I am sure that as a dog parent or dog lover, you are aware that every dog is an individual. Every dog has their own personality and habits. This is became abundantly clear in coping with their eating habits and in the need for us to give them medications. We, like most dog parents, have hidden pills in Pill Pockets, hunks of hotdogs or cheese or spoons of peanut butter. Over the years, however, we discovered it was far easier for us simply to hide medication in their regular food at mealtime. Of course, this is only possible when we mix in a bit of canned dog food with their dry food.
Moe, as you can tell from his picture, eats with gusto approaching every meal or snack like he has been starving for months. This makes it easy to give him the Soloxine he requires for his low thyroid condition and the Benadryl for his allergies. It is simply added to his food and it disappears along with every morsel of food in his dish.
Willa approaches her food in a different manner. She eats very slowly, often stopping as if to truly appreciate the flavors of her food, like sipping a good wine letting the flavor linger. This makes it difficult to simply add her Soloxine to her food bowl. The medication has to be carefully hidden in the canned food mixed into the kibble. So far this is working.
Tasha was the challenge. Although she had always been a picky eater, in her younger days any required medication could be hidden in her food, in hotdogs or cheese. In her later years her arthritis required administering more and more medications. For a while, like for Willa, they could be hidden in wet food mixed into her kibble. For the last few months of her life Tasha was on three pain medications – Deramaxx, Tramadol and Gabapentin. The Deramaxx finally caused a bleeding ulcer, which added Carafate to her list of medications. Without the triad of pain medication, Tasha could not function. She could not stand or walk. When on her proper “meds” she would need help to stand up, however once up she could slowly navigate around the room and would come to where you were sitting for some loving. She was alert and would interact with her pack mates. It was at this time that Tasha became very skillful at eating her food and leaving all her pills lying forlornly in her bowl or deposited on the floor beside her bowl. We tried hotdogs and hunks of cheese. The elation we felt while observing her chew the hotdog or cheese, was quickly dashed when she would then spit out the pill. Pill Pockets were devoured, however the pill contained within would be deposited on the floor. She became very deft at licking peanut butter off of a pill, leaving the pill beside her bowl, rejected, ignored and ultimately, medicinally useless. We felt defeated, if we could not get Tasha to take all of her medications, we would have to face the difficult possibility of letting her go, an inevitable decision that we could delay only as long as we could keep her comfortable.
Fortunately, our vet suggested we try a liquid form of Tramadol and Gabapentin from Diamondback Drugs. Diamondback Drugs is a compounding pharmacy for pet medications. We were already getting Carafate in suspension and Deramaxx in pill form from them. This suggestion was life changing for us. We soon learned how to cradle Tasha’s head and inject the liquid medications into her mouth with a small syringe. The relief we felt was immeasurable. Everyday we could administer Tasha all of her medications, was another day of having her with us. We knew that her time was growing short and eventually she would let us know that she had had enough and was ready to leave us. But for a while, we had a reprieve.
Here is the link to Diamondback Drugs – http://www.diamondbackdrugs.com/. A compounding pharmacy can mix up hard to find drugs, create them in different forms and flavors, or eliminate non-medicinal ingredients that cause allergic reactions, making it easy to ensure your pets needs are met. Lucky for us they are located in North Scottsdale,AZ not far from where we are in Chandler, AZ. However, they do ship across the US. There are other compounding veterinary pharmacies that also ship across the US and if you google “compounding veterinary pharmacy” you may find one in your area.