Oral liquid gabapentin? First time stray rescue and I’m nervous about him taking meds

Moogmom

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Hello!! Long story short we have a stray in our community who had a major facial laceration. We took him into our garage in a dog kennel and have been slowly getting him together and today he got back from the vet after his neuter and he has 8 stitches in his face. I’ve never done any form of rescue before except for last year when another cat in our community gave birth in my yard and we had to catch the babies, spay the mom, and rehome the babies. It was stressful but not nearly as stressful as this.

Hank is a super kind stray but he’s nervous and in pain. I’m very anxious that when I have to give him his 1ml dose of gabapentin tonight he’ll fight me or reject it. I heard that it tastes super bitter so hiding it in his food may not work (like it does with his antibiotics, shhh lol) but I just want to know if anyone has advice for administering this medicine to a cat with a cone and who’s not “my cat”. I’m just nervous.
Photo of sad (but better!) Hank because he’s cute.
 

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silent meowlook

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I’m sorry. Can you ask them for the capsules. The liquid is so horrible tasting. If it was me, I wouldn’t even try. He will really not trust you. The capsules you can sprinkle on food.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi! I tried several compounded (flavored) versions of liquid gabapentin and never managed to get my cat to take any of them. Depending on Hank's dosage, if you get the capsules, it might require you to split the amount, as I believe the smallest capsule is 100mg. (Or it could be split for you through a pharmacy,) If you do use the capsules, just make sure that it is mixed with an amount of food that you know he will eat in a relatively short period of time in order to ensure proper dosage.

You could ask if buprenorphine would be a suitable replacement. The dosage is usually around 0.1ml (vs 1.0ml for gabapentin). I am pretty sure it is more expensive than gabapentin though.

Thanks for taking care of Hank!
 
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Moogmom

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I’m sorry. Can you ask them for the capsules. The liquid is so horrible tasting. If it was me, I wouldn’t even try. He will really not trust you. The capsules you can sprinkle on food.
So a shocking update. I tried mixing it into his wet food just to see if he’d notice it and he gobbled up his dinner like it was nothing. I’ve been spicing his dinner up with some cat friendly dehydrated bone broth powder and a sprinkle of catnip (because I’ve been trying to hide his antibiotics), so I wonder if that was enough smell and flavor to cover the gabapentin!! I’m just so grateful it worked. Thank you for your suggestion though, I absolutely would have had to go back and ask for the capsules. Cheers!!
 
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Moogmom

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Hi! I tried several compounded (flavored) versions of liquid gabapentin and never managed to get my cat to take any of them. Depending on Hank's dosage, if you get the capsules, it might require you to split the amount, as I believe the smallest capsule is 100mg. (Or it could be split for you through a pharmacy,) If you do use the capsules, just make sure that it is mixed with an amount of food that you know he will eat in a relatively short period of time in order to ensure proper dosage.

You could ask if buprenorphine would be a suitable replacement. The dosage is usually around 0.1ml (vs 1.0ml for gabapentin). I am pretty sure it is more expensive than gabapentin though.

Thanks for taking care of Hank!
copied from another response:
So a shocking update. I tried mixing it into his wet food just to see if he’d notice it and he gobbled up his dinner like it was nothing. I’ve been spicing his dinner up with some cat friendly dehydrated bone broth powder and a sprinkle of catnip (because I’ve been trying to hide his antibiotics), so I wonder if that was enough smell and flavor to cover the gabapentin!! I’m just so grateful it worked.

I really appreciate your detailed reply. It helps ease my anxiety if someone tells me there are other options out there if this one fails. I love this boy and just want to see him get better and not be in pain. Thank you so much!! If he stops taking his gabapentin so easily I’ll remember your suggestions.
 

silent meowlook

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So a shocking update. I tried mixing it into his wet food just to see if he’d notice it and he gobbled up his dinner like it was nothing. I’ve been spicing his dinner up with some cat friendly dehydrated bone broth powder and a sprinkle of catnip (because I’ve been trying to hide his antibiotics), so I wonder if that was enough smell and flavor to cover the gabapentin!! I’m just so grateful it worked. Thank you for your suggestion though, I absolutely would have had to go back and ask for the capsules. Cheers!!
Amazing. I wonder if they have it compounded? What does it smell like? The kind I have experienced smelled like strawberry gasoline.
 
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Moogmom

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Amazing. I wonder if they have it compounded? What does it smell like? The kind I have experienced smelled like strawberry gasoline.
I might be crazy, but when I smell it it smells like… almost a cat food smell? And it’s brownish in color. There’s definitely a chemical undertone to it but it’s not nearly as harsh as I would have thought. I imagine they must have compounded it then!!!
 

FeebysOwner

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I might be crazy, but when I smell it it smells like… almost a cat food smell? And it’s brownish in color. There’s definitely a chemical undertone to it but it’s not nearly as harsh as I would have thought. I imagine they must have compounded it then!!!
"Standard' liquid gabapentin contains xylitol (sweetener), so maybe that is what you are smelling? Compounded ones cost more, and the bottle usually says if it has something added to it. Frankly, as long as he will take it, who cares?
 

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Looks like you figured it out, but I mixed it over a spoonful of the Churu Tube snacks. My little girl gladly ate it up with no hesitation, and on multiple occasions as well. I try to mix it with as little food as possible in order to get it as effective as it can.
 
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