We understand that giving medications to your pet can be sometimes a difficult time. The medication prescribed to your pet need to be administered as advised by the veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse.
We will be happy to demonstrate giving medications to you, please do not hesitate to ask.
It can be helpful to have two people involved with administering medications, one to hold and one to give. Please be careful to not get bitten or scratched. Some people find wrapping cats within a towel advantageous.
Once administered, please praise your pet ready for next time.
Every medication dispensed will have a label on it which we ask you to read carefully and follow.
Drug labels contain you surname and address, your pet’s name, the medication name, how much medication should be given to your pet and how often. There may also be extra information to specific for the drug.
Unless you are advised, please continue the drug to complete the course. Only stop if you are instructed to do so. This is especially important for drugs such as antibiotics as stopping early can lead to the disease reoccurring and antibiotic resistance.
If you are concerned at any time, please call us.
Storage of medications
- Please store all medication out of the reach of children and animals.
- Store medications away from direct sunlight.
Please ensure that the medications are stored at room temperature, but some may be required to be refrigerated. If a drug has a specific storage requirement, this will be on the label or you will be advised.
After handling medications, please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly.
Some medications should not be handled by pregnant women. If you are concerned please check with the veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse. Please wear gloves or do not handle at all.
Please make us aware if you are allergic to any medications yourself e.g. penicillin. Some of the drugs we can use are fairly similar.
Timing of medications for your pet
We advise you try and give medications the same time every day.
- Twice daily: give roughly 12 hours apart
- Three times daily: give roughly 8 hours apart
- Four times daily: give roughly 6 hours apart
If your pet is on a long term medication, they will require regular check-ups and re-examinations to allow repeat prescriptions to be issues. This is normally every 6 months, but with some medications, re-examinations are more regularly. This may mean that repeat bloods may need to be taken and examined, or to adjust dosages according to weight changes, as well as giving your pet a thorough examination to ensure the drug prescribed is working effectively.
Please be aware that we do not stock all drugs routinely, and we ask for 24 hours’ notice for all repeat prescriptions, and some medications are not available on repeat prescriptions and will require a re-examination.
If you are planning a trip away, please make sure you have adequate medication for your pet in advance.
If you are at all concerned that your pet maybe suffering from any side effects from the medication you have been prescribed, please contact us immediately. Side effects can be numerous, so please ring to check if you are at all concerned.
Administering oral medications (by mouth)
The easiest way to give your pet tablets is to disguise them cunningly in food for them to eat. But this can depend on the type of medication. We will advise you if you are able to give the medication with food.
Some tablets can be broken up or crushed into the food, but occasionally this makes the medication taste worse, or decrease their effectiveness. It also may not be safe for you to handle the tablets in their crushed form.
You can hide the medication in food (which is normally effective with dogs) or in a tasty treat. Care must be required if your pet has a sensitive stomach which is sensitive to other types of food. If your dog’s stomach is not sensitive, using treats like small amounts of cream cheese, sausage, pate, chicken or ham may help. Cats may like tuna or prawns.
Give a small treat without the tablet first, then give a treat with the tablet, followed by a treat again without a tablet.
If your pet will not take tablets in food, they may need to be administered directly.
Gently tip your pet’s head backwards, so they are looking up at the ceiling. This then allows you to pull the lower jaw down easier and place the tablet at the back of the mouth. Close the mouth, and stroke the throat to try and encourage a swallow.
Pill poppers are available to help with placing the tablet to the back of the mouth without getting bitten, and may be of help with cats. Ask one of our reception or nursing staff to show you how they may help.
Some medications can be crushed and dissolved in water, which then can be syringed into your pet’s mouth. Please check first.
There may also be some alternatives to tablets. If you are concerned about being able to administer tablets, please let us know.
You can disguise liquids in foods, just like tablets. However, sometimes these medications can be squirted straight into the mouth. To do this, gently hold your pet’s mouth closed and insert the syringe into the corner of their mouth between the lips and teeth. Squirt the medication gently across the tongue. Do not squirt the liquid to the back of the throat, as it may go down the airway. Continue to keep the mouth closed and stroke the throat area to encourage swallowing.
Administering ear treatments
Hold the ear flap up to allow exposure of the external ear canal. Place the nozzle of the bottle carefully into the external ear canal and squeeze the bottle. Gently rub at the base of the ear, which encourages the solution to pass down the ear canal. Pets will often shake their heads once the solution is applied. Wipe out any wax with moist cotton wall, but never use cotton buds down the ear. To distract pets from shaking their heads, you can feed them directly after or take them for a walk.
Some of the ear treatments do contain steroids, so pregnant women should not come in contact with them. When administering them, all should wear gloves.
If your pet’s ears seem very painful after applying cleaner or medications, then please contact us.
Administering eye treatments
Please refer to separate information sheet.
Creams and ointments
Please apply these in the areas which the label directs you or where the veterinary surgeon has demonstrated only.
Some of the medications contain steroids, so should not be handled by pregnant women, and all should wear gloves when creams or ointments are being applied. After applying the medication, try feeding, playing or walking your pet to distract them from licking the area. Sometimes a buster collar is required.