I recently started fostering a litter of 5-week old, husky mix puppies. When I picked them up from the cargo plane, there was a note taped to the kennel, along with a small box of liquid antibiotics.
The note said the ‘blonde boy’ needs .5ml of antibiotics, twice a day. Once I got the puppies home, it was antibiotics time.
I’ve had pets all my life. With household pets comes the responsibility of animal healthcare.
I have vivid childhood memories of my mom’s cats needing to take pill-form medication. The slim plastic apparatus invented to force feed a cat a small, hard pill was both traumatic and hilarious.
(If you’re not familiar with it, go ahead & search ‘cat pill shooter’. It’s a modern-day feline torture device, but still one of the most effective ways to get a cat to swallow a pill.)
A technique for administering liquid medication to your puppy
Getting a puppy to take a liquid, oral medication might seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but once you’ve gone through the motions a few times, it can be a quick, easy process for both you and the puppy.
First, take the antibiotic out of the refrigerator and choose your dropper or syringe. The bottle itself will usually come with a dropper top with measurements down the tube, but I find it simpler to use a syringe.
If you have pets, it may be a good investment to own a syringe that pulls apart for efficient washing and drying. They’re fairly inexpensive, and last a long time.
Here’s a link to the 1ml liquid capacity syringe I use:
Once you’ve measured out the correct dosage based on your vet’s prescription instructions, hold your puppy in your lap. With one hand, put a finger or toy in his mouth – something to get him to open his mouth. You don’t need the puppy’s jaw all the way open, just barely wide enough to sneak in the small syringe.
With your other hand, quickly slip the syringe in the back of your puppy’s mouth, and push the injector. When your puppy notices a cold liquid suddenly in his mouth, he will probably pull his head away from you and swallow a few times, then start licking his lips. Watch this, just to make sure the antibiotic doesn’t drip out of his cheeks.
That’s all there is to it. Once you’ve done it a few times, it will start to feel very natural. The most important part is just doing it fast – before your puppy realizes what’s happening and tries to squirm away from you.
Now, here’s one more picture of adorable, tiny 5-week old puppies.