How to Give Medications to Dogs
Liquid medicines, including electrolytes and water solutions, are
administered into the cheek pouch between the molars and the cheek. A medicine
bottle, eyedropper, or plastic syringe without the needle can be used to
dispense the liquid.
Pinch the dog’s lips together. Insert the end of the dispenser into the
cheek pouch and seal the lips with your fingers. Tilt the dog’s chin upward and
slowly dispense the liquid. The dog will swallow automatically. If you must
give the dog a large quantity of liquid, you will need to pause periodically
and give her time to swallow. Do not try to push a full syringe of liquid
quickly down the dog’s throat!
Injecting any foreign substance into the body always carries with it the
danger of causing an acute allergic or anaphylactic reaction. Treating anaphylactic shock requires
immediate intravenous adrenaline and oxygen. This is one reason why it is best
to have your veterinarian give injections. As a precaution, do not administer a
drug by injection to a dog who has had any sort of past history of an allergic
reaction (such as hives) to that drug.
If it becomes necessary to give injections at home (for example, if the dog
is diabetic), have your veterinarian demonstrate the procedure. Some injections
are given under the skin (subcutaneous) and others into the muscle
(intramuscular). Directions that come with the product will indicate the
correct route of injection.
The injection itself usually is not painful, although intramuscular
injections may hurt somewhat as the medicine is injected. Dogs should be
restrained. Having an assistant is helpful.
Begin by drawing the medicine up into the syringe. If there is an air bubble
inside, flick the syringe to get the bubble to the top. Then point the needle
toward the ceiling or into a sink and press the plunger to expel all air from
the syringe and needle. Make sure the correct amount is still in the syringe
after the air bubble is expelled. Select the injection site, part the hair, and
cleanse the dog’s skin with cotton soaked in alcohol.