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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In anticipation of Teddy's big dental surgery coming up, I'm working on getting him to accept oral medications. He doesn't like having his mouth messed with and doesn't like having to take anything orally, and this has always been a problem for him. We're making progress, but I have a question: is there a proper way to give a horse oral medication? I've always done Pony by sort of tickling his mouth and then putting it in the gap where the bit would go. Last time when I did Teddy's dewormer, I had to put it in the front of his mouth, between his teeth. Is either one of these better than the other, or is it just whatever the horse prefers? I need to figure out which way I'm going to do it because that will determine what my next baby steps are going to be.
 

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Of you put it on the front of his tongue then he is going to spit most of it out!

Stand facing the same way as him. I worked easier standing on the horse's left side. I would put my right hand under the jaw and over their nose, insert the mess into the side of his mouth preferably keeping it between is teeth and cheek (outside of his mouth so to speak) they cannot spit this out unless they have food wadded up there.

I cannot emphasise the importance of facing the same way as the horse. In a hurry on winter morning I went to worm a pony. He reared up, I help onto his halter, his knee caught me under the chin and knocked out majority of my teeth. Thing was, I knew better.
 

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It depends on the meds.


If the meds are the consistency of sugar, I might be sunk. I would smash up soda crackers (my horses love them), add them to the feed pan with the meds, and hope for the best.


If the meds are powder or meal form, I:


1. cut the tip off a 60CC syringe.
2. Put the powder or meal dosage in the syringe.
3. Add to about 2/3rds full (you need room to put the plunger in) a 50:50 mix of water and apple juice or just use pure apple juice.
4. Shake well.


5. Administer the same as you do worm meds from a tube, which you are going to have to keep working with him. When I rescued my Arab, he would try to clamp his mouth shut for a year when it was de-worming time. After that, he spent a couple of years deciding he just wouldn't swallow and tried to spit everything out while I was walking him. I solved that by massaging his throat as we walked. Finally he gave up, just took the wormer paste and got it over with:)


Get the 60CC syringe at TSC and put pure apple juice in it. Do NOT try to put 60CC's of anything down his throat at one time. Divide it into three pushes, giving him time to swallow.


6. Reward with a "Good Job!" and treat.


***
When I give Previcox to Joker, I can't put it in his feed pan because he has a tumor in his throat area that makes him slobber when he eats.


I buy the 227mg Previcox pills and quarter them. A quarter is very easy to push into a piece of watermelon, which both my horses love.


If you have to give a whole pill of something, quarter it and put the pieces into small apple chunks if your horses won't eat watermelon:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@ChieTheRider I put Bute in his feed the day after he got his teeth pulled. He ate it, but not all of it, and he pushed it around with his mouth a lot, so it was hard to tell how much he had gotten. I tried it the day after and he just refused. He's too picky for his own good. Pony would have eaten it and come back for more, if I had put it in his feed...

@walkinthewalk ugh sorry I wasn't clear. This would be bute, in paste form. He doesn't like taking anything in paste form. Maybe I can make a hole in something different that he likes each day (he loves scones, for once thing) and just put it in there. He just... I think he can smell it, though, and I'm afraid he won't eat it.
 
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@walkinthewalk ugh sorry I wasn't clear. This would be bute, in paste form. He doesn't like taking anything in paste form.
Teddy is going to have to toughen up, lol


I still think getting a 60 CC syringe and practicing with pure apple juice will help.


I would even give him the apple juice in-between bute dosages.


If you do this, make sure to buy 100% pure apple juice. Believe this or not, WalMart's brand of apple juice is 100% pure.


If Teddy has insulin issues, use a 50-50 mix of juice and water.


He's just going to have to get with the program and you're arms will get massive by the time you are done wrangling him
 

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I once had to, with a different horse, stand there for an hour. They weren't allowed to go anywhere, eat or drink or even move but I didn't try force anything too much as was a known rearer. So I just out-patienced it. Ppl were laughing at me as they'd designated me, the noob, to worm the hard-to-worm horse. But I did it!!! When I finally gave it I rammed a good handful of feed in their gob immediately after as a reward. It got easier second time round but .. that was the only time I've really had to worm haha! Katie is a gem so no practice there. I like walkinthewalk's idea of practicing - maybe make it a regular weekly thing. So he's like 99% of the time it's apple juice/something yummy and occasionally he gets an uglier one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I may use the applesauce method. Right now we've gotten to the point where he willingly touches a syringe with his nose. Hmm, maybe my next step will be to get some icing and put it on there (some for me, some for you!). Ooh, maybe some buttercream, since I like that stuff. And then move on to putting it inside. Fortunately, out of all of my horses, he is the skinniest, so I'm not worried about insulin issues with him.
@Kalraii it's interesting that you mentioned the rearing. Teddy will also rear, when things just get to be too much for him. Not to try to hurt anyone, just to try to get away. And much, much less now than when I got him. But still, that's why we're taking things slowly.
@Foxhunter thanks for those very specific instructions!
 
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One of the horses I ride has claustrophobia issues.. so to start with, dosing him with necessary electrolytes during a competition was not pretty. But after some experimentation, I found if I stand beside his head facing the same way he is and reach under with my right hand, instead of placing that hand on his nose, I slide a couple fingers into his mouth and steady them on his jaw (obviously in the space without teeth!). The movement of my fingers encourages him to open his mouth but doesn't make him feel trapped. I can then insert the syringe on the left side of his mouth (where I can see) and squirt them back towards his throat.


I think putting something tasty on the outside of the syringe when you first start is a great idea and then work up to actually dosing him with something tasty.
 

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One of the horses I ride has claustrophobia issues.. so to start with, dosing him with necessary electrolytes during a competition was not pretty. But after some experimentation, I found if I stand beside his head facing the same way he is and reach under with my right hand, instead of placing that hand on his nose, I slide a couple fingers into his mouth and steady them on his jaw (obviously in the space without teeth!). The movement of my fingers encourages him to open his mouth but doesn't make him feel trapped. I can then insert the syringe on the left side of his mouth (where I can see) and squirt them back towards his throat.


I think putting something tasty on the outside of the syringe when you first start is a great idea and then work up to actually dosing him with something tasty.
I have tried the finger method before, and it worked really well. I was given a 'free' horse with a lot of problems. I found out he would rear if you tried put anything including a bit in his mouth. Every single day, I put my fingers in the side of his mouth and rubbed his gums before he got his feed. I would do it randomly throughout the day and offer a treat. He got to where he completely accepted his mouth being touched, and he even kept his head down to take the bit. I will say there were a couple of times he got severely corrected for rearing. It was his go to to get out of it, and I had to let him know that it was not going to work with me like it had before I got him.
 

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Does him 2-3x per day with applesauce in an empty dewormer tube. It won't be long before he perks his ears and looks forward to that tube. Then when it's bute time, follow up his dose of bute with a syringe of applesauce. Later, just give another dose of something tasty.

If he doesn't like applesauce, try honey, applejuice, grape jelly, or fruity baby food.
 

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My oldest mustang had to have a tooth extracted that was infecting a sinus. We gave compounded Banamine (flunixin) for anti-inflammatory in his feed without difficulty. Unfortunately, we had to grind up 10 metronidazole (antibiotic) tablets twice daily and give them to him for 10 days. I used a catheter tip 30 cc syringe and mixed the antiobiotic with molasses. Some days went well, but some days we ended up backing a 1/4 mile before he would stop, then I’d release by hiding the syringe, present again, and keep doing it until he stopped moving his feet. We’d eventually get done, but both of us were glad when we were done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'd like to revisit this. We've gotten to where I can put the syringe on Teddy's lips and he accepts that. I implemented stage two of my plan yesterday, after finally talking someone into giving me some buttercream icing. First I let Teddy smell the icing. He LOVED it! He is a very polite boy, but he was like "Oh please please please will you give me some of that yummy stuff?" So I put it on the end of the syringe and put it up to his mouth. He eagerly licked it off. And then.... no. Absolutely no. He got a horrified look on his face and just wanted to spit it out. He would not try it again. I think that maybe the texture is bothering him. But I think he's also really sensitive to flavors, as he goes off his water easily and seems to be able to detect any medicine in his food.

So, I'm not sure where to go from here. It seems like both the taste AND the texture of the medicine is going to bother him. If it comes down to it, yes, I will spend an hour every day eventually winning the battle and forcing him to take it, but that would be terrible for both of us. I'm trying to make it so he will accept this medicine, and also deworming paste, willingly. Any other thoughts?
 

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In a closed in area, like a stall, put a halter and lead rope on. Stand on his left, and hold the tube in your right hand, with the halter, so that when you twist your hand, the tube goes in the corner of his mouth.
Do not feel sorry, do not apologize, do not say whoaeasyhoneysweetiepoorbabythiswonthurteasy.
Be matter-of-fact, even tough, but not frustrated. No time limit. Move with him , if he moves, and say a FIRM whoa. When he stops, relax ALL of your body. Repeat. When the medicine has been administered, say “good boy”, and retreat. THAT is his reward.
 

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Do they still make the headstall and bit attachment that you can syringe meds through? It's been literally years since I've seen one.
 

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Its called tough luck if he doesn't like the medicine or wormer. I have my gelding who's a snot to give oral meds to. Now i can I put chain over his nose and put syringe in and squirt meds in.

I do so very matter of factly if he trys to throw head around I tell him quit in a very stern voice. After meds are given he gets a treat. No dosing apple sauce or anything sweet from syringe. I just made him understand i'm putting syringe in his mouth and it's not up for discussion. ...period.

I don't care if he likes what's being given doesn't change the fact he's getting it. After yucky meds he knows he's getting a yummy treat and not from syringe. I no longer have issues giving him oral meds.

Called tough love and tough luck your getting syringed like it or not.
 

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I haven't got the time to mess around with apple sauce or butter cream icing, if I want to administer something orally then I will.

I own the air they breathe.

Anything that messes around gets put in a stall, I throw something over their head to blindfold them, spin them around thenstable a couple of times and administer the meds.

I called in at a friend's to borrow something to find her with the vet and her horse trying to administer a wormer. I watched them both get thrown around the stable.

I offered to help. The female vet remarked that I should keep out of the stable as I might get hurt and she could tranquilise the horse. My comment wasn't very polite, tantamount to a bovine doo doo.

I grabbed his halter rope, gave him a couple of whacks down his side to let him know I meant business. Threw his rug over his head, spun him and wormed him all in less than two minutes. They had been there for nearly an hour.

That horse was 'impossible' to clip. I was asked to do it and he was only a tad fussy when it came to his ears. They know when you mean business. Think they are not going to like it and they will not.

You get what you think.
 

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I also do this in a very matter-of-fact way. First, I halter my horse so that I can control her head easily.

I just stand on my horse's left side, hold her head under her front jaw with my left hand and insert the syringe into the back of her mouth with my right hand. Squirt quickly while aiming for the back of her throat and then hold her chin up (so she can't easily spit it out) with my left hand while I gently stroke under her jaw to help encourage her to swallow. As soon as she swallows (it takes 10-20 seconds, usually) I give her a couple of treats to get the icky taste out of her mouth.

I think it works because I do it quickly. The whole thing is over in under a minute.

In fact, now that I think about it, this is identical to how I give cats and dogs meds.
 

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the problem I have had is often the syringes are so hard to depress . They are so stiff and difficult to depress with one hand that I am struggling, and I lose the 'element of speed and surprise'.
 

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I understand that many folk do not like to take the tough route and take the upper hand with their animals.

Some years ago my niece was diagnosed with leukaemia, she was just three at the time. Many of the medicines she had to take were plain nasty.

One morning when my sister went to give her some dose of something, niece threw a tantrum and refused to take it. My sister took a firm hold on her arm and through gritted teeth, said, " I am NOT going to fight you over this every day! You WILL take your medicines without ANY nonsense!"

That was the end of that, no more problems taking her dosages nasty or not.

At the time I had remarked that it was like worming a naughty horse,
 
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