Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How Not To Give A Dog Medicine

There is a right way and a wrong way to give a dog medicine, and I think I have all the wrong ways down pat.

My golden retriever, Merle, has to take medicine for his sensitive skin, and outsmarted me at almost every turn. I think he did this for spite. Half of his medicine ended up a gloppy, semi-dissolved mess on the floor, and so did I. However, when I took Merle back to the vet to tell on him, Merle happily took his meds for the doc. There’s that spite again. It couldn’t possibly be me.

So here is a list of everything I did wrong

1. Put the pill in your hand and say, “Here ya go,” like you’re handing him a treat or something. Merle gave me an arched look that said, “Do I look that stupid?”
2. Hide it in food. Now that he’s on to me, Merle ate around the pill and spit it out.
3. Here’s my fave. The vet said to put the medicine in Merle’s mouth, lift his snout and rub his throat. Magically, he’ll swallow the pill. Ha. The first time I tried it, Mr. Merle chewed the capsule, getting granules of medicine all in his mouth and on his lips. The capsule part was partially dissolved and stuck to the hair around his mouth. Pretty! And pretty stinky! I thought I was successful with attempt #2, but the little sneak cheeked it - he put it between his massive floppy cheek and gum – then spit it out when I wasn’t looking. I swear that dog has it in for me.
4. Wrestling. He won.
5. Pretending to take it and acting like I feel so much better. The performance got a yawn.
6. Begging. He won.

In the end, I took him back to the vet where I got personal lessons on the rub-the-throat technique. The vet was very supportive, but Merle smiled gleefully, knowing that once again, he had shown himself to be smarter than I am.

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