Tips for Hiding Pills from Pets

Tips & Tricks for Hiding Pills

Do you want to take the difficulty out of giving pets pills? Does your pet make a fuss out of eating their medicine? I have personally had issues giving my dog her medicine if its not a flavored, chewable tablet. Some capsules can be sprinkled onto dog food, but it doesnt always cover up the taste of the medicine. I have searched for a better way to get her to take those pesky pills. I have now found solutions to getting the medicine into my dog: Kinn products and Greenies Pill Pockets. We carry the Kinn and Greenies product lines because we believe these products are truly the best. The Greenies line is a trusted source for all pet treats, and the Kinn products allow you to make custom pet treats with your own recipes to hide their medications, including any compounded medications.

Pill Concealment Products for Hiding Pills

Pill Pockets by Greenies:

Greenies has formulated an easy way to give your pets medications by putting them into a hollowed out tasty treat. There are many different flavors for cats and dogs Pill Pockets, and are even available in formulations with real meat! There is also an allergy formula for the more sensitive pets. Pill Pockets come in capsule or tablet sizes for convenient use. To use Pill Pockets, you just have to place the pill inside the hole in the treat, then close the open end by pinching it with your fingers. The treat is then ready for your pets happy eating!

Kudose Pill Concealer by Kinn:

The Kudose pill concealer is a top of the line product for making pills into treats. In a few minutes, you can hide your pets medications into a custom-made treat they will beg to have. You have the power to decide what ingredients are in your pets treats with the Kudose pill concealer. You can make the treats organic, natural, low fat, or grain free! You can make the treats with or without medications. The treat recipe you choose is placed into the bottle, and you then place a Kudose Kapsule (the capsules made for the pill concealer) into the bottom. You can either add a pill into the capsule before filling it with your delicious treat recipe and hide your pets pills, or you can simply fill it with all treat filling. This product is a great way to eliminate preservatives, fillers, and additives from your pets treats, while ensuring your pet gets their full dose of medicine. You can also reduce the anxiety of medicine time with your pet and make them excited about getting a treat. Kinn believes in their products and even offers a 100% money back guarantee if you decide its not for you and your pet. To show you how the Kudose pill concealer is used, we’ve have provided a 50 second video:

Krocodile Pill Splitter and Crusher by Kinn:

If your pet has to take part of a pill or have their medication crushed into their food, you know how frustrating it can be. Inexpensive human pill splitters wear out easily and arent always good for the large pills some dogs have to take. Kinn has brought a pill splitter and crusher into one quality device. The Krocodile pill splitter and crusher allows you to split tablets easily. This pet piller is strong enough for you to step on if you have troubles with your hands. You can also use the Krocodile Kroc Bellys, which are small baggies for you to place the pills in before you crush them. This is a great way to reduce contamination between your different pets pills and it ensures your pet receives their full dose of medication. Below is a video about Kinn Krocodile:

Kase Pill Dispenser by Kinn:

My husband and I camp during the summer and taking our dogs medications with us can be a hassle. The Kase pill dispenser can resolve issues of traveling with pet medications and with giving medications on the go! The Kase pill dispenser is a small metal device which holds six treats or pills with an easy to load and release design. The Kase pill dispenser allows you to get the treat or medication out easily and with one hand. This makes giving pet medications easier when youre on the go, have arthritis, or have general difficulty with your hands. The Kase pill dispenser also protects your pets costly medications from being damaged from breaking during travel. The video below shows how convenient the Kase pill dispenser is to use:

Have you used Pill Pockets or any of the Kinn products to help give your pet pills? Please leave a reply below or jump on over to a product page at VetRxDirect Pet Pharamcy and leave us a product review. We love to hear how products are working directly from pet parents. Thank you.

Dogs and Fireworks

Noise Fear, Anxiety, and Phobia in Dogs

The summer flies by too fast and Independence Day is already almost here! The 4th of July brings great celebrations but the fireworks and noise can make some dogs anxious. Not only do fireworks cause fear of noises (noise phobia); alarms, thunderstorms, gunshots, and other loud noises can be frightening. My dog was in a house fire 2 years ago (she was thankfully unharmed) and she now has a great fear of smoke detectors or any other beeping alarm. For those who have experienced a pet with a fear of certain noises, you know how hard it can be to watch your pet be frightened. There are many medications, prescription and over the counter (OTC), marketed to help with anxiety in dogs, but which medications are actually effective for the fear of noises?

What is normal in dog fears?

It is very hard to define a “normal” in dogs because each one is different and there are differences between breeds. Some breeds may be more prone to having excessive fears or to being more reactive than others. Some dogs may also be more prone due to their training and environment. Fears are normal in dogs and are a part of instincts: Fears were learned by all animals to keep them alive. Fears are a response to something putting your pet in danger and cause a fight or flight response. When your pet is anticipates the event they fear, it is called anxiety. A phobia is a response to a fear that is exaggerated or unhealthy. Fear, anxiety and phobia are commonly confused terms and it can be hard to explain the differences between them. Below is an analogy which may help you understand the differences between the terms.

     Thunderstorm Phobia

  • Fear= the thunderstorm. This is a normal fear because storms are dangerous for animals and the fear causes them to seek shelter to prevent themselves from getting hurt. An example of a behavior of fear would be if a dog wants to come inside the house or their doghouse because it is storming and behaves relatively normal once they are in. This is normal because it is obviously safer for them to be inside.
  • Anxiety = how the pet acts before the storm happens. This would be when the animal senses an incoming storm and paces, hides, or doesn’t act normal before the storm comes. Anxiety is due to the anticipation or waiting for the storm to come because they sense it and know it is something dangerous.
  • Phobia = when the animal is inappropriately afraid. It is normal for dogs to want to come inside or lay low when a storm comes because they know it’s safer. However, if a dog starts panting excessively, hides, excessively licks their lips, becomes aggressive, or shows other abnormal behaviors then it is classified as a phobia.

Behavior modifications before medications in dogs:

The first part of treating noise phobia and anxiety is to change your pet’s behavior during the fearful event. Below is a strategy and some tips to reduce your dog’s fear of noises.

  • Identify the problem causing your dog to be frightened. You can make a journal or record of when your pet gets frightened and what was happening around them. After a while you may notice similarities and identify a cause of their fears.
  • After you have identified the cause of fear, you should try to avoid it. Some things cannot be avoided such as fireworks or thunderstorms, but gunshots and alarms can be prevented. Try to keep your pet away from the noises causing their fear. When it’s storming or fireworks are going off, you can take your dog to a quiet dark room to help reduce their fear. Having a safe room or crate with a blanket over it can be helpful in noisy situations.
  • Don’t get upset or mad with your dog- it only makes their fear worse. By disciplining your dog, you are showing them there is a reason to be afraid.
  • Don’t reward your dog too much. Trying to comfort them or give them treats while they are hiding rewards them for their inappropriate behavior. Don’t give them treats or physical rewards while they are behaving in a fearful or anxious manner.
  • Distract your dog by working on some training exercises. You can work on your dog’s sit, stay, lay down, and other tricks while the noisy event is happening. This can help distract them and keep their mind off their fears. It is a great time to reward your pet while they are working on training exercises. Rewarding your pet during this time teaches them appropriate behaviors during fearful events.
  • Contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations they have.

When changing your dog’s behavior doesn’t work:

Some dogs may respond well to behavior changes during the noisy events and others may not. Some dogs can be too anxious, depressed, or hyperactive to even try helping them. When this happens, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss your dog’s anxiety and fear. Your veterinarian can decide if there are any other behavioral changes you can make or if medications are the best option.
There are many different treatment options for phobias and anxiety in dogs. They include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, melatonin, dog appeasing pheromones (DAP), milk proteins, plant extracts, supplements, and aromatherapy. Each of these treatment options can work for certain dogs but it just depends on the situation and some may work better than others for your dog. The natural products have the advantage of being OTC but they are also disadvantageous because they aren’t always approved by your veterinarian. It is best to consult your veterinarian prior to starting an OTC anxiety medication in your dog. In general, the OTC products are better for mild cases of phobias and the prescription medications are usually reserved for moderate to severe cases.

Below is a table of OTC and prescription medications used for noise phobia in dogs. Please note VetRxDirect does not sell the prescription anti-anxiety medications because they are controlled substances.

Dogs and Fireworks OTC and Rx Pet Meds

Click Anywhere on the Table for a Full-Size Version

What products have you found to be helpful with dogs and fireworks? We’ve concentrated on dogs today, but please leave any comments about your cats and noise phobias so all pet parents can learn. Thank you.

 

Meloxidyl: Save on Meloxicam suspensions!

Meloxicam has been widely used over the years to help dogs with arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. Meloxicam is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) which inhibits enzymes that produce inflammation and pain. These enzymes are called COX-1 and COX-2. Meloxicam has been available in generic human tablets and an expensive brand name suspension called Metacam. Now VetRxDirect is carrying a less expensive version of a meloxicam suspension called Meloxidyl.

Meloxidyl is bioequivalent to Metacam Oral NSAID for Dogs

Meloxidyl is now available at VetRxDirect Pet Pharmacy.

Meloxidyl contains 1.5 mg of meloxicam per 1 mL of the suspension. It is more convenient and easy to give your dog than the meloxicam tablets. With the suspension, you can easily place the medication in the pet’s food or directly into their mouth. Meloxidyl will make your dog’s meloxicam suspension much more affordable. If you’d like to save some money on meloxicam, talk to your veterinarian about switching to Meloxidyl suspension.

ProductStrengths AvailableCost
Meloxicam tablets7.5 mg and 15 mgVRD Paw Print
Meloxidyl oral suspension1.5 mg/mLVRD Paw PrintVRD Paw Print
Metacam oral Suspension0.5 mg/mL and 1.5 mg/mLVRD Paw PrintVRD Paw PrintVRD Paw Print

VRD Paw PrintIndicates relative pricing, with more paw prints showing greater cost of the product.

For more information on meloxicam and other NSAID’s, see our article titled, “Important Information about NSAID’s for Pets.

What are your thoughts on trying less expensive options for your pet’s medications? Has your pet been prescribed meloxicam before? Would you try Meloxidyl? Leave a reply below.

Storing Pet Medicine

Most pharmacists ask their patients where they keep their medications but this essential element of counseling can be missed with our furry friends. Many of these points may seem obvious but there are still cases of children and pets getting into veterinary medications. This article aims to help pet parents when storing pet medicine in safe and appropriate places to prevent unnecessary complications.

Keep it cool and dry

It is important to keep your pet’s medications out of direct sunlight because some medications are degraded by it and most medications should be away from heat. It is best to keep medications in a closed system like a cabinet or drawer which will rarely see sunlight and will be kept dry.  Humidity can be a real problem as well, especially for capsules because they can melt. Bathrooms are often the most humid room due to showering, making them a poor place to keep your pet’s medications. Kitchens can be a good place as long as they aren’t near a stove or other sources of heat. Bedrooms can also be a good place to store pet medications but they often don’t have cupboards or cabinets out of reach to children and pets. The best room to keep your pet’s medications varies by household and if there are children around, so this information should be used subjectively in deciding where the best location is for your house.

Higher is better

As with all medications, it is important to store them out of the reach of children. They can be very curious and get into cupboards within in reach. Many medications come in colorful packaging which can be enticing to children. They can also be flavored, which may encourage children to eat of your pet’s medications and supplements. Keeping your pet’s medications in a cabinet out of reach is a great way to prevent toxic effects in your children.

Children aren’t the only ones attracted to medications, your pets are too! The flavored chewables, powders and other forms are the most enticing to your pet. Your pet may think they are treats and get into them when you aren’t looking. Before you know it, the whole bag or bottle may be gone and you have a dog or cat experiencing some major side effects. This can lead to veterinary exam expenses and possibly even death. Keeping them in a cabinet out of reach can help prevent your pet from getting toxic amounts of their medications.

In summary, it is best to store your pet’s medications in a high cabinet or drawer, out of reach to children and pets, located in a cool dry room such as a kitchen or bedroom.

Where do you store your pet’s medications? Do you have any extra suggestions or tips for other pet parents? Leave a comment or question by clicking “leave a reply”.

Levothyroxine for Dogs Availability Updates

What is Soloxine for dogs and what is it used for?

Soloxine, also known as a generic levothyroxine, is used to treat hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone. Naturally, the thyroid gland produces hormones that allow the body to maintain a normal rate of metabolism. Sometimes, these hormones are not made in the amount required by the body to function normally. This can be called hypothyroidism, or low levels of hormones, or hyperthyroidism, or high levels of hormones. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include tiredness, slow movement, constipation, weight gain, skin and hair changes, and others. Generic Soloxine, also known as generic levothyroxine, is a medication used to replace these missing hormones. It is a cheaper levothyroxine for dogs. Too much levothyroxine, however, can cause hyperthyroidism, or too much thyroid hormone, often seen as unexplained weight loss, hyperactivity, and rapid heart rates.

Why does a dog have thyroid problems?

Dogs can have thyroid problems similar to humans. Most often, thyroid problems are caused by the dog’s body attacking its own thyroid gland. This can lead to the underproduction of the necessary hormones to maintain normal metabolism. This can lead to dogs having poor hair growth or coat changes if they develop hypothyroidism.

Tests needed to diagnose and monitor hypothyroidism in dogs

Blood tests are used to assess if a dog has thyroid problems. The veterinarian will test for the total T4 level. T4, also known as thyroxine, is one of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland. If the level is within normal range, the dog does not have hypothyroidism. If the level is low, this may be due to hypothyroidism, but it may also be due to other diseases. Veterinarians can perform more specific tests to assess if your dog have hypothyroidism. The FT4 test, or free thyroxine test, can be a more accurate measure of the thyroid function. Free thyroxine is the hormone that is going to enter cells in your pet’s body and maintain normal metabolism. Total T4 levels can not show how much free T4 is available and may not accurately show what is going on in your pet’s body. Other blood tests may also need to be performed by your veterinarian to rule out other causes.

Once your dog has undergone treatment or replacement therapy using Soloxine, levothyroxine for dogs, they need to be monitored to ensure that adequate levels of hormones are being maintained. It may be necessary to monitor blood levels monthly in order to assess if the dose needs to be adjusted. Longer time frames may be needed to ensure that the body has adjusted to the new dose of levothyroxine and to ensure they are at a steady blood level of the medication. After maintaining steady thyroid levels, monitoring may be less frequent as determined by your veterinarian. Follow-up appointment are crucial to the success of levothyroxine treatment and the maintenance of steady thyroid hormone levels.

How do thyroid problems in cats differ from those in dogs?

Cats can also have thyroid problems, but they most often have hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism in cats can also be treated. Overproduction of thyroxine in cats causes an increase in metabolism which can lead to weight loss, anxiety, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Hyperthyroidism can be treated by using radioactive iodine or removal of the thyroid gland. Both of these treatments can lead to hypothyroidism, so other treatment options are available, such as methimazole transdermal gel. Contact your veterinarian regarding possible hyperthyroidism in your cat.

Can levothyroxine for humans be used in dogs? Can you substitute products?

When comparing the strengths of levothyroxine in humans versus the levothyroxine used in dogs, there can be a vast difference in the strengths. Humans often require less levothyroxine needed to treat hypothyroidism. Dogs absorb and metabolize levothyroxine differently than humans. As a result, they may need higher doses than seen in humans.

Chewable Levothyroxine for Dogs

Canine Thyroid Chewable Levothyroxine Available at VetRxDirect

One possible substitute for Soloxine, indicated for use in dogs, is Pala-Tech’s Canine Thyroid Chewable tablets. These chewable tablets can be easily given to your dog, and they’ll enjoy to flavor. Checkout ThyroKare Levothyroxine Tablets as another possible substitute for the backordered Soloxine.

Many products are available for the treatment of hypothyroidism, and they are not all the same. Substitutions may be permitted if formulations are similar and on the order of your dog’s veterinarian. Ask your veterinarian before substituting any medications or supplements.

Common Side Effects of Levothyroxine in Dogs

When being administered properly, there should not be side effects from levothyroxine. Levothyroxine for dogs will help maintain normal metabolism. Adverse effects are seen when too much levothyroxine is used. These include the following:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Excess hunger
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Excitability or nervousness
  • Excessive panting

Contact your veterinarian if you notice these adverse effects. The veterinarian may adjust the dose of the medication. Do not change how you were instructed to give levothyroxine for dogs without consulting your veterinarian.

Levothyroxine for Dogs Drug Interactions

Like medications used in humans, there can be medications that interact causing changes in how the medication is acting on the body within dogs. Before starting your pet on any new medication or supplement, contact your veterinarian to see if it will interact with your pet’s current medication. Below are a few drugs that interact with generic levothyroxine.

  • Antacids
  • Anti-diabetic agents including insulin and oral agents
  • Cholestyramine
  • Corticosteroids
  • Ketamine
  • Phenobarbital

*This list does not contain all medications that may interact with generice levothyroxine and the Soloxine substitute. Contact your veterinarian regarding any changes in your dog’s medications.

Is your dog on levothyroxine? Which brand and form? Does your dog readily take his or her levothyroxine? Leave your answers by clicking ‘leave a reply’ below. Thank you.