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(3,702 posts)
Thu Jun 16, 2016, 03:30 PM Jun 2016

Anyone ever get into a "fight" with your dog

You know not a real fight but a battle of wills

My sweet yet stubborn 15 yr Chessie/Lab mix has had a nasty bout of diarrhea today. So like a good parent, I was trying to give her a pill from the vet to help stem the flow.

Now, she has a mostly pill diet - pills in the morning, snacks and night. She has arthritis and we are trying our best to make sure she is comfortable. She is soooooooo stubborn with meds. Seriously - for a year we tried everything - cheese, pill pockets, crushing it, hot dogs, lunch meat. We finally found a solution - marshmallows.

So I tried to give her a marshmallow pill - nope she smelled it, so she just licked it and would pick it up, walk away and spit it out.

This lasted until the marshmallow was nasty. I rescue the pill, wash hair off it and decide since its one pill, lets just stick it in her mouth and help her swallow it.

5 mins later we are both panting, the pill is intact and we are giving each other death looks. If I put it in the front of her mouth, I'm not kidding or exaggerating - she spits it out like she is at a watermelon seed spitting contest. If I weren't so frustrated, I would have admired the height and distance that pill would go. Ok, try tucking in her cheek - now she just gnawed my hand (not a bite - just chewing on my hand to get me to stop). Fine - Let's see if cheese will work - gave her pill free cheese - she analyzes it like a scientist and picks each piece apart. No way that pill was sneaking in.

At one point I am sure I said "you are going to eat your pill and you are going to like it" This was after sweetly trying to explain to her that the medicine would make her feel better.

Finally got it down. I think (she is really good at faking it and walking away and hiding it).

Now a reasonable person would have stopped, taken a big breath and a break then try again. But nope - the smell of liquid poo must have shut down that part of my brain.

I was fine with washing blankets, throwing out rugs and a dog pillow. I just felt so bad for her - she looked miserable because she couldn't get up fast enough to make it outside. Also she trusted a fart she shouldn't have. I cleaned her up as best I could - she just looked miserable. We have all been there - usually after a night of drinking and/or Taco Bell.

So after taking her outside again, I resumed cleaning, lining the floor with sheets and piddle pads. When I brought her in, she gave me a look "Are you still crazy and mad at me" and walked away from me. I apologized to her and she came back to me and we hugged it out.

We are back to being buds, but man I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to take a time out.

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(3,702 posts)
9. This would be fine if it was a pill just once in awhile
Thu Jun 16, 2016, 06:47 PM
Jun 2016

But she has 4 pills in the morning, 2 in the afternoon, 5 in the evening and 2 more at bedtime - that is way too much grease and bacon.

She is pretty good about taking pills in her wet dog food (so that is evening) and her morning pills and afternoon ones are marshmallowed - she does love it. Just not today


(37,069 posts)
3. Try a couple of heaping tablespoons of pure pumpkin for the diarrhea.
Thu Jun 16, 2016, 04:08 PM
Jun 2016

Also, my go to when giving pills is peanut butter. Perhaps you could crush it and mix it so there aren't any discernible parts.

Dogs are so fastidious when it comes to their bodily functions... poor thing. My current pup feels the shame of the world when she has an accident (mostly throw-up from eating too much grass). She has never been scolded for these incidents (shoot, she is always doted upon when she has been sick to her stomach), but she always sulks a wee bit with her ears plastered back in shame.


(3,702 posts)
5. Oh I forgot we had pumpkin - she will get some tonight
Thu Jun 16, 2016, 04:51 PM
Jun 2016

I have made sure never to scold either, but I am sure my face bears the "eww" look. I know its not her fault and I try to make sure she knows. But yup - that embarrassed look is hard to see.


(60,010 posts)
13. Just thru the diarrhea thing with our guy.
Fri Jun 17, 2016, 01:00 AM
Jun 2016

Nasty experience.
but did learn that Immodium will work.
100 dog got 2 Immodium ( generic brand) in am
2 in pm and then one in am.
Stopped the diarrhea.

As for the pills...
Dropping it down his throat, aiming for base of tongue, and then gently holding his mouth closed and saying "swallo"
followed by a small bit of biscuit treat works well for our guy.
I worked with him early on to let me mess with his mouth, and open on command.

If your dog won't let you drop the pill into her open throat. can you crush it and mix it in with a bite of food?
If she knows you are going to give her several bites of food, she will gulp them down to be ready for the next one.


(14,632 posts)
4. If all else fails, try this . . .
Thu Jun 16, 2016, 04:20 PM
Jun 2016

I have an 18 year old cat with IBS and kidney issues. He needs pills in the morning and at night. Cats are notoriously hard to pill. This is the only thing that works with my old man cat:

1. Have pills and a cup of water ready; if possible, put your dog on a counter or table (it's just easier for you)
2. Take a good sip of water in your mouth
3. Hold the animal steady with one hand and the pills in the other
4. Pry the dogs mouth open, tilt her head back, drop the pill(s) in the back of the throat, then immediately spit your mouthful of water into her mouth and keep her head tilted back until she swallows - don't let her go until you are sure she swallowed all pills

The swallow reflex will kick in and she will have to take it. Most likely she will swallow it so quickly she won't even taste it. Every once in a while my cat will spit one out, but it's immediately obvious and I just rinse and repeat until he has swallowed all the pills.


(3,702 posts)
10. I just have this vision - esp after today
Thu Jun 16, 2016, 06:50 PM
Jun 2016

Of her just spitting it all back in my mouth.

Our 17 yr old cat ended up needing a tube that went into his esophagus that allowed us to give him all his medicines. Considering how much medication and liquids he needed at the time, and how well he tolerated the tube - it is something I would never hesitate to do that again. Unfortunately it was too late for him , too much damage done to his organs - but it really made pill time a breeze.


(53,410 posts)
7. I got this advice from a vet
Thu Jun 16, 2016, 06:16 PM
Jun 2016

Don't try to hold the lower and upper jaws of the animal to pry the mouth open. Gently hold the upper jaw so you can put your thumb on the upper side of the inside of their mouth. Dogs will open their mouths wider in order not to bite you and in their effort to get the thumb out of their mouth.

While you're doing this you have to very, very quickly drop or insert the pill into the back of the mouth, pushing it quickly but gently down the dog's throat if you can. Then just as fast close their snout and hold it closed until the dog swallows. This can be done in mere seconds.

It works once you get the knack of it and realize you aren't hurting the dog at all.

I wouldn't try it with a cat. Their mouths are too small and all the teeth and claws will shred you to pieces faster than you can move.


(3,702 posts)
8. Thank you - I know she had desire to bite me or else I would be bleeding
Thu Jun 16, 2016, 06:45 PM
Jun 2016

But still - it would have saved us a few minutes of wrangling.

I have done the holding of the snout - she actually sticks the pill under her tongue. Because I have checked her mouth, and the watch her walk away and spit it out.

Just a tough day of being a pet parent - when you wish you could explain why you are giving them the pill. And hope she understands that I hate to see her having such crappy day.

ms liberty

(8,701 posts)
12. The technique above is missing a step
Thu Jun 16, 2016, 09:28 PM
Jun 2016

After you put the pill in the back of her throat you hold her mouth closed with one hand and stroke her throat in a downward motion several times . The stroking motion causes the dog to swallow. A vet showed me that method many years ago now. It works really well about 99% of the time on every dog I've had to use it on, from German Shepherds down to miniature Poodles.


(66,073 posts)
14. That Works For Me Too
Fri Jun 17, 2016, 01:03 AM
Jun 2016

Same thing as you. Vet showed me how to do this with the kitties a long time ago. Works on the dogs too.


(18,128 posts)
11. wonderful idea! thanks for sharing...
Thu Jun 16, 2016, 08:38 PM
Jun 2016

We've always tried the pry both jaws, stuff and hold mouth closed method. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I'll try your way next time it's heartworm pill time. Our chow and akita are convinced we're trying to poison them, even with the supposedly good tasting heartworm pills. Our bumpus hounds, no problem. They'll eat almost anything remotely edible.


(3,702 posts)
17. We tried that at first- now she is suspicious of peanut butter
Fri Jun 17, 2016, 02:15 PM
Jun 2016

She really is stubborn and determined to ferret out any pill. She will still occasionally spit them out from her dinner or marshmallow just to let us know she is on to us.

Our other dog - he loves peanut butter, cheese, lunch meat whatever - he will take it


(3,366 posts)
18. I used to hold the pill up like a treat...
Sun Jun 19, 2016, 03:46 AM
Jun 2016

make doggie do all his tricks twice, then tossed it in the air... pill caught & swallowed... dog happy.

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