From the time Petey was first diagnosed with lymphoma, up until about two weeks ago, pilling him was a fairly straightforward endeavor.
I’d wait until he was really sleepy (or occasionally, dead-to-the-world), scoop him up, clamp him between my knees, pop the top of his head open and throw a pill down his throat. Just to make sure he swallowed, I’d blow on his nose and rub his throat a little.
For the most part, this worked. About once a week, he’d spit a prednisone for distance. Or, I’d realize I missed his mouth entirely and dropped the pill on the carpet.
But, Petey got healthier 🙂 and stronger. 🙂 A healthy, strong Petey may possibly be the most stubborn animal on the planet.
So, pilling Petey got more complicated. Now it took two of us to corral him. This usually entails chasing him around the living room, gradually decreasing his escape path. Finally, one of us pins him, scoops him and carries him off to the kitchen.
Next, it took two of us to actually pill him: One to hold the thrashing, slippery cat. The other to try to throw the pill far enough into his mouth so he couldn’t spit it out. All while Petey is screaming, and throwing his head around like a bucking bronco.
We tried burrito-wrapping him. We tried a pill shooter. We tried Pill Pockets.
After one particularly disastrous attempt at administering the appetite stimulant (cyproheptadine), Beloved and I were left bleeding; Petey was distraught and foaming at the mouth, with a pill stuck to his head.
I gave up, bursting into tears at the torment I was visiting upon this poor little cat, whose life I only wanted to make better.
And then we learned about compounding pharmacies and transdermal medications. <Cue the chorus of angels.>
Transdermal prednisone has changed our lives. I can now once again just scoop Petey up any time I like, sit him in my lap, and just rub a premeasured amount of pred cream into the inside of his ear. He loves having his ears rubbed, so he never fusses. And, he knows he’ll get a couple of pill-less Pill Pockets when we’re done.
No one bleeds. No one froths. No one cries and mutters “Fine, go ahead and have cancer. See if I care.”
I’ve heard from multiple sources that the quality of the compounded, transdermal meds can vary from prescription to prescription. But, I figure that if Petey is getting even 1/2 as much medication as he’s supposed to, it’s more than he was getting when he wore the pills on his head.
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