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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is sort of a two sided-question, the first about administering medication. My oldest chi Artie had to have his teeth removed before we adopted him. We have him a soft food diet obviously, but it makes giving him his pills a little difficult. We have him on benedryl to help with reverse sneezing and some other allergy issues, but he hates having it crushed up in his food. He knows it is there even when we mix it in, and he won't eat all of his food and sometimes go on a straight up hunger strike until we stop putting it in his bowl. I've tried putting it in peanut butter, but he has trouble controlling his tongue when he licks so he ends up making more of a mess than eating any of it. The other day I tried the method of just poking it down his throat and blowing on his nose to have him swallow it, but he ended up coughing and choking, and his tongue is so big it was hard for me to get it in his mouth without worrying I might hurt his jaw or choke him. He is a VERY tiny dog.

The last time we were at the vet, he was diagnosed with a grade 1 or 2 heart murmur. I know that it may worsen over time, and I want to get the hang of giving him medication before it possibly becomes a necessity. Does anyone have any good ideas or methods I could try to give him medication?

In that same vein, does anyone have experiences with a dog being diagnosed with a heart murmur, especially a lower grade? I know it is probably different for each dog, and the vet told me what to watch out for if it gets worse, but I still would like some first hand experiences and advice so I know what to prepare for. Artie is kind of the center of my life right now (I am disabled and stuck at home, and he is my constant companion) so I really want to take care of him and make sure he is comfortable.
 

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I found a 'compounding' pharmacy. They have a liver flavor. I use a 1cc tuberculin syringe and the pharmacy told me how much to give. MUCH easier than trying to get a pill down.This is for heart medication. When I give meds to another chi with epilepsy, she gets potassium bromide, also a liquid. I put the liquid on a small piece of bread and drip the liquid on to it. Then I poke a hole and put in the pill and cover the whole thing with p.butter. I put it in her dish, and its gone very quickly. Try putting the med in his dish, maybe with cream cheese, if he doesn't like/do well with the p.butter.

The heart murmur may stay the same for years. How old is Artie?

The pharmacy is Dliamondback Drugs in Scottsdale Ar. phone 866-646-2223
 

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This may be oversimplified but if you mix it with a tempting food (like canned) and get it in their mouth and hold their muzzle gently closed, usually they will get it down. Of course if you your pup really resists, don't continue to hold. This worked with Lady when she had to take meds for a UTI and was otherwise resisting. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much for these wonderful suggestions! This is exactly what I was looking for, so I will try these methods and see if any work better for him.

Susan, thank you so much for that info! Artie is about 8 years old. Is his age likely to effect his hear murmur? I took him to the vet about 4 months ago for the first time and she didn't pick it up that time. Just found it last Thursday.
 

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I'd try liquid medications instead of pills. For pills I open the dog's mouth pop the pill in the back and hold their mouth shut and pet their throat until they swallow.
 

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I use pill pockets with my guy who needs pills twice a day. It works really well for him- the trick is to use the smallest possible amount of pocket to cover it so they don't feel the need to chew at all.
 

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I've had chi's who have had murmurs at grade2/6 and never changed for years. Then at a px the vet said, "Oh what's this?" while listening to her heart. Went up to a 4/6. They start meds IF the dog is coughing. Otherwise I'd wait for the meds. I really don't think the meds do much IF the dog is coughing. I give codeine (prescribed by the vet) for the cough if she has more than a minute or two of continuous coughing. My oldest chi , Zarita is now 9+ years and she has been on meds for almost 18 months. They just added another med for heart failure. Thankfully she does not have the congestive part of heart failure. Hers is the enlarged heart pressing against the trachea.
 

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Hi if the pills are too big get a pill splitter I put the pill quartered in a piece of cheese. Are you sure the "reverse sneezing" isn't a collapsed trachea? I wouldn't be giving the bendryl on a regular basis unless the vet knows what it is.
I have no experience with heard problems but when my chi was diagnosed 2 years ago with steroid responsive meningitis until she started eating we had to liquefy the pills and use a syringe which we put gently at the side and back of her mouth and slowly put it in until she swallowed. We found that if we wrapped her in a blanket and did it that way she didn't fight us. When she started eating again then we put it in cheese and its gone in no time! Hope this helps.
 

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Hi if the pills are too big get a pill splitter I put the pill quartered in a piece of cheese. Are you sure the "reverse sneezing" isn't a collapsed trachea? I wouldn't be giving the bendryl on a regular basis unless the vet knows what it is.
I have no experience with heard problems but when my chi was diagnosed 2 years ago with steroid responsive meningitis until she started eating we had to liquefy the pills and use a syringe which we put gently at the side and back of her mouth and slowly put it in until she swallowed. We found that if we wrapped her in a blanket and did it that way she didn't fight us. When she started eating again then we put it in cheese and its gone in no time! Hope this helps.
Good point. My Beverly has a collapsing trachea which, along with her severe allergies, create the need for daily medication. But it is prescribed by the vet and she has to check in at least once a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Don't worry, it is not a collapsed trachea! I was worried it was the same thing and took him in twice, and the vet is sure it is just reverse sneezing. She wanted to start him on benedryl to see if it helps (and so far it has!).

Thank you all for your suggestions! I started with just wrapping it up in soft food and he has taken to that MUCH better than having it crushed up, and has slurped it down with no problem the last couple days. I found some liquid benedryl to ask the vet about in cases he catches on eventually, lol!

Susan - Thanks for that note, that actually really helps and is relieving. I was so worried when she said it was a heart murmur. I hope your babies are doing well and feeling better with the medication!
 

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I use can cheese. My pups only get it for pills and at the vets for vaccines so it is a super special treat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I hadn't even thought of canned cheese. That sounds like a wonderful treat. Definitely keeping all of these suggestions in mind for the future!
 
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