Illness - Caring for your pet

Illness - Caring for Your Pet 


How can I best administer her current medicine?

Liquids can be hard to administer to dogs but usually it can be done by tilting their head back, holding their mouth shut by putting a hand around their muzzle and then working the tip of the syringe into the fold of the lip (back corner of the mouth) and giving the medication just slowly enough that it doesn't run out all over as the dog swallows. Really bad tasting medications can lead to a big struggle, though. It is possible that some of the medications might be OK in taste and your dog only reactsdue to the bad tasting ones. In this case, separating them may help sinces he may readily take the OK tasting ones and then you have a smaller volumeof the others to give.


What alternative diet can you suggest so she'll finish her food?

Personally, I usually tell clients with sick pets to feed them whatthey want unless there is a specific reason I think it is necessary notto do that, like if they have pancreatitis. Most of the time I think itis better that they eat something than that they eat what I would likethem to eat. You need to check with your vet on this one though -- therevery well could be a reason for the special diet. 

Is it extremely necessary to keep her indoors until she recovers?

Probably not -- except that it is important to make sure that she ishome when it is time to give medications, so some sort of confinement isa good idea.

At what point do you think I should start force-feeding her? Ifshe eats half her meal, is that good enough?

Usually, eating half the meal for a few days is definitely OK. In most illnesses, I think it is best to try things like hand feeding good tasting morsels or coaxing the dog to eat in some other way rather than force feeding. In some situations, it is very important to feed and again, you need tocheck with your vet on that.


What can I use to disinfect the backyard and ensure that it isfree of any disease causing bacteria?

Many bacteria are susceptible to sodium hypochlorite bleach (Chloroxis an example). Just general cleaning so that there is no residual stoolor other organic material for bacteria to grow in helps a great deal.