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Is There An Easier Way Of Syringing Meds To Guinea Pig?

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Bella123

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Hi,

I'm having great trouble syringe feeding Fifi the metacam she was prescribed.

Yesterday I did try on my lap but that was a huge mistake and ended up wasting a lot of the metacam in the syringe (not the bottle)

I do have some 1ml syringes now so that is not a problem.

I have read a thread which was put up on syringe feeding I think may be by Laura.
I have taken some tips off there,using a table, wrapping Fifi up snuggly in a towel with head partly covered to stop her from moving when she jerks her head back.

Taking my time with Fifi also going at her pace, I have been practising with filtered water, only a bit at a time 0.15ml to 0.3ml. I don't really want to practise with veggies or mushy pellets as I'll waste a lot of syringes.

Problem is she is being really uncooperative, she wriggles and jerks her head back despite, me holding the towel securely.Then I have to wait inbetween for her to calm down. So i can possibly give to her again. It's taking a long very time. She has also started to grab the syringe with her teeth off me.

I can get some of the water into her mouth, I put some in and if she fidgets wait for a bit until she calms down, then give her some more.

I am putting the syringe at the side of her mouth behind the front teeth and waiting for her to 'chomp' on the water before I give her some more.

I'd say about 30% of the water is wasted on not successfully getting her to chomp missing and her fidgeting. So she when I do give her the metacam she won't be getting a full dose.

I'm also planning on giving half doses twice a day.

I do not have the following options: someone to help me hold her whilst I give the metacam. My mom and a friend don't have much experience when it comes to holding guinea pigs, so I could not rely on them to hold Fifi correctly. There is also no one else I know that could hold her.

Returing to the same vets is not an option it costs me £40 in taxis as you can imagine is quite expensive. I'd have to go everyday for 5 days. Plus they may charge me for giving the meds. Also they are quite far away too. They are a very good vets.

If I went to a local vets - they may charge me, I would rather learn to do it myself if there is an easier way as I may need to do this in the future. I'd also have to get a taxi there too and that costs. I don't drive you see and don't like taking piggys on the bus for obvious reasons.

I have thought about putting the metacam in a bowl/ small plate so Fifi can lick it off, but I dismissed this idea as it is not guranteed she will lick the plate.

Anyway I have also thought about giving the metacam on food. I have read somewhere this may not be the best solution as food may dilute or interfere with the effectiveness of the metacam.

In addition to this the syringes are Teromo 1ml syringes.

I find them difficult to hold, I hold them with my thumb ready to press and my index finger and middle finger on the horizontal plastic bit that sticks out either side. Then push with my thumb. It's hard to get a good hold also.

I find with the syringe, I can't go gently. I do push gently and it won't push the contents out. I give it a bigger push and a lot comes out.

As a summery the questions I want addressed is:

Is there an easier way of restraining the guinea pig, like how to arrange the towel so her head won't jerk back?

Is the there an alternative/ easy way of holding the syringe?

Does it matter that 30 % of the metacam is wasted as explained above. Will the metacam still be as effective if I can't get all of it to Fifi?

If all else fails could i give the metacam on veggies/ other sutaible food?

I am also yet to give any metacam to Fifi (despite the little taste she had on wednesday night very first attempt) and I do need to do this asap as her swollen toe isn't getting any better. She needs 0.3ml metacam daily over 5 days.

Sorry for such a long post, but I thought I'd give as much detail as possible to help,
Thanks for reading.
 

Wiebke

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Hi,

I'm having great trouble syringe feeding Fifi the metacam she was prescribed.

Yesterday I did try on my lap but that was a huge mistake and ended up wasting a lot of the metacam in the syringe (not the bottle)

I do have some 1ml syringes now so that is not a problem.

I have read a thread which was put up on syringe feeding I think may be by Laura.
I have taken some tips off there,using a table, wrapping Fifi up snuggly in a towel with head partly covered to stop her from moving when she jerks her head back.

Taking my time with Fifi also going at her pace, I have been practising with filtered water, only a bit at a time 0.15ml to 0.3ml. I don't really want to practise with veggies or mushy pellets as I'll waste a lot of syringes.

Problem is she is being really uncooperative, she wriggles and jerks her head back despite, me holding the towel securely.Then I have to wait inbetween for her to calm down. So i can possibly give to her again. It's taking a long very time. She has also started to grab the syringe with her teeth off me.

I can get some of the water into her mouth, I put some in and if she fidgets wait for a bit until she calms down, then give her some more.

I am putting the syringe at the side of her mouth behind the front teeth and waiting for her to 'chomp' on the water before I give her some more.

I'd say about 30% of the water is wasted on not successfully getting her to chomp missing and her fidgeting. So she when I do give her the metacam she won't be getting a full dose.

I'm also planning on giving half doses twice a day.

I do not have the following options: someone to help me hold her whilst I give the metacam. My mom and a friend don't have much experience when it comes to holding guinea pigs, so I could not rely on them to hold Fifi correctly. There is also no one else I know that could hold her.

Returing to the same vets is not an option it costs me £40 in taxis as you can imagine is quite expensive. I'd have to go everyday for 5 days. Plus they may charge me for giving the meds. Also they are quite far away too. They are a very good vets.

If I went to a local vets - they may charge me, I would rather learn to do it myself if there is an easier way as I may need to do this in the future. I'd also have to get a taxi there too and that costs. I don't drive you see and don't like taking piggys on the bus for obvious reasons.

I have thought about putting the metacam in a bowl/ small plate so Fifi can lick it off, but I dismissed this idea as it is not guranteed she will lick the plate.

Anyway I have also thought about giving the metacam on food. I have read somewhere this may not be the best solution as food may dilute or interfere with the effectiveness of the metacam.

In addition to this the syringes are Teromo 1ml syringes.

I find them difficult to hold, I hold them with my thumb ready to press and my index finger and middle finger on the horizontal plastic bit that sticks out either side. Then push with my thumb. It's hard to get a good hold also.

I find with the syringe, I can't go gently. I do push gently and it won't push the contents out. I give it a bigger push and a lot comes out.

As a summery the questions I want addressed is:

Is there an easier way of restraining the guinea pig, like how to arrange the towel so her head won't jerk back?

Is the there an alternative/ easy way of holding the syringe?

Does it matter that 30 % of the metacam is wasted as explained above. Will the metacam still be as effective if I can't get all of it to Fifi?

If all else fails could i give the metacam on veggies/ other sutaible food?

I am also yet to give any metacam to Fifi (despite the little taste she had on wednesday night very first attempt) and I do need to do this asap as her swollen toe isn't getting any better. She needs 0.3ml metacam daily over 5 days.

Sorry for such a long post, but I thought I'd give as much detail as possible to help,
Thanks for reading.
Try the tricks in this guide from our Caring for an Ill Guinea Pig section: Administering Medications

You need to get the full dosage into her. Personally, I would recommend to split it into two because of the fast metabolism that guinea pigs have and give 0.15 twice daily.
 
D

DM030819

If the dose of Metacam is less than 0.3ml then you can give it all in one go, so there's no need to prolong the discomfort for you.

I have a very wriggly pig when it comes to medicine. My tactic for syringing is:
-Sit on a chair
-Put piggy on my lap facing right (as I'm right handed)
-Hold him close to my stomach with my left hand, using my fingers and thumb to prevent him moving or throwing his head back.. You can hold his head in place if needed.
-Stick the syringe into his mouth, behind his front teeth and squirt it in

Having something that they love to eat is a great treat for afterwards.

I have to give Jon both Metacam and Itrafungol. He was very resistant at first, but he soon worked out that Metacam is tasty. Then when he realised that he gets a portion of grass after the Itrafungol he's a lot less resistant!
 

Bella123

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If the dose of Metacam is less than 0.3ml then you can give it all in one go, so there's no need to prolong the discomfort for you.

I have a very wriggly pig when it comes to medicine. My tactic for syringing is:
-Sit on a chair
-Put piggy on my lap facing right (as I'm right handed)
-Hold him close to my stomach with my left hand, using my fingers and thumb to prevent him moving or throwing his head back.. You can hold his head in place if needed.
-Stick the syringe into his mouth, behind his front teeth and squirt it in

Having something that they love to eat is a great treat for afterwards.

I have to give Jon both Metacam and Itrafungol. He was very resistant at first, but he soon worked out that Metacam is tasty. Then when he realised that he gets a portion of grass after the Itrafungol he's a lot less resistant!
Thanks for your helpful reply.

I have tried again after numerous attempts and am getting exasperated. I am already holding her like suggested. One of the problems is when I hold her with her back on my stomach whilst sitting down, she tends to turn around and bite me. I have tried raising her up with towels on a table, and holding the syringe differently for greater control. But nothing is working. I am also using a towel to wrap her up in.

Trouble is if I go to a more local vets, they may charge, plus taxi fare gets expensive especially there and back for 5 days.

Unfortuanately there may come a time in the distant future when I possibly may need to syringe feed more often, may be everyday, I can't keep on going to the vets for this the cost in taxis will be far too much.
 
D

DM030819

Try holding her sideways like I do, with his feet flat on my lap. Mine always try to nip me if I hold them with their backs against me. They feel much more comfortable if they have all four feet on a surface instead of in the air. Wrapping her up is only making her feel less comfortable.

I can get the med's into my boy within seconds this way. He'd get much more flustered if I was trying to wrap him in a towel first and hold him with his feet in the air.

I did have a pig a few years ago that would immediately bite. He came from a very poor background. I had to wrap my hands well before I picked him up, then he could have a go at nipping me but it wouldn't hurt.
 

Bella123

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Try holding her sideways like I do, with his feet flat on my lap. Mine always try to nip me if I hold them with their backs against me. They feel much more comfortable if they have all four feet on a surface instead of in the air. Wrapping her up is only making her feel less comfortable.

I can get the med's into my boy within seconds this way. He'd get much more flustered if I was trying to wrap him in a towel first and hold him with his feet in the air.

I did have a pig a few years ago that would immediately bite. He came from a very poor background. I had to wrap my hands well before I picked him up, then he could have a go at nipping me but it wouldn't hurt.
Thanks again for the advice, I think I will try this later, I think Fifi and me need a break from this. It's hard to hold a piggy and have control over the syringe at the same time.

Just wondering what the best way is to hold / control the syringe? I have tried using my thumb to push, then I have tried my index finger to push.
 

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What type of syringe do you have a big one with the flat edges on it or a little thin one? The thin ones are much easier to use. You could try putting a blanket over your legs sit with her so she's in the crack part of your legs all four feet on the blanket and then hold her down with your hand on the top of her head/neck holding under her chin? So do it so your hand is coming round the side of her. With her bum towards your tummy. I have a really difficult long haired piggy that bites scratches and kicks. She also spits at me when she's peed off x
 

Bella123

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What type of syringe do you have a big one with the flat edges on it or a little thin one? The thin ones are much easier to use. You could try putting a blanket over your legs sit with her so she's in the crack part of your legs all four feet on the blanket and then hold her down with your hand on the top of her head/neck holding under her chin? So do it so your hand is coming round the side of her. With her bum towards your tummy. I have a really difficult long haired piggy that bites scratches and kicks. She also spits at me when she's peed off x
I'm using a Terumo 1ml thin syringe. I'll also try your technique also. Have also tried proping two settee cushions on the arm of the settee and placing her on top of their too. It's a bit better because it makes her mouth more eye level. She has thick hair in the way of her mouth so it's hard see where to put the syringe. I'm a complete beginner to this, as you can tell.

How far is safe to put the syringe into their mouths?
 
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There are a lot of tricks and most of them don't work if the piggie is stubborn...
anyway, I use this method (for drops of vit C), but consider that in my case the drops have a good taste. At the beginnign with Calipso it was difficult, despite the good taste. Now she just waits for the syringe with the neck lifted. Because she knows that something yummy is about to arrive...
Therefore the trick is making very tasty the syringe. You can try syringing the piggie with some concentrated juice as cranberry 100%, diluited with some drops has a very strong taste which they seem to appreciate. Don't cheat the piggie with the medicine. Wait for 3-4 syringes (during the day). When the piggie will associate the good taste to the syringe you can mix the juice with the med...
It is easier if your piggie is a bit hungry.
0,3ml is only 3 drops... it is a very little dose, you won't have problem. My piggies now jump on me literally as soon as they see the syringe. But on the first days it was a fight and it was necessary to block Calipso's head. I hope it is not too late because if the piggie start hating the syringe, then he will not change his mind...
Anyway they love sweet and strong tastes; you can try apple juice, but my advice is pure cranberry which dominates any other taste. Don't use it pure, though.
(you can freeze the juice, in single little doses, using the ice-cubes tray)
 

Bella123

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There are a lot of tricks and most of them don't work if the piggie is stubborn...
anyway, I use this method (for drops of vit C), but consider that in my case the drops have a good taste. At the beginnign with Calipso it was difficult, despite the good taste. Now she just waits for the syringe with the neck lifted. Because she knows that something yummy is about to arrive...
Therefore the trick is making very tasty the syringe. You can try syringing the piggie with some concentrated juice as cranberry 100%, diluited with some drops has a very strong taste which they seem to appreciate. Don't cheat the piggie with the medicine. Wait for 3-4 syringes (during the day). When the piggie will associate the good taste to the syringe you can mix the juice with the med...
It is easier if your piggie is a bit hungry.
0,3ml is only 3 drops... it is a very little dose, you won't have problem. My piggies now jump on me literally as soon as they see the syringe. But on the first days it was a fight and it was necessary to block Calipso's head. I hope it is not too late because if the piggie start hating the syringe, then he will not change his mind...
Anyway they love sweet and strong tastes; you can try apple juice, but my advice is pure cranberry which dominates any other taste. Don't use it pure, though.
(you can freeze the juice, in single little doses, using the ice-cubes tray)
That seems like an excellent idea, I did actually think of something similar to practise on Fifi before giving the Metacam.

After a lot of practise with filtered water and without water, just air and after many different techniques. I have finally found something that works, thank God I was almost going to give up and settle for going to my local vets.

I thought I'd post the technique I used if it may be useful to someone else,
So here's what I did, I'm right handed so it will be the opposite for left handed people.

Sitting on my setee I put Fifi side ways across my lap so her head faces the right.
Then leaned back slightly on my right elbow so I can see her side of her mouth. With my right knee slightly raising her chest and head.

Then with my left hand, I placed no pressure to little on her head as she would resist more, I put my thumb closest to the side of her mouth and the rest of my hand gently curved round the top of the head, light pressure.

Then with my thumb I stroke the side her face gradually making my way to her upper lip and stoke upwards to relax it and open her mouth. I repeat this a couple of times.

Once her top lip is relaxed I hold her mouth open with my thumb, and then start relaxing the bottom lip with the syringe tip stroking downwards to pry her mouth open.

When shes relaxed and her mouth is more open I quickly slip the syringe so far into her mouth and squirt.
 

Bella123

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Thanks to everyone for the supportive replies, it really helped me out!
 
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Thanks for your helpful reply.

I have tried again after numerous attempts and am getting exasperated. I am already holding her like suggested. One of the problems is when I hold her with her back on my stomach whilst sitting down, she tends to turn around and bite me. I have tried raising her up with towels on a table, and holding the syringe differently for greater control. But nothing is working. I am also using a towel to wrap her up in.

Trouble is if I go to a more local vets, they may charge, plus taxi fare gets expensive especially there and back for 5 days.

Unfortuanately there may come a time in the distant future when I possibly may need to syringe feed more often, may be everyday, I can't keep on going to the vets for this the cost in taxis will be far too much.
of course you need to invent some good trick! :nod: you cannot waste money for similar silly things, such as syringing (and in my case I still have to find a good method for cutting nails!). I was thinking about some melted pellet stuck on the top of the syringe... something tasty which makes the piggie start nibbling the syringe... Anyway, the first step is making him associate the good taste to the syringe, which should become something like a treat.
Another (bad) method is being a bit rude with the piggie, who will freeze up as a natural instinct, but at that point he might even stop swallowing:hb:. I have found out that my piggies freeze up when I put them on the table in front of me (sit down on the chair), or on the scales... give it a try! (also the vets use a table... ;))
 
D

DM030819

@Bella123 Try holding her in whatever position works and feed her treats as practice. It'll help you to get the position right and also she won't associate being it that position with awful medicine every time.

I think that's why my boy relaxed, sitting on my lap means grass is going to arrive.
 

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So glad you found a way to syringe feed without too much stress.

With ny two i hold them with my right hand, their back legs on my lap. I lift up their front legs and put syringe in their mith behind front teeth. Slow squirt.

Out guinea lig onto all fours and offer yummies. I have been diluting the baytril with apple juice. Will get cranberry next time after reading this thread.
 
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