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Thread: Is dry pilling a cat dangerous? This article says so. What do y'all think?

  1. #1
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    Is dry pilling a cat dangerous? This article says so. What do y'all think?

    The article below was mentioned on Facebook. The first page is below. On the site is a link to the doctor's article at catinfo.org

    Conscious cat dot com

    Pilling cats can be challenging, to say the least. Even if you mange to get your cat to take pills by popping them directly into her mouth, you may be doing more harm than good. This practice is known as “dry pilling,” and it can not only be uncomfortable for your cat, it can cause serious damage to the delicate lining of the esophagus.

    Think about the last time you took a pill, capsule or vitamin. You most likely took it with a glass of water. And even if you did, depending on the size of the pill, it may have gotten lodged halfway down. Remember that uncomfortable feeling? You probably immediately drank some more water. Unfortunately, our cats don’t have the instinct to do that if something gets stuck in their esophagus.

    Dr. Lisa Pierson, the founder of catinfo.org, one of the best and most comprehensive websites about feline nutrition, wrote a comprehensive article on Pilling Cats (and Dogs) and Erosive Esophagitis. In her article, she quotes one of her colleagues:

    “Last year, I was prescribed clindamycin (Antirobe) for a dental infection and was instructed to take each capsule with a full glass of water. One night, being lazy, I took the capsule with just a gulp of water. What ensued was the worst case of heartburn/esophagitis I have ever had. At first, the pain was so intense I thought I was having a heart attack. This cured me of ever pilling a cat without a water or food chaser.”

    Dry pilling should be immediately followed with 4-5 milliliters (cc’s) of water, tuna juice or meat broth given orally via a syringe, or the consumption of some canned food. “Offering canned food, tuna juice, meat baby food, or a meat broth for them to lap up on their own are also very good options and ones that are less stressful than syringing,” says Dr. Pierson.

    Dr. Pierson’s article also addresses other little known tips on how to properly administer medication using Pill Pockets, flavored compounded liquid medication, or transdermal medications. She stresses to never use an entire Pill Pocket to avoid having your cat bite down on the medication hidden inside. Use just enough of the Pill Pocket dough to cover the pill. That way, cats are more likely to swallow the entire treat and pill whole rather than chew it. She also explains why you should never tilt your cat’s head up while giving a pill.

    I think Dr. Pierson’s article is a must read for all cat guardians.
    Anne
    Meowmie to Mr. Spunky, Samwise, Lady Jane, Bob, and Callie.





    RIP Emily (Oct 8, 2013), Rose (Sept 24, 2001), Maggie (Fall 2003)

  2. #2
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    I have to pill two cats twice a day, everyday. Two of the medications are supplements. Because Bartie is so fragile (16 years+ and counting!!) I dilute them in water. So much easier than jamming a pill down his throat. Not only that, but it prevents him from getting a pill caught in his throat and hurting him.

    This vet makes sense to me!!! I wouldn't take a pill without water, why would my cat???

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
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  3. #3
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    Donna, how do you dilute them in water, let them soak in some for a bit? If so, does some of the pill dissolve away?
    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

    -- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

  4. #4
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    I never really thought about this, but it makes sense when you think about it. Both of The Fuzzbuttz get meds twice each day, and there's no way I can get a pill into them by dry piling. Sparky gets his hidden in Velveeta cheese balls, and Myndi's get crushed and added to her food. She got wise to me hiding hers in cheese, so I tried dissolving in a bit of water, but she manages to let that dribble out of her mouth too, no matter how long I hold her mouth closed. She's too darn smart for her own good!
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  5. #5
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    Pat,

    I pulverize the pill into a powder. I take a syringe full (about .20 ml) of water and add it to a crushed up pill. Slides down the throat much easier. When you syringe it into the cat, blow in the cats nose and rub his throat. He'll automatically swallow. Works like a charm!!!

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  6. #6
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    I always try to have a pill in gel fom, as it is easier to give to My Cats who will sit still for pills.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks, Donna, for the helpful-sounding pilling information. I give Sydney liquid Metronidazole (for diarrhea) twice a day and Amlodipine (for blood pressure) once a day. I found early on that he has a good tendency to dribble a lot out even if I shoot the syringe down at the back of his throat and then rub his throat.

    He also gets a semi-soft sort of paste called Pro-Pectalin, a probiotic for the diarrhea three times a day. I found that if I rub a blob of the Pro-Pectalin on the roof of his mouth right after he gets the syringe-full, he swallows that down and there's nowhere near the dribbling. But still some comes out sometimes.

    The next time (he gets his Amlodipine dose soon) I'll try the blowing on his nose and rubbing his throat and see if that works better.

    Thanks!

    from me and Sydney
    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

    -- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

  8. #8
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    I never thought about it, either, but it does make sense. I think back on how sick poor little Pinot was when she came to us, and the thought of making her take those pills dry when she already felt so bad... I wish I had seen this then! I'll definitely keep it in mind for the future, though.
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  9. #9
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    I have to pill Storm 4 times a day. Luckily he loves pill pockets so I wrap them in some of it and he eats it like it's a treat. Before pill pockets came along, I would try the pill dispensor method to help save my hands. After I placed the pill in their throat, I would have a syringe full of water to help to wash it down. This also makes sure that they swallow it and then you don't end up finding the pill later on the floor.
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  10. #10
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    I was able to pill Sam once and since then it's been a no-go. He was good then but there must have been side effects that he didn't complain about and why would he?

    Emily gets her tapazole in a compounded liquid form. I pay a lot for that liquid. Never thought of crushing the tablet myself and putting it in a liquid and using a syringe. I'll ask the vet.

    I'm glad I posted the article. I didn't know that it would hurt their esophagus. And I appreciate your suggestions. I should have known I would learn something new from you guys.
    Anne
    Meowmie to Mr. Spunky, Samwise, Lady Jane, Bob, and Callie.





    RIP Emily (Oct 8, 2013), Rose (Sept 24, 2001), Maggie (Fall 2003)

  11. #11
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    Ming gets an amitryptiline pill every other day. I wrap it in a Pill Pocket and place it at the back of his throat, he won't eat the Pill Pocket on his own. This works for him and he never urps it back up or anything. Most times he just goes to sleep on the bed after. I have tried using a syringe after (no go, most of it ended on me) or offering canned food or a snack after, again, no go. He's happy with things the way they are so I will keep it that way. This article makes sense, though. I just wish Ming would read it.
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  12. #12
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    This is interesting. I never even considered that it would be a problem. I had to pill Taz often in his last weeks. I had the pill popper and put it down his throat then rubbed his throat (holding his head up ) and blew in his nose if needed. Oh, poor Tazmoe.
    Well, now that I know this I will take better precautions next time I have to pill a cat.
    Thanks for posting this!!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by katladyd View Post
    Ming gets an amitryptiline pill every other day. I wrap it in a Pill Pocket and place it at the back of his throat, he won't eat the Pill Pocket on his own. This works for him and he never urps it back up or anything. Most times he just goes to sleep on the bed after. I have tried using a syringe after (no go, most of it ended on me) or offering canned food or a snack after, again, no go. He's happy with things the way they are so I will keep it that way. This article makes sense, though. I just wish Ming would read it.
    If Ming could read? There are times I wish we had cat intelligence tests. Spunky would be off the scale.

    But Ming has his own idea about pilling. Mine won't touch a pill pocket. I swear they have their own ideas about their environment.
    Anne
    Meowmie to Mr. Spunky, Samwise, Lady Jane, Bob, and Callie.





    RIP Emily (Oct 8, 2013), Rose (Sept 24, 2001), Maggie (Fall 2003)

  14. #14
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    I have only dry pilled Eve once and it was the last time that ever happened! She was so upset and distressed, I vowed never to do that to her again. Fortunately whenever she has had to be medicated I have been able to get a liquid form. Her Revolution (for fleas etc.) and Profender (worms,etc.) are both topical - saves a lot of anxiety for her and for me.

    The article made a lot of sense; thank you for sharing this information.
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