Yeah, I know. She's a precious little thing with skinny legs and a face to die for, and she gives the best little rough kisses imaginable. But sometimes, when I'm trying to get her to take her meds and she's thwarting me at every turn, I am at a loss what to do about this little Pager package.
Pagent/Pager came to me with a bit of kennel cough and a mild staph infection, and two different antibiotics she needs to take for some days still.
But she was confused by hot dogs, and would only tentatively take a piece in her mouth and then chew it the way most dogs chew lettuce--with tongue flailing about and bits of hot dog flying out the sides. Now she eats them, but still chews them thoroughly and thoughtfully--so that a pill tucked into one is easily discharged out the side of her mouth.
Most foods you'd think would be exciting get the same treatment. In fact, what's the only food she gets excited about? Dry kibble! And how do you hide a pill in dry kibble?
Especially at first, when she really was barely eating anything, my only recourse was to stick each pill down her throat then stroke her throat to make it go down. But she hated that, and I felt like an absolute monster making her do it.
Now she's more curious about more foods, but still not the kind of food inhaler that makes administering pills a piece of cake. So, I thought, I'll outsmart the little lunatic. I'll grind up the tablet and empty the powder out of the capsule, and combine the powder with a concoction of heavy cream and tuna fish. What dog could refuse that?
This dog! Apparently creamy tuna is still not exciting, at least when it has a hint of doxycycline and cephalexin.
So I mixed some dry kibble in, and she finally showed some interest! Though only enough to eat a few bites before wandering away nervously.
Bleep it, I thought, I give up. The damage to her psyche from taking the bloody meds is going to be worse than the damage to her physical form from not taking them. So I went off to write on my computer and stew, though I brought the forsaken bowl with me.
And then, when I was contentedly checking my email and not worrying about the consequences of Pager not taking her meds--in short, when the air had cleared and there was no social pressure weighing down upon our little hesitant eater--she came over and began to eat. She ate a good amount of her creamy fishy med-soaked dry food before dropping off to sleep.
The moral of the story is that with a fearful dog, patience and time are often your best allies. And as I have observed with my anxious boy Lamar, pressure to perform can really get in the way of a dog behaving naturally and as both you and the dog would like.
Tuna fish may be one ticket to success, but a calm, relaxed attitude is even better!