Today's selfie is a bright and shiny glamour shot from a certain little tabby girl.
Thimble does not appreciate that teddy bear back there photobombing her. She says to ignore him and just focus on her cute face.
Doodle of the Day
Today's doodle is a new winter one that was actually meant to be an illustration for our weekly poem from two weeks ago. We didn't get it scanned and uploaded until now, though, so here it is.
Tip of the Day
We have three days left of National Cat Heath Month. For these last couple of days, we'll be discussing some methods for administering medication to that kitty of yours. We'll be starting today with oral medications. This is going to be a long one, so kudos to anyone who makes it to the end.
To begin, if your kitty is prescribed a medication in the form of a pill, tablet, or capsule, there are a number of methods for attempting administration. If possible, and if your kitty is open to the idea, you can use pill pockets or another form of treat in which to hide the medication, and then your kitty might simply eat it up that way. Sometimes pills, tablets, or capsules can also be hidden in a bowl of canned food. If it is small enough, the entire pill can be left intact and hidden whole in the food. Or, some pills can be crushed and then stirred in and masked by the moist food. That being said, some pills, tablets, and capsules are not as effective or sometimes not truly safe to crush and expose in this way, so always ask your veterinarian first regarding this method.
If a kitty will not voluntarily ingest a pill in the above ways, though, then you may very well have to manually pill your cat. First and foremost, be gentle with this method, and make sure your kitty is as comfortable as possible, and of course not harmed. It's also important to ensure that you are not bitten. One of the best methods for pilling a cat involves placing your hand over the cat's head and more or less using their cheekbones as a handle. This way, you can gently tilt your kitty's head back, and they will often then open their mouth on their own. As long as you do it safely, you can also place the tip of a finger on the incisors (not the canines!) of the lower jaw in order to help open the mouth. When your kitty's mouth is open, you can carefully place the pill inside, trying to get it as far back on the tongue as is possible and safe. You can try doing this with the pill plain, or put it in a small treat to better mask it. When the pill is inside the mouth, close your kitty's mouth and gently hold it shut. Sometimes, if needed, blowing on their nose or gently rubbing their throat will prompt them to swallow the pill.
There are also pilling devices on the market. I personally do not prefer to use these, but for kitties who need it, you can try this method. When using a pilling device, you can use the same methods as indicated above for opening your kitty's mouth, and then use the device to place the pill as far back on the tongue as possible.
For kitties who simply do not tolerate being pilled, there is also the chance that the pill can be suspended in a liquid form. Do discuss this with your veterinarian, though, as this method is not effective with all medications. If the medication at hand is able to be given in liquid form, though, sometimes you can do this yourself, simply by crushing the pill and dissolving it in water or a safe broth or gravy. Other times, pharmacies can prepare a liquid solution for you. For tips on the administration of liquid medications, see below.
Next up, we have liquid oral medications. With these, you use the appropriate syringe or dropper to pull up the prescribed dosage. If your kitty does not sense it and refuse to eat it, you can sometimes mix liquid medication in moist food. If your kitty will not eat food laced with medication, though, then squirting it directly into their mouth is your likeliest option. It is typically recommended that liquid medications be injected into the pocket of space that is between the cheek and the teeth. As needed, you can use the methods indicated above for opening your kitty's mouth for easier administration of the liquid medication. However, do not tilt your kitty's head back when administering liquid medications, as aspiration is possible.
What's more, keep in mind that larger quantities of liquid medications, such as over 0.5 or 1.0 mL of medication, may need to be injected into the mouth in multiple rounds. This is because squirting larger quantities of liquid into your kitty's mouth could be dangerous, such as by potentially leading to aspiration. So, depending on the dosage prescribed, it might be safest to squirt in half or so of the liquid, allowing your kitty to swallow that, and then squirting the rest into the mouth.
Other tips include using having a partner-in-crime to help you administer your kitty's medication. One person can hold the kitty, for example, while the other gives the medication. Whether you are by yourself or have help, you can also use the help of a towel or blanket. You can wrap the kitty in this, to keep them and their legs still during the process.
If you have trouble giving your kitty oral medications, even when using methods such as those discussed above, of course discuss this with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian might be able to suggest other options for medication administration. We will be discussing transdermal medications and subcutaneous injections over the next two days, so if either of those are a solution your veterinarian proposes, we'll be sharing tips on those as well.