A few months ago Trooper, one of my Collies, tested positive for Lyme Disease. Thankfully my vet had decided to start testing dogs in Chicago for Lyme Disease after she saw a few cases recently. He must have caught it during one of our infrequent visits to a friend's cabin in Wisconsin. All three of my dogs have had ticks even with preventative topical solutions applied beforehand. After numerous blood tests it has been determined that Trooper will be completely fine and we intervened early enough.
I am much more relaxed now than I was at the beginning because Trooper reacted poorly to the first choice of antiobitics. After five days of twice a day medication he stopped eating for almost five days and his liver and kidney levels elevated, which might also have indicated that the Lyme Disease had taken hold and was aversely affecting him. So we switched medication and started a new three week medication strategy with pills that are huge in size, given twice daily and require three separate pills each time.
Now that I only have 2 more days of medication, I have learned a lot about strategies for giving medication and I thought I would share what I have learned with you.
Of course each dog is different. My other two dogs will take medication easily and consistently by stuffing it in bread, cheese, lunchmeat or peanut butter. Trooper, on the other hand, has always been a finicky eater.
If your dog is finicky or doesn't like to take pills, hopefully these suggestions make it easier to give your dog medication.
Consider Medication Compounds Check with your veterinarian for suggestions for pharmacies that flavor medication including beef, chicken, tuna, liver, peanut butter and other yummy flavors.
Avoid Always Feeding Around Mealtimes When I gave Trooper the first round of medication I gave it during his mealtime stuffed in roast chicken or cheese. When he started to have an adverse reaction to the medication, it seems that he also had a bad association with food and that was one reason he stopped eating.
Make The Experience Fun Try and be low-key and make it into a game. Use the food items that you are going to use periodically during the day without medication in it. This will help prevent your dog from always smelling or tasting the medication in the food and causing a bad association.
Follow Pill Immediately With "Empty" Food I finally decided that it was easiest to give the first pill to Trooper by gently putting my fingers down his throat. I then gave him a big piece of bread followed by a couple pieces of bread with the pills cut in half, followed quickly by more bread without pills. It seemed that while he was eating a piece of bread stuffed with a pill, he focused on the next piece of bread coming his way and did not spend time dissecting the first piece of bread to find the pill.Chart Times On Your Calendar I found it to be easier to give Trooper his medication if I marked down the time each day on my kitchen calendar. I could track when he took it and count down the days I had remaining. It didn't seem like such a daunting task since I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.