A better way to give medicine to pets

Marlowe, our “princess” cat, is touchy about her rights. She doesn’t want to be disturbed, doesn’t want her long fur brushed, doesn’t want to share the back yard with the rowdy young boy-cats. And she doesn’t want to take her medicine.

We’ve been having to give her pills and liquid medicine. She fights the pills and detects the liquid medicine in her food. (It smells disgusting.) Then she refuses to come home to take them. She has been camping out fifty metres away, in the parking lot behind some local stores. And she shows up only occasionally, when we reward her lavishly with canned cat food.

But the last time she showed up I kept her in and took her to the veterinarian. Dr. Au determined that the interstitial cystitis was gone but Marlowe has a bladder infection instead. There’s nothing like eating rats and then licking yourself, I suppose! So I decided on a new approach to giving medicine. I bought a package of “pill pockets.” And they work!

A pill pocket is a treat with a hollow centre. You slip a pill into it with one hand and press it closed with the other, so that the smell of the pill isn’t on the treat. (There are dog-size ones, too.) I fed Marlowe one last night with her antibiotic in it. She gobbled it down eagerly and looked for more. So I gave her an empty one. I have more than enough pill pockets for this course of medicine. That’s a relief. If she’ll take her medicine every night the battle is half won. I don’t want her to develop a resistant strain of bacteria by taking it unreliably.

Meanwhile, the vet is checking the bacteria to make sure it’s not a resistant strain. If it is, I’ll exchange the antibiotic for something stronger. But it’s a relief to be doing something right.

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