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Hi all,

First post here, after searching and searching and searching, i could not find any answers to my dilemma . I have a horse at my barn who is currently on 20 1000mg Metformin tabs twice a day. To no surprise he will not eat them whole, the pills do not dissolve easily, and the mortar/pestle technique while effective is very time consuming and tends to send chunks flying.

We did try a coffee grinder however it was not long until that broke.

My vet looked into a paste and liquid solution however between cost and sheer volume of each that would need to equate to his dosage it would not be a financially viable option.

Wondering if anyone had any tips, or tricks when it comes to grinding up large quantities of pills.
 

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Better coffee grinder?

You could try just pilling him but I think there's a reason no one does it that way any more lol.

I would say just use warm water and set aside time for them to soak, or just keep on trying them in his feed (though that is a lot of pills I'm assuming they're big?)

If you do stick with doing it manually grab a paper towel to cover it to help keep it inside. I know that's a pain though.

I'm not familiar with the medication so no big help unfortunately.
 

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Better coffee grinder?

You could try just pilling him but I think there's a reason no one does it that way any more lol.

I would say just use warm water and set aside time for them to soak, or just keep on trying them in his feed (though that is a lot of pills I'm assuming they're big?)

If you do stick with doing it manually grab a paper towel to cover it to help keep it inside. I know that's a pain though.

I'm not familiar with the medication so no big help unfortunately.

Thanks for the thought, they are quite large pills and at these quantities pilling him would be traumatic for everyone involved :p . Tried soaking them and itdid not work so well, but maybe it needed more time then we gave it. Currently using a mortar and pestle with a paper towel on top to catch the flying chunks (very time consuming). Considering investing in a more "robust" coffee grinder, just trying to find one we know will hold up to the abuse it will see.
 

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Do you feed wet? I add a lot of supplements (about 2 cups worth) to my horses' hay cubes and they eat it all up. Some of those supplements taste pretty awful, but they LOVE the soaked cubes for some reason. I can put just about anything in there and it disappears. Have thrown in pills. Maybe worth a shot? Hay cubes can probably be added to his diet without any ill effects since after all, it's just hay. I let them soak until the next feeding, so about 8 to 12 hours. You don't need to feed a lot, just enough to overcome the flavour of the pills. I give one horse 100 g and the other 200 g. Add water and they balloon up to about 4-8 cups.
 

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Yeah I haven't dealt with any pills that wouldn't dissolve eventually just hot water and give them plenty of time. Maybe even add a little more hot water half way through.

Or do both- crush them quickly then dissolve the rest.

Unfortunately a lot of it is trial and error.

I know the grinder is a pain you don't want to buy one if it will just break. Thought though- my dad has a hand held coffee grinder (he's weird XD) he's had it for as long as I can remember. It might be less likely to break and maybe cheaper too. More work of course but probably easier than trying to crush it.

Which leads to another thought- pill cutters then crushing/dissolving?

See trial and error lol
 

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One of my horses is particularly suspicious and had to be put on antibiotic tablets for a while. I couldn't hide anything in his feed, he seems to know instantly that something was added. As a final measure, I had to mix his crunched up tablets with applesauce and then squeeze it down his throat with a large vet sized syringe. This was a bit like de-worming but because of the applesauce, he eventually didn't mind it at all!
 

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Would anyone at the barn have an old blender lying around? Throw in pills and some water (or applesauce/juice if you want it to taste better?) and just blend it? doenst have to be industrial, I have a small stick blender that breaks up ice cubes just fine, as long as theyre mixed with some liquid they can move around in.
 

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I did the same applesauce with crushed up pills in a big syringe thing with my naughty pony, works great! I've had the same ancient coffee grinder going as a pill crusher for over a decade so maybe you just need a little stronger one, or only do half of the pills in the grinder at a time. You can also try setting the pills out to dissolve the night before for morning feed and then in the morning for the afternoon feed so they have a couple hours to dissolve.
 

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Use a blender to grind up the pills, I've done it for years when one of my horses had to have multiple pills in one dose. No lumps or chunks!

Put the pills in the blender, make sure the lid is on tight and hit the grind button. I pour it all out into several layers of tin foil folded into a V shape, using a pastry brush to get all the meds out of the blender. The meds are then poured via the foil into a large syringe flavored with syrup, or juice and a little water.

Hold the tip of the syringe on while shaking to mix it up, let it sit a few minutes and slowly remove the tip to release air. And you're good to go! Works like a charm.
 

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Did you try breaking the pills in half before soaking them? sometimes that can make a huge difference depending on the coating. Otherwise I would look for a better grinder. That is a lot of pills to be doing by hand. Good luck!
 

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How about an inexpensive hand mill for milling wheat? They are built pretty sturdy and grind really well. That one is about $30.
 

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I logged in just to write this:

Your vet absolutely certain that the pills are ok to be crushed (I ask coz slow release pills are purposefully difficult to crush - they need to have harder shells to dissolve for said reason)? I am always one to be paranoid just please please ensure that these are NOT the slow release/modified metformin.


That aside u would need to buy an expensive ice crusher - for smoothies. I'm obsessed with crushing ice for drinks and let me tell u: SPEND THE MONEY. Do not waste it buying cheapos.


Disclaimer: wash between uses ;)



OPTION 2: Buy a really sturdy chopping knife and make it sharp. With it you won't be crushing initially - just slicing it instead/scraping which will make it much easier.


Best wishes
 

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Many times you can purchase powdered drugs instead of pills....
Metformin is a drug for lowering blood sugar over a period of time, so time released medication.
Grinding up tablets will "dump" the medication into the digestive system which in turn will dump the horses blood sugar levels quickly but not for a sustained time.
I would suggest you consult with the vet about administering these pills ground up as you are doing before continuing...
If they work at all like they do in a human you could be doing some harm to the animal...
:runninghorse2:....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you all for the idea's I think we are going to try a blender since I am skeptical how long coffee grinders will last with these pills.
 

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thanks for the concern, we have confirmed with our vet that crushing the medication would be safe. We have even looked into the option of a paste or liquid substitute however as $34 per day, and $75 per day as well as the volume of each that would need to equate to his dose it is not feasible. We are going to start testing out blenders to see what will perform the best.
 
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