How-To: Giving Subcutaneous (SQ) Vitamin B12 Injection

  • Take a new syringe from the package (syringes are single use only, call or visit us to get refills on syringes when needed)
  • Draw up 0.25ml of the red Vitamin B12 solution (measure from the top of the black plunger).​
  • Pull up the skin between the shoulder blades to create a skin “tent”
  • Insert the whole needle into the skin (pointing downward towards the body), make sure the needle has not exited the skin on the other size of the skin “tent”.
  • Inject the total volume of Vitamin B12 under the skin.
  • Discard the used needle into a Sharps container, syringes are single use only. When Sharps container is full, it can be returned to Lodi Veterinary Care for proper disposal.

How-To: Giving a Pill to a Cat

One thing to keep in mind is that cats will do their best to make pilling difficult. Cats are not too fond of having their mouths pried open, let alone allowing you to insert a pill in their mouth. Some cats will salivate excessively, so it is very important that you learn how to pill a cat quickly and efficiently.

STEP 1: Restraint

There are three ways to restrain a cat:

  • Restraint 1: Kneel on ground. Place the cat between your legs with its face near your knees. Squeeze slightly with your legs just enough so the cat won’t escape.
  • Restraint 2: Use a towel to restrain if the cat is too wiggly. Wrap the cat up like you would if you were wrapping a burrito/taco. Be careful not to wrap too tight. If needed, this can go with step 1.
  • Restraint 3: If you have someone available to help, have them hold the cat on a table cradled next to their body. Have the person hold the front legs and chest tight so the cat can’t get away. You can then concentrate on giving the pill, not chasing the cat.

STEP 2: The actual pilling

  • Put your “off-hand” on top of cat’s head. Place thumb and forefinger on the side ridges of face, just behind jaw. Gently raise the head until it points to the ceiling in an upward position.
  • As the mouth opens, use your other hand to hold the pill and press down on lower jaw, dropping or pushing the pill as far back on the tongue as possible. If this is not easy to do, you may use a piller, which is a device designed to make pilling easier to do.

STEP 3: Making sure the pill has been swallowed.

  • Once the pill is placed in the mouth, close the mouth making sure you or your partner still have a firm hold on the cat. Rub the throat and nose, or blow into the cat’s face softly to get the cat to swallow the pill. The desired result is to get the cat to lick its nose, which forces the swallowing action. When the cat has swallowed the pill, you may offer a small amount of water to wash the pill down.
  • When finished give lots of praise to your cat. If these techniques do not work, please call Lodi Veterinary Care and we can assist you with any problems.

Alternatives/Suggestions:

  • It is not ideal to crush the medication and mix with food. Most often your cat will detect the medication and refuse to eat it. You will also not know if the entire dose of medication was ingested.
  • Coat the pill with butter. This will allow the medication to slide down easier.
  • Greenies Pill Pockets for Cats are available at Lodi Veterinary Care. These meaty pockets provide you with a means to hide the medication in a tasty treat most cats will like.
  • If you do not like the idea of putting your fingers inside your cat’s mouth, there are cat pillers available at Lodi Veterinary Care. These pillers allow you to safely bring the medication to the back of your cat’s mouth for ease of administration.
  • If your cat has been prescribed antibiotics and you are having difficulty giving the medication, you might be in luck. In most cases there is an injectable antibiotic available. This injectable will give 10-14 days of antibiotic coverage without the hassle.

How-To: Cleaning Ears

Physical Exam and Ear Swabs – WHY?

It is important to have an exam by the doctor and perform diagnostics (i.e. Ear Swabs) to determine the cause of the ear infection. The doctor must evaluate the ear drum to verify it is intact before prescribing ear medication, as some ear medications are toxic to the middle/inner ear. There are also different ear cleaners that are targeted to treat your pet’s specific ear condition. Once your veterinarian has prescribed the appropriate ear cleaner and medication you are ready to start.

Important Reminders

  • Restraint: Restraint, depending on your dog or cat’s temperament, may be a two-person job (one person to restrain, another to clean).
  • Cats: If you have someone available to help, have them hold the cat on a table cradled next to their body. Have the person hold the front lets and chest tight so the cat can’t get away. Use a towel to restrain if the cat is too wiggly. Wrap the cat up like you would if you were wrapping a burrito/taco. Be careful not to wrap too tight.
  • Dogs: If you have someone available to help, have them hold the dog in a sitting-position between their legs facing you. It is often helpful to have the dog backed-up into a corner in the sitting-position to prevent the dog from backing out from the restrainer’s legs.

Cleaning

Note: Cleaning can be messy, so it should be done in an easy-to-clean area such as your kitchen or bathroom or even outside.

  • Lift the ear pinna (ear flap) so you can see the opening to the ear canal.
  • Fill the entire ear canal with your cleaning solution until you see the solution flowing out of the ear.
  • Massage the ear canal. You will hear a “swish-swish” sound (like a washing machine). This action helps loosen the debris deep down in the ear canal.
  • Stand back and let your pet shake its head. The shaking will push the loosened debris up and out of the ear canal.
  • Wrap a piece of paper towel or Kleenex around your finger and gently blot out the excess debris and moisture. Don’t worry about pushing your finger too far into the canal. The ear canal is “L” shaped, so there is no threat of your finger reaching the ear drum.

​Use caution when using q-tips to clean your pet’s ears. The q-tip is small enough that it could cause damage to the ear drum.

How-To: Collecting Urine from a Cat

Most cats are very uncomfortable with a container being slipped underneath them when they are in their litter box, so it is a bit of a challenge to obtain a clean urine sample from a cat. To aid you in this adventure, we have put together some suggestions to help make the process easier for you. Because all cats are different in their litter box preference, you may need to try more than one of the following suggestions or a combination of a couple of them to find your cat’s preference. Please feel free to contact us at any point with questions.

  • First, completely clean out the litter box (washing thoroughly with soap & water to remove any dust), then place the No-Sorb beads in place of your regular litter. No-sorb beads prevent urine from being absorbed. After the cat urinates, the beads and urine can be put back into the collection container and brought to the hospital.
  • Cats are sometime texture driven, therefore, other substances can be used in place of the No-Sorb beads. Other safe materials include; dust free dried beans, polystyrene packing peanuts (non-dissolvable), or clean aquarium gravel.
  • Another method is to place a piece of plastic sheeting over the existing litter. This can be done with a couple of layers of saran wrap or by placing the entire litter box in a plastic garbage bag. Make sure the plastic lays flat against the litter. The cat will feel the litter under their feet and use the box as they normally would. You can then retrieve the urine sample with the syringe provided.

If your cat is uncooperative in any of the above methods, we can help by setting up an appointment for a cystocentisis. Cystocentisis is done by passing a needle into the bladder and obtaining a sample directly. Although this sounds unpleasant, it is surprising how well cats tolerate the procedure. It is important to keep your cat away from their litter box for at least two hours prior to this appointment.

After obtaining the sample, it is extremely important to get the sample to us in a reasonable amount of time. For best results, the sample should be processed within 2 hours after collection. If that is not possible, the sample should be refrigerated and tested within 6 hours.

How-To: Collecting Urine from a Dog

It takes about 1-2 teaspoons of urine to run a urinalysis. Even obtaining that small amount may seem like a monumental task for some owners. To aid in this adventure, we have put together some suggestions to help make this process easier for you. Please feel free to contact us at any point with questions.

  • Keep your dog on a leash while trying to obtain a sample. You may want to enlist help to catch the sample.
  • If you dog squats very low to the ground, we recommend sliding a saucer, plate, or other shallow dish under your dog when they are ready to urinate (It is important to make sure the collection device is clean and dry). Once collected, transfer the urine to a sterile container for transporting.
  • If your dog lifts his/her leg or squats high, you can use a “dipper” to catch the urine. A “dipper” can be made by taping a small disposable papercup to a handle (stick, dowel rod, ruler, etc.). This allows you to collect urine without reaching under your dog with your hand. A soup ladle works well! This method is effective for dogs that maybe shy to you reaching under them.
  • If your dog is uncooroperative in any of these methods, please contact us. We can help. We can set up an appointment for a staff member to collect urine with you outside, or we can collect urine by cystocentesis. Cystocentesis is done by passing a needle into the bladder and obtaining a sample directly. Although this sounds unpleasant, it is surprising how well dogs tolerate the procedure. It is important to keep your dog away from their yard and grass for at least two hours prior to this appointment. When you arrive at the hospital for your appointment, please do not let them sniff around outside, but come directly inside from your vehicle.

After obtaining the sample, it is extremely important to get the sample to us in a reasonable amount of time. For best results, this sample should be processed within 2 hours after collection. If that is now possible, the sample should be refrigerated and tested within 6 hrs.

Crate Training

Using a travel kennel for your brand new puppy will prove invaluable. The puppy will look at the crate as a bed area which will aid in housetraining. The crate will also provide a safe place where your puppy will be unable to eat or chew unwanted items. When using treats for training, each puppy will vary. Some puppies will be happy to work for puppy food, while others may need something special such as Cheerios or a very smelly, rich treat such as freeze dried liver or hotdogs. Rich treats should be the size of a pencil eraser.

You may be able to split meals into 4 portions and use these portions for training purposes. Steps to help your puppy adjust to the crate: This should be started as soon as the puppy comes home.

1. Choose a quiet place for the crate.

(Remember this will be like your puppy’s bedroom). Having a crate in your bedroom will help you hear the puppy in the middle of the night if a bathroom break is necessary.

  • Keep the crate small enough for the puppy to only sleep in.
  • Keep food and water out of the kennel.
  • Try a soft blanket, towel, or bed but watch carefully for any signs of chewing, and remove items to prevent the puppy from swallowing anything that would need to be surgically removed.
  • Have a chew toy or interactive toy which the puppy can not destroy such as a nylabone or kong.
  • Some people have had success placing something warm in the crate for the puppy to snuggle up to. Be very careful since all puppies can chew aggressively.

2. Teaching your puppy

Quiet in the kennel can begin the first day you bring the puppy home.

  • Make sure your puppy has urinated and defecated before going in the crate.
  • Introduce the crate by tossing treats in the crate and allowing the puppy to get the treat and come back out. There is no need to praise the puppy for coming out of the kennel. Continue this process until the puppy stops coming out of the kennel and waits for more treats. This is the time to sprinkle treats over the floor of the kennel and shut the door.
  • While your puppy is eating the treats, step out of sight. If you can count to ten and the puppy is quiet, stuff a treat in the door, open the door, and walk away. Let your puppy stay in the kennel if sleeping.
  • After a five – ten minute break, place your puppy in the kennel, close the door, and step out of sight. Wait 10 seconds, before rewarding a quiet puppy and opening the door. Keep this process up by steadily increasing the quiet time by 10 second increments before letting the puppy out. As long as the puppy is quiet with the door shut, keep giving rewards after the lengthened time.
  • If your puppy starts howling or whining in the kennel, bump the kennel and say “Quiet”. As soon as the puppy stops vocalizing, poke a treat through the door, and open the door.
  • Five minutes later, put the puppy back in the kennel and wait for the count of 10. If the puppy starts howling at any time, bump the kennel and say Quiet, then start counting to 10. Keep repeating the bump and Quiet until the puppy is quiet and you can count to 10. Give a treat and open the door.
  • You will repeat this process until your puppy will be quiet for 1 minute. Most puppies will fall asleep by this time. Let them sleep.
  • This training session should happen three times an hour.
  • Never reward a puppy that is climbing on the door or whining.

3. Eventually your puppy will need to sleep in their kennel.

All puppies will cry for a time when they realize they are alone.

  • You can help your puppy adjust to their bed area by placing them in the kennel whenever they get sleepy or scheduling regular time outs for naps.
  • Have your puppy get used to being on their own. Do not carry them wherever you go, or hold them on your lap while awake and keep them out of your bed.

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