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Heartguard pills?
by Angel
Heartguard pills?Hi everyone! I was just wondering how to administer a Heartguard pill to my 5 month old Carissa? She will not eat the chewable one-my other two girls will very happily eat their monthly Heartguard chewable-but my youngest will not. The vet told me to put the pill in a small amount of cream cheese or a small piece of American cheese and I did and she spit it out. I called the vet and he said to put the pill as far down in her mouth as I can and massage the throat so she swallows it. I tried this and she still spit it out! So my question is, how do I get her to take this very important pill? She only eats dry food-she will not eat moist food so I can't hide it in her food either. Any suggestions and/or similar experiences? Thank You!


The easiest way I have found to give mine pills, (which they hate) is to open the mouth, put the pill as far back at the throat as I can get in there then gently hold the mouth shut with one hand and massage the throat with the other. I hold the mouth shut until I feel them swallow. I have also tried the pill shooter (cost about $2.) Although I seem to have better luck with my fingers. If all else fails, try crumbling the pill in Liverworst. Most cannot resist the liver taste! Good Luck.

Hi Angel - our beasties won't eat the chewables either. I have been using the method that Bev described for Moose & Squirrel, but Rastus would eat ANY tablet as long as it was coated in peanut butter - maybe that will work for Carissa.
Deanna (Moose & Squirrel)
Try different foods -- if the liverwurst wont work (it usually does), try tuna fish, baby food, or peanut butter (they disguise the taste of the pill well. If food is just not possible... follow Bev's instructions, and to make her swallow faster try blowing on her nose gently. You know she swallowed when she licks her nose (don't hold mouth so tight she can't lick), and you can feel it while your are massaging the throat too.
Ever notice that if you give a dog, say....a green bean, they chew it? Give them a small piece of banana and they chew it? Hehehe, but give them a bite of meat, and they swallow it without even chewing, tasting or enjoying! I had another dog that could sniff out pills too, and I did not want to cram it down her throat. So, I would get two pieces of meat, I would hide the pill in one piece. Then I would let her see that I had two pieces for her, would give her the one without the pill first, and have the other piece almost in front of her nose, she would gulp down the first and greedily take the second and gulp it down! Never had a problem that way. These small "treats" once a month are better than not getting the treatment they need. Good luck!
Robin K.
Sounds like our dogs are siblings! I dread the monthly heartworm tablet taking scene. I place one tablet in a syringe and half fill with water, wait until dissolved, then down the throat QUICKLY. It is alot easier with another pair of hands to assist. Always handy to keep a towel close by to cover the eyes. GOOD LUCK!
Try hiding the pill in a blob of peanut butter. Lucy hates pills and the peanut butter usually works at least for the short-term (somehow it seems they always catch on). In our case, Lucy loves string cheese and would kill for the smallest bite of pizza, so I have been known to stuff a pill into those as well. The peanut better actually should work best because if she will eat it she can't get the pill separated from all that gooey stuff!
cathy brown
Angel: Shayna, the Rascal, she fights me on everything. I stick pills in soft treats. I use some soft dog food too and try to hide it in there. If all else fails I do the back of the throat thing and she gets it eventually. KoKo, she does everything for me. Good luck. Oh, they both like the Heartguard, no problem there.
I put a little bit of butter/oleo on the pill & then open her mouth and with the pill stuck to the end of my finger go in sideways and gently poke it into her throat - Phoebe is so interested with the butter that she immeidately startes licking the residue off my finger and the pill goes down with no problem! (works great for cats too!)
Leslie R
None of them like to take pills. With four I have given a lot of medication. What works for me is to open the mouth, place the pill in the back of the throat, close the mouth and blow in their face while massaging the throat. Works every time. Good luck.
Hi Angel, I lol when I read this about your baby, because when I give my Taffy a pill, no problem, she thinks its candy, or human food, and practically swallows it up in one glup! Because she knows it's not dog food! It's really funny. Just try saying to your baby, "here's a treat"! I'm no expert on this subject but it's amazing how dogs are so different.
Margaret & Taffy
Angel, my Nikki does the same thing. She somehow hides the pill in her mouth and then spits it out, even when I hold her mouth closed for quite a while. I ended up putting the pill in peanut butter...she chewed it right up (I use the chewables). Every pup I've ever owned LOVES peanut butter!! Good luck!
Sandy (Shelby & Nikki)
Why do you all give your babies Heartworm Med ??? chances of a Maltese getting Heartworm ( from M osquito bites..fem only ) are very slim, since most of them are indoors most of the time ! I NEVER give mine any , and certainly would NOT consider giving a young 5 mos old baby that POISON ! Just another opinion, I know of a case where the puppy wound up with a liver condition from Heartworm med. , and the vet prescribed a pill for a 25 lbs dog.. on top of that !
I had been using the pill as it was easier than the chewables, but on a visit to the vet I learned the pill only takes care of heartworms while the chewable takes care of other worms also, so I went to the chewables, what I do is sit on the floor and take little pieces of the chewable, and hand feed my dogs, it works, and I no longer have to worry about putting a pill down there throat.
Hi everyone, thank you for your responses! I tried the peanut butter and it worked! She looked soo-ooo cute with the peanut butter. I am happy she has her Heartguard protection and I am happy I now know how to administer pills to her! And Renee-In my opinion, Heartguard is NOT poison. It is PROTECTION!!! The story you told about the pup that developed liver disease after a pill for a 25 pound dog was administered by a vet--I think the vet gave too large a dose and it was the vet's fault. And even if it is a slim chance of our dog's ever getting heartworm it is still a chance and why take a chance with our babies? Thank You all again! Licks and wags from Carissa!
Peanut butter works great for me too. You just have to be careful not to give them too much. Sometimes it's a little hard to get down.
I'm sorry Renee but I must disagree with you (no offense). Mosquitoes can get into your house, and most people take their dogs out at least sometimes, so there is always a chance they could get this disease (no matter how slim). If you think the preventative is bad, consider the treatment for heartworm. It involves using very toxic chemicals like cyanide derivatives. Heartguard has been used for many years with comparatively few adverse reactions to it. Yes, all medications carry some risk, and certain dogs may be more sensitive to it, but it's still not as bad as the disease or the treatment. I'm not telling you what to do in your own situation, you may live in a very low incidence area. But it is a very serious diease, and IMHO prevention is the best way to go. For those that are concerned about the monthly pills, there are daily ones that are even safer.

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