to make him open wide. (believe it or not, this is actually quite easy)

Place the pill WAY back in the throat!

I sure wish I could be there to show you. One day I'll have to have catnapper video tape a tutorial.

05-20-2006, 03:14 PM
What's the antibiotic? It sounds like metronidazole, a notorious spit-foam-slobber antibiotic. If so, your best bet may be to talk to other rescuers and find out who the best pharmacist is in your area for flavoring kitty meds. Many don't bother, and most of the others don't have a clue how to do it effectively. The best pharmacist for kitty meds in our area practiced on his own kitty and those of rescuers until he got the recipe perfect.

05-20-2006, 03:25 PM
Failing all else - a tranny like Feliway? Just around pill time?

You mentioned trying the pill in a treat...were you using Pill Pockets?

These are larger and gooier 'treats' that are hollow so the pill can be put right in them. Their larger size may help a lot.

You may just have to wrap Ripley in a large towel and show him who is in charge at pill time....some tough love...poor baby and poor you!


05-20-2006, 03:41 PM
Oh Lori, how my heart goes out to you, hubby and poor Ripley.

How I pill mine is that I kneel on the floor, put the cat between my legs, gently squeeze their sides and open their mouth and hold the head like Jen said. Once the pill is in, I keep their head up and stroke their throat.

I pray that some kind of solution will work out for you and Ripley.

Keep us posted.


05-20-2006, 03:55 PM
The only way I can pill Max is to wrap him in a towel with only his head exposed. I then carry the "burrito" over to the couch. I sit down and squeeze him between my side and the arm of the couch. He has no where to go. My body is used to hold him in place. Then I can use my left hand to open his mouth and I shove the pill way back with my right hand. I have to be fast though because he can bite down. I cuddle him for a bit, then let him go. He darts off and won't speak to me for the rest of the day...but he doesn't spit it up and that seems to be your problem.

Does the pill come in a liquid form?? If not, try crushing it up and mixing it with a bit of stinky wet food and warm water until it's liquid. Then use a syringe to feed it in the side of his mouth a bit at a time.

Good luck.

05-20-2006, 03:55 PM
Yes, I've tried holding him like a baby to do it. The problem now is he knows the pill will make him sick so he goes into a full fledge panic. He may be old and getting frail but he still can get as mad as a hornet under the right circumstances. I just don't know what to do.

I haven't heard of the pill pocket treats but they may be worth a try. Use to I could get Rip to take almost anything if I smeared peanut butter on it but now he runs when he smells peanut butter. :( He almost at the point he runs from me. To top it off he can here me open the pill bottle from the other end of the house.

I'm suppose to be keeping him calm and stress free because of the kidney failure. Now I'm afraid I'm going to kill him trying to give him his pills. On top of that the vet wants me to give him Valium to help calm him - IT'S ANOTHER PILL! ARGH!!!

Jen, I do wish you were here to give it a try.

Laura's Babies
05-20-2006, 04:16 PM
LOL! A pill to calm him when pilling him is freaking him out...

05-20-2006, 04:23 PM
Maybe the Feliway or something???

Was your vet THINKING when he suggested a pill to help Ripley get pilled???


It would be hilarious if you and Ripley weren't having such a time!


05-20-2006, 04:38 PM
Maybe the Feliway or something???

Was your vet THINKING when he suggested a pill to help Ripley get pilled???


It would be hilarious if you and Ripley weren't having such a time!

Actually she prescribed the pill back months ago when pilling him was easy. I guess I did make it sound like I was suppose to give him a pill to calm him for pilling, LOL!!!

I just told hubby we need to make a run to PetsMart tonight to look for pill pocket treats.

05-20-2006, 04:46 PM
Oh, I tried so many things with mine and Pichu also manages to spit it out no matter how far down I shove it into his throat. Now, I just crush the pill and mix it in a big spoon of wet food so you can't even feel it's there and then - NO PROBLEM! That works well with the ones after eating.

05-20-2006, 05:25 PM
I Cant Pill The Found Cats At All, I Have The Vet Put The Meds In A Gel That I Can Put On Thier Mouth So They Can Lick It Off.
We Are Praying For Ripley.

05-20-2006, 06:51 PM
I just told hubby we need to make a run to PetsMart tonight to look for pill pocket treats.

The pill pockets web site has a link to find a store near you (given a zip code). See Pill Pockets (http://www.pillpockets.com/index_fs.htm) .

My 3 cats all take meds long term and the pill pockets work great for them. It may depend on the taste and smell of the medication though.

Cinder & Smoke
05-20-2006, 09:14 PM
Hard to believe you can't make the Pill Shooter work!

Some tips:

* Head holding / mouth opening hand - need to have a FIRM grip on the head AND
the finger & thumb wedging the mouth open HAVE to maintain the mouth WIDE open.

* Pill Shooter TIP must be pushed WAY Back in the throat -
you use the Tip to depress the tongue and prevent the tongue from sealing off
the back of the throat.
If Kitty can "work it back up" - it wasn't "DOWN" far enough.
You need to be "popping" the pill from the gun WAY back beyond the teeth -
Tip should be part way down Kitty's throat.

You need to *practice* -
Use Kitty's favorite Kibble or tiny treats ... it'll sharpen your Shooting skills
AND possibly convince Kitty the Pill Shooter isn't always bad news.

Happy Pilling! http://petoftheday.com/i/our_smilies/tongue.gif

/s/ Phred

05-20-2006, 09:52 PM
sorry to read this Lori :(

CCL Lisa has a couple kitties that are impossible to pill and what she has had to do with Peanut Butter is to give him liquid antibiotic - and the only way she can get it in to him at this point is to squirt it on his fur. He cleans himself up and get the medicine. I know it is not very accurate this way but at least it gets in to him. I did this last time Eliot needed antibiotic as he also freaks on me. I had to really sneak up on him and squirt quickly :eek: It works.

05-20-2006, 10:11 PM
Oh no, poor Ripley.
Clavamox is some nasty stuff. It made Phoenix sick as well. Maybe that is the reason why he is fighting you so much. They only thing I can think off is wrap him very tight in a towel and have your husband hold him down on the kitchen counter. This is easier because itís eye level. Squeeze his cheeks open with one hand while puling up his face a bit and than use the pill shooter quickly with your other hand. I always give them their favorite treat afterwards. You have to be sneaky opening the pill bottle as well, so he canít hear you.
I hope and pray that Ripley will get better soon

05-20-2006, 10:12 PM
Thanks everybody!

I checked out the Pill Pockets and the nearest location to me is 61 miles away, gee!

Phred, thanks for the shooter instructions. I think my main problem now is Ripley's fear. He totally freaks out when we try now. The first time I used the shooter last night it worked like a charm but today he was bucking, scratching and screeching while hubby held him and I tried to get it in his mouth. He has an amazing memory so this shooter may be dead to us now. :(

Debbie, I remember reading about CCL just squirting the liquid on so I will call the vet first thing Monday and ask for the liquid. It's worth a shot.

I really appreciate all the help. This has been a stressful situation. I'm giving Ripley the rest of the weekend off before I try again. Thankfully he seems to have forgiven me for the moment but he does run and hide whenever I walk in the kitchen which is where I keep the pills. Poor guy.

05-20-2006, 10:33 PM
Herbal and homeopathic UTI treatment:

05-20-2006, 10:43 PM
Auggie - that link was really interesting...though I notice that it involves putting a few granules on the cat's tongue. Ripley doesn't like anyone trying to open his mouth right now! Do you happen to know if this can be mixed into wet food?


05-20-2006, 11:11 PM
poor both of you!
will keep sending good thoughts as I have no advice b/c Kylie is my terror to pill.

05-21-2006, 05:58 AM
With Tigris we do it the exact same way as Lorraine with some added protection: Siegmar gets Tigris between his knees and he has garden gloves :rolleyes: Plus I put the pill in liver pate and give it between Tigris' sharp teeth with the end of a long icecream spoon :rolleyes:
Our Tigris is not the most intelligent of kitties (sorry Jazz- but you better know that about your bf ;) ) so he always could be lured in the kitchen with some treats. I have no idea how you could do it with Filou who is much cleverer and you ahve to know one trick more than him which is not easy.

I wish you all good luck with poor Ripley.

05-21-2006, 09:44 AM
Thanks everybody!

I checked out the Pill Pockets and the nearest location to me is 61 miles away, gee!

This doesn't help immediately, but you can also order from Healthy Pets (http://www.healthypets.com) and from Drs Foster & Smith (http://drsfostersmith.com)

05-21-2006, 11:39 AM
Auggie - thanks for the link. That may be a good alternative to try.

Nepeta - thank for the links for the pill pockets. I think I will order some chicken flavor for him.

Barbara - garden gloves, I love it! I never thought of that. We haven't tried the between the knees thing yet like you and Lorraine but I'm going to. With garden gloves, a towel and using Phred's pill shooter tips it might work.

There is also the liquid on the fur trick!

I knew my PT Pals could help me with this. You all are brilliant!!

05-21-2006, 12:32 PM
Another think you could attempt (instaed of the peanut butter) is processed cheese like Velveeta. YES, you would still need to get it into the back of his throat (because if he licks at the cheese he will taste the pill), but it should make it slice down better and the initial taste should be that of the cheese.

Give it a try while you wait for the pill pockets to come.

05-21-2006, 01:36 PM
Oh goodness! do I know the foaming at the mouth problem. It starts before you have even started to open the cat's mouth and is so excessive that it covers their entire jaw, their front and the carpet. Then it's next to impossible to get anything into the mouth because they are pushing it out with the saliva so getting it to the back of the throat is well nigh impossible. I have to do my pilling alone and I've ended up in tears of frustration and fear.

I've done two things to avoid pills. One is to get the medication put into a gel that can rubbed inside the ear - though that might not be possible with antibiotics, and the other is to switch to injections. I know that sounds awful, and it's certainly not stress free but it's much faster than fighting to get something into a cat's mouth. You just lift up the flap of skin at his neck, choosing a slightly different site each time, and basically it's the same as sub-q fluids. It can take seconds to give an injection so although there is a small amount of pain, there is far less stress and aprehension.

Barbara - you made me laugh so much with the garden gloves (I've used those too, the ones I use to prune roses) and the ice-cream spoon!