Administration of Liquid Medicine

oral medication administrationManufacturers of registered products for dogs have today made tremendous efforts to ensure that medicines are not only efficacious but also palatable.  

Syringes, spoons, droppers and other ‘giving’ devices are often provided. However the following tips may be of help, particularly with the more difficult dog. If you are experiencing difficulties, please contact us.

1.  Can I administer the medicine in the food?

Yes, this is possible in the majority of cases but it is worthwhile checking with us first. It is important to make sure only a small quantity of food is given so you are sure the dog has taken the full dose at the time. If you put the medicine in the entire meal and some is not eaten you are never sure if sufficient medicine has been given.

2.  My dog will not take the medicine in the food.  How shall I administer it?

The easiest method is to use a plastic syringe. We will be happy to supply this for you and guide you with respect to dosage. The measured dose is drawn into the syringe by slowly withdrawing the plunger. If the medicine is in a bottle with a narrow neck ask us for a piece of tubing to fit on the end of the syringe which helps enormously. Once the correct dose is in the syringe, remove the tubing if necessary and place the nozzle of the syringe between the lips at the side of the mouth with the head tipped upwards. It is always useful getting someone to help you if at all possible. The medicine is then gently dripped into the mouth, rubbing the dog’s throat at the same time to encourage him to swallow. Do not squirt the medicine too quickly.

3.  If I try to give my dog medicine he throws his head around and I am never sure he is getting any, most goes on me.

a dog receives liquid medicineThis is not unusual:

(a)     Try to get someone to help you

(b)     Apply either a purpose made muzzle or one fashioned from a piece of bandage.  

We will show you how to apply this. The medicine can then be gently dripped, between the teeth, at the side of the mouth, encouraging the dog to swallow at the same time by gently rubbing the throat.

If your dog is this uncooperative do not try to force a spoon between his teeth, this is usually universally resented.

If you still have difficulties, please contact us and we will try to help.

This client information sheet is based on material written by: Trevor Turner, BVetMed, MRCVS, FRSH, MCIArb, MAE. Adapted by Philip H Brain, BVSc, CMAVA, FACVSc (small animal medicine), FAVA

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