Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dog Won't Take A Pill

We've all been there as animal lovers. Our furry friend is sick and needs medication, but resists all attempts to take its pill. There are many tricks passed down through the years, and none of them work on Ty or his brother Bear.

Yesterday morning I woke up to little brown and red spots all over the piddle pads. He must have got up at least a dozen times during the night to use the piddle pads like the good boy he is. He was looking listless and my sister said "well, you know he was my dog, I'd be on my way to the doggy ER" and that's what I did.

It's funny that a couple people have remarked to me that Ty does not seem very smart. Granted, he's not as intelligent as his sister, but every puppy in the litter got their mommy Spot's intelligence. Ty is smarter than most dogs, the problem is that he's also more stubborn.

People talk down to me and say things like "oh, well you just need to put it in some food." Thanks, it's all so clear now. But seriously, his sense of smell is such that once he thinks I'm trying to give him a pill, he will not take any food or treats with pills inside because he can smell the medication. His nose is way too good to fool him. Even foods he really likes and the treats he really likes are rejected if he gets even a whiff of the pill. For some treats he likes enough, he will eat around the pill and then spit the pill out. But it's rare he'll even open his mouth if he smells any kind of medication.

So, last night I spent an hour traumatizing him, trying to work a pill down his throat and do the old trick where I gently stroke his neck to get him to swallow. Except, he won't swallow when there's a pill in his mouth. It was awful, and I kept thinking that we need to do this three times a day!

This morning I went back to the food puzzle. The other problem is that he's not very hungry, so I'm having a hard time getting any food in him.

I went through the fridge, item by item asking myself if Ty would eat it. Until I came to the bacon. Duh. Bacon is extremely expensive, and I'm not supposed to eat it with my high blood pressure. So I cooked some up.

The problem was that I got the bacon too crispy, and it wouldn't hide the pill very well. But it seemed worth a shot, and I wrapped a pill in some crunchy bacon shards. And sure enough, he chomped the whole thing, and crunched the pill as if it were bacon.

They don't get bacon much at all, and when they do, they are greedy little monsters. After a whole day of putting different food in front of him and saying "do you like .... this?" I finally found something he would eat in his sick state.

Food is the Chihuahua's Achilles' heel, but they are smart. For the stubborn non-pill-takers like Ty, it's just a matter of something that invokes his greed. His hyper-intelligent sister on the other hand would eat a piece of glass if you covered it in peanut butter. And Ty's daddy, Lenny, even dying would take any pill in peanut butter.

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