When the Drugs Don’t Work – The Importance of Compliance

By June 13, 2019 October 24th, 2019 Preventative Medicine

When your veterinarian prescribes a medication for your pet family member, it is important to follow the labelled instructions. Unfortunately, the label doesn’t remind you WHEN to give the meds, or help you GIVE the meds.

With our busy lives, sometimes our pets’ medication schedule just falls off our mental checklist. Thankfully, there are products out there that add ease and simplicity to adhering to your pets’ medication regimen — whether it’s making sure you gave it, or making sure you didn’t accidentally give two doses — that go way beyond classic pill box.

Smartphone Reminder Apps

Our little personal computer that we carry around is more than just for taking photos, playing mobile games or browsing cute pictures of puppies and kittens on the internet. It can also act as a reminder for your pets’ medication. Many of us have a calendar app that helps us schedule our busy days, and putting reminders in for medications work well for pets that have only one medication, or only need short term medications. For the pets with multiple meds, life-long meds, or multiple people in a household managing their meds, a smartphone app may be a better option. In alphabetical order, here is a list of apps:

Giving medications

Wouldn’t it be great if all medications tasted like cheese or gravy? Giving meds wouldn’t be a chore, but a treat for our furry friends! Many veterinary products are designed to be palatable to animals, but the drug companies can only do so much.

  • Hiding medicine in treats
    • Soft treats work the best because it can be folded around the medication. Examples include: cheese, deli meats (be careful of the high sodium content), peanut butter (be careful of artificial sweeteners), canned fish, pureed meats, etc.
    • Commercial soft treats designed to hide medications: Greenies Pill Pockets, Royal Canin Pill Assist, etc.
    • Pairing medicine with high quality treats
    • Not all medicines are given by mouth so the above suggestions are not applicable (eye or ear meds, subcutaneous injections, etc.) However, many pets are very food motivated and pairing the action of giving meds can make your life much easier. For example, smearing peanut butter on the bath tub wall as a distraction while you give injections or applying topical meds (or even nail trims!)
    • Compounded flavoured medications
    • Remember when you were a kid and your doctor prescribed banana-flavoured medicine? You can also ask your veterinarian to write a prescription to compound the medication into a flavoured chew or liquid! Many veterinary compounding pharmacies carry chicken, beef, and fish flavours.

If at any time you are having difficulties or unsure of how to give your pet medications, please do not hesitate to call your friendly neighbourhood veterinary clinic. We are here to help, and together, we can keep your furry family member healthy.