How do you avoid medication anxiety/stress?

tutubean

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My elderly foster cat needs daily meds. I think it's starting to really stress her out despite my best efforts. (It *must* be given as a pill and treats will NOT work with her) :(

I know one piece of advice was to try to work it into your routine, but we don't really have a routine yet as she hasn't been with us long. What's more, I fear she's starting to think ALL food we're giving her is a trick. :(

When we first started meds 5 days ago she did so well. Now, she's hiding under the bed a lot of the time. So I'm letting her decompress down there. She still cuddles, but she's clearly stressed.
 
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VoidIndigo

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I've had to give my cat meds for the past 3 weeks or so, and I can tell as someone else that's new to this, it's no fun. He started out with pills, and as he got feeling better, the pills got harder and harder. I had asked the vet and they recommended a local compound-pharmacy that can make the meds in liquid form, which has helped a LOT. As time goes by (and again it's only been a few weeks) he's getting more and more fed up with the process... even the liquids. What I've been doing now is getting the meds ready, then starting the meal process. When he hears things being prepared, and shows up, I just grab what I need and give it as quickly as possible. No warning, no talking. That seems to work better, then he gets his meal and things are fine after that. If there's ANY warning, he takes off and I have to scuttle around the living room trying to get ahold of him... which does not help with the "no stress" rule that I'm trying to work with...

Good luck with your little one! :redheartpump:
 
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tutubean

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I had asked the vet and they recommended a local compound-pharmacy
Oh my, I didn't think of this. There indeed may be a way to combine them... I'd started to combine the powder meds with the liquid and just give her one oral application which works but she hates it. But there's one that HAS to remain in its pill capsule... perhaps all of it can be put into a capsule. We're seeing the vet Monday so I'll ask.

I can't decide if she likes powders or liquids better. Half the time we lace her food with any meds she doesn't eat it, even the tasteless ones! Even in tuna broth!! So I've had no choice but to basically force it into her via oral syringe. The purrito only helps so much, and she's stopped appreciating her reward food :(
 

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HI!
Maybe avoid any routine, if you can, different locations, try and stress less on your part (this is challenging, I know), and try cat music - there's Spotify, youtube, Alexa, RelaxMyCat and MusicForCats that might help.

Maybe something in this thread might help even though it's for eating in general;
Any Good Tips To Get Your Cats To Eat? Share Them Here!
 
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tutubean

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HI!
Maybe avoid any routine, if you can, different locations, try and stress less on your part (this is challenging, I know), and try cat music - there's Spotify, youtube, Alexa, RelaxMyCat and MusicForCats that might help.

Maybe something in this thread might help even though it's for eating in general;
Any Good Tips To Get Your Cats To Eat? Share Them Here!
Thanks! I had thought of changing location of where the pilling happens.

I wish I could play music for her. She's deaf.
 

LTS3

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Half the time we lace her food with any meds she doesn't eat it, even the tasteless ones! Even in tuna broth!!
I'd avoid hiding medication in food. You don't want your cat to associate food with yucky stuff and avoid eating which will leads to other health problems.

Have you tried Pill Pockets and other flavored pill dough?

Try these pilling tips:

Pilling Cats: Must-know Tips For Hiding Pills – Cat Articles
The Best Pill-taking Secret I Know...
Pilling Cats and Dogs Safely
How We Give Our Pill Hating Cat A Pill
Getting Cat To Take Pills... Post Tips Here.


But there's one that HAS to remain in its pill capsule... perhaps all of it can be put into a capsule. We're seeing the vet Monday so I'll ask.

What is the name of this particular medicine? Try putting the capsule into a chicken flavored empty capsule and then coating the outside with one of the suggestions in the link above.
 

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As suggested by LTS3 LTS3 , placing the pills in a gelatin capsule makes pilling a lot easier. You can even fit 2-3 pills in one capsule depending on size. I ordered my empty gelatin capsules from Amazon in size 5.

While compounding pharmacies do provide a great offering of palatable formulations, one word of caution in regards to drug efficacy. There is a big difference in a generic drug and a compound drug (at least in the US) the former is FDA approved. Unfortunately, there have been studies showing that absorption, metabolism, etc of the compounded medication varies widely.
 
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tutubean

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I'd avoid hiding medication in food. You don't want your cat to associate food with yucky stuff and avoid eating which will leads to other health problems.

Have you tried Pill Pockets and other flavored pill dough?

Try these pilling tips:

Pilling Cats: Must-know Tips For Hiding Pills – Cat Articles
The Best Pill-taking Secret I Know...
Pilling Cats and Dogs Safely
How We Give Our Pill Hating Cat A Pill
Getting Cat To Take Pills... Post Tips Here

What is the name of this particular medicine? Try putting the capsule into a chicken flavored empty capsule and then coating the outside with one of the suggestions in the link above.

Thank you so much for those links. I decided to actually give her the night off from medications tonight bc of how stressed she seems. I love the idea of making a paste and sliming it on their lips... Holding her is just so traumatic now that she has her strength back.

The pills she needs are a renal probiotic capsule that is supposed to remain encapsulated, a temporary anti-nausea pill that is tiny enough to sneak into anything or easily powdered, a temporary laxative powder, and a temporary liquid form of aluminum hydroxide (which also comes in a powder which I wish they would have given).

I'm going to the pet store tomorrow so I might as well splurge on pill pockets and anything else that looks like it would work for this.
 

LTS3

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Cerenia is is pretty easy to give with a Pill Pocket or other method.

Is the laxative Miralax or something similar? Most people just dissolve the dose in water and then mix it into canned food. Adding a topper helps.

The renal probiotic capsule might be able to fit into one of those empty chicken flavored capsules. It'll still remain whole when it gets into your cat's tummy.

My cat goes nuts for bacon flavored pill dough. I buy it from Amazon but it looks to be out of stock at the moment but the dog one is the exact same thing (literally just has a picture of a dog on the package) and is available. Chewy.com also sells the dog one: Earth's Balance Pill Paste Bacon Flavor Dog Paste, 2.1 oz canister - Chewy.com
 
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tutubean

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Cerenia is is pretty easy to give with a Pill Pocket or other method.

Is the laxative Miralax or something similar? Most people just dissolve the dose in water and then mix it into canned food. Adding a topper helps.

The renal probiotic capsule might be able to fit into one of those empty chicken flavored capsules. It'll still remain whole when it gets into your cat's tummy.

My cat goes nuts for bacon flavored pill dough. I buy it from Amazon but it looks to be out of stock at the moment but the dog one is the exact same thing (literally just has a picture of a dog on the package) and is available. Chewy.com also sells the dog one: Earth's Balance Pill Paste Bacon Flavor Dog Paste, 2.1 oz canister - Chewy.com
Yep thankfully the Cerenia and Miralax are easy to mix in and she DOES eat those (usually) when in soft food... when she wants to eat her soft food. Today I was able to get those in her but I had to mix in a bit of non-special-diet canned food that we give to our feral cats. She's the pickiest eater ever, i stg!!! 😩
 
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tutubean

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So I'm pretty sure this old lady (she's 17!) ate cheap canned food all her life. She really, really loves Fancy Feast and the like. I have cheap cans for our feral cats, so because miss thang wouldn't eat her special diet food today, in which I had the laxative and anti-nausea powders, I added just enough "junk" food to tempt her, and it worked.

Learned my lesson re: putting meds in her food. From now on it's going in lickable treats or a smudge of kitty junk food.
 

zoes

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All good advice above. I had the same heartache with my kitty when she started needing meds (twice a day, 3 different meds, at first!) I was so worried she's hate me. As soon as she saw me make a move towards giving her the meds, she'd run and hide.

BUT. It did get better! It's been... 4-5 years now of daily meds and she no longer cares. After medicating, she'll jump off my lap in a huff and then jump right back up for more cuddles. Here's what worked for us:

I kept stashed of meds at various locations in the house - by the couch, by my bedside table, in the kitchen. Ready to administer. When she was calm and cuddly, I took my chance.

If I failed on the first try, or if she picked up on what I was doing and ran away, I let her go and did not try again until her next calm period. She did miss some doses, but got most of them.

Pills are easier than liquids. Mixing meds into liquid in a syringe did not work at all for us. But, a bit of water into the corner of her mouth when she was stubbornly refusing to swallow the pill helped sometimes.

DO hold her until she swallows. The extra time you have to take waiting is less stressful overall than trying a second time if she spits the pill out.

Mixing meds into food did not work.

I found that affection was the best way to regain her love after medicating. Treats too. I didn't worry about giving her too many treats or anything at first. Whatever works to calm her down!

Compounding is great!! Get whatever you can compounded into capsules.

You will get better at pilling and she will get better at swallowing them. I used to have to hold her mouth closed for nearly a minute to get her to swallow and sometimes chase it with water. Now she swallows it in seconds.

You'll get there. You got this!
 
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tutubean

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BUT. It did get better! It's been... 4-5 years now of daily meds and she no longer cares.
This is good to know. I don't know if she has years left, but with a better diet, who knows.

When she was calm and cuddly, I took my chance. If I failed on the first try, or if she picked up on what I was doing and ran away, I let her go and did not try again until her next calm period. She did miss some doses, but got most of them.
Letting her go may be the best advice. I need to work on that. I'm gonna have to prep med stashes... lol

I found that affection was the best way to regain her love after medicating. Treats too. I didn't worry about giving her too many treats or anything at first. Whatever works to calm her down!
Thankfully I got the affection part down. Goes along with waiting until she swallows. She hasn't yet vomited up any meds!
 

zoes

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This is good to know. I don't know if she has years left, but with a better diet, who knows.
Even if it's not many years, she should still get better. I want to say it took a few weeks for my cat to be more okay with it, and a couple months before she was almost totally unphased :)
 
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tutubean

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Even if it's not many years, she should still get better. I want to say it took a few weeks for my cat to be more okay with it, and a couple months before she was almost totally unphased :)
Okay thanks. She's absolutely stressed right now. It's only been a few days and she's completely avoiding me tonight after another attempt at smudging something on her lips (I'm pretty sure she spittled it out, judging by the lengthy glop of saliva dripping from her mouth, which was ironically anti-nausea meds in lickable treat).
If by Monday the vet says she's gotten worse (and she hasn't pooped since her enema on Sunday!) then the rescue group and I will have to have a different discussion I think. :(
 
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tutubean

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Is there anybody, like a vet tech, who might be able to stop by and help?

About the timing of the enema and no poops, how much has she actually eaten since then? Is she getting dehydrated?

Your Cat And Dehydration | Purina ONE.

We're going in on Monday for a recheck and her vet said I'm welcome to take her in for a small fee to get help with fluid administration.

She's drinking very well so I can say she's not badly dehydrated. Whether her kidneys are allowing proper absorption or not I can't say. But she looks good and is definitely strong and strong-willed.

She ate a good amount on Wednesday of canned food and kibble but other than that it's just been a fraction of the ~150cal she should be eating daily (she is very low activity). Thankfully though the anti-nausea pills they gave us seem to be working.
 
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