Pill Popping Poppycock

photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin cc

My favorite way to start the day is to coat my hand with slimy mucus and remnants of couch cushion foam as I shove it down my bulldog’s throat.  At least two times.  If not three.  I get to end my day that way, too.  I know.  You’re jealous.

Wonderbutt has developed some kind of canine version of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which has resulted in a weirdly symmetrical loss of hair on both flanks.  The frosting to that diagnostic vet bill cupcake (which was inconclusive) was that he developed a staph infection because of his dysfunctional follicles.  Hence the medication and my twice-daily mucus baths.

I mentioned to the vet, as he was prescribing some antibiotics, that Wonderbutt had gotten a bit funny about taking his monthly heart worm prevention.  I wasn’t too confident about getting two pills twice a day down his throat.  The vet recommended coating it in peanut butter.  It worked!  For two days.  Then the darn dog began to suck all of the peanut butter off and spit the pills on the floor.

I’ve always been pretty good at getting pills down animal throats.  But Wonderbutt is a challenge.  He is all tongue and teeth, making it extra difficult to get the medicine past the point of no return.  I’m still trying to decide if he is attempting to compromise or to make a fool out of me by not completely clamping his mouth closed in the first place.

Meanwhile, in my Parenting Parallel Universe, my daughter, Dimples, had an allergic reaction two days ago, probably due to the extra pollen in the air.  I pulled out the trusty Benadryl, and offered her a pill.

Dimples is 9.  She has never taken a pill that could not be chewed.  One look at that pill, and her gag reflex took over.

“Are you serious?” I said.  “You’ve swallowed Tic Tac’s bigger than this.”

(“No I haven’t,” she says, as she fact-checks today’s post.  “I chew them.”)

I had heard tales from other parents regarding this Pill Panic Phenomenon, but I never imagined my own child would join the ranks.

In case you are wondering, the reports that logic does not work in these situations are absolutely correct.

Cap’n Firepants took pity on our darling Drama Queen and divided the pill into fourths.  I still don’t know how he accomplished this miraculous task.  I tried to compromise and cut it in half today, and I’m convinced that only a laser could cut the minuscule thing without reducing it to crumbs.

I offered to coat it in peanut butter, and she glared at me.  She was not very receptive to my hand-down-the-throat suggestion either.

So, I wished the problem away. Because I could think of no solution other than surrendering and running to the store to buy liquid Benadryl. And, although I do not share this disproportionate reaction to pills to which Dimples and Wonderbutt stubbornly cling, I do share one trait with them – obstinance.

Lo and behold,  my wishing worked, and Dimples’ allergic reaction has abated.  Wonderbutt, of course, spit his pills out twice today, resulting in double the usual fun – so I really haven’t won.


Posted on April 10, 2012, in Cap'n Firepants, Children, Dimples, Dogs, Family, Humor, Parenting, Wonderbutt and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Can he catch treats? Toss him one unmedicated, a medicated, and another unmedicated? Sometimes if the treats are coming fast enough, they don’t notice. This suggestion may work equally well for Dimples OR Wonderbutt.

  2. our golden used to do that same thing – suck all the “treat” part off (usually we wrapped them in bread or even stuff a hotdog) and spit the pill out. blech and ugh. i learned to stick my arm (damn near) down his throat several soggy pills later. as for the kids – our 10 and 9 year old swallow pills. putting it way back on the tongue and swallowing a full glass of water? that helps ours. (or possibly wrap it in a hot dog). ;o)

  3. I sure understand what you go through here! LOL….. I have several collies who have a talent for eating the treat while their tongue searches and finds the pill and they spit it out after they swallow the treat….. Ginger is the worst offender! LOL…. its struggle and while it is no fun with a collie I look at wonderbutt and wow… how does one get past those teeth? I’ll be praying for you….. 🙂

    God Bless You!
    the pill spitting collies and the pill pushing chuck 🙂

    • I don’t know why, but Wonderbutt lets me open his mouth. He has a wicked clench when we are playing with his tug toys, but he is very gentle when I am shoving my hand down his throat.

  4. Can you tip his head back far enough that his throat is just a vertical tube? Climb on him like he’s a Shetland pony, get him to look up at you, and throw the pill down his throat and past his gag reflex. It works with cats!

    I didn’t know there was such a thing as bulldog pattern baldness. I hope Wonderbutt recovers from his BPB soon, for an end to your mucous baths if nothing else.

  5. If you’ve tried peanutbutter & he’s now resilient to that, try regular butter. It’s nice & slippery to slide down the throat better. Also, if you can get the pill covered in a big enough glop, put it on your finger, open his mouth & wipe it far back on his tongue. The natural reaction will be to swallow.
    If all else fails, tell Dimples if she doesn’t swallow her own pills, she’ll be responsible for administering Wonderbutt’s daily doses! They can get over their pill phobia together.

  6. Miranda Gargasz

    Rosie takes her heartworm medication in the form of a treat, not a pill. See if your vet offers this. It’s an extremely smelly block of doggie crack that Rosie literally drools for, no lie. It’s made by Heartgard. When she has to take an actual pill, we slather it in butter. We tilt her head back as far as possible. Jim opens her jaws and I chuck the yucky lump into the back of her throat and it slips on down. I say tell the Cap’n to fire up his meat hooks and get to chucking some buttery goodness down Wonderbutt’s throat. If nothing else, the Cap’n gets slobbery that way and not you. 😉

    • Mrs. P.I.B. gets the treat heart worm, but Wonderbutt is on the Trifexis, which is heart worm and flea. He gobbled it up the first few times, but is suddenly disenchanted with it.
      The Cap’n would be a failure at this job. He is too good-hearted to shove his hand down anyone’s throat!

  7. I’m sure glad I’ve got all my hair so I don’t have to take pills like Wonderbutt does. My person says she remembers giving my younger person some pink liquid medicine for an ear infection when he was little. Pink liquid went everywhere.

  8. Benedryl is a miracle pill. I take one almost every night so I can stay asleep…and we use it for horrible bug bites, too. I’m a druggie.

    • We actually give Benadryl to Mrs. P.I.B. sometimes when there are thunderstorms (as advised by the vet). It seems to calm her down a bit. It is, indeed, a pill of many talents!

  9. Which do you think is harder Dimples, or Wonderbutt? I’m guessing Wonderbutt, but I just thought I’d check.

  10. GREENIES® PILL POCKETS® Treats for dogs are a nutritious treat that contain a built-in pouch, perfect for hiding a tablet, capsule or supplement. Dogs love the taste so much—they won’t even notice there’s medicine inside.

    Your doggie consultant 🙂

    • I almost bought those at the vet, until he told me to try peanut butter instead. I might pick some up. However, I will be really upset if it works twice, and then he wises up to that one, too.

  11. Count yourself lucky. Can you imagine what would happen if you had to put them in Wonderbutt’s ‘other end’? 🙂

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