Katherine writes from Canada, “Hi, my cat, Magnum P.I., ate a small amount of rat poison (bromadiolone), and was prescribed Vitamin K1 as an oral liquid. He HATES the taste and foams at the mouth. I don’t think I can keep this up for 26 days. Plus, I think I might have gotten some in his eye last night, because it’s a bit runny now and he keeps rubbing it. Do I need to be concerned about the eye? And can you advise on a better way to get K1 into him? I see these beef-flavoured tablets online – are they just as good? Thanks, Katherine.
I found Katherine’s letter interesting because it made me reminisce about “the good old days.”
Just twenty years ago we would have had three choices in this treatment regimen: Give Magnum expensive Vitamin K1 injections daily for a month, or wrestle pills down his gullet. The third option was to take two metal teaspoons, put the pills between the spoons’ bowls, grind them to powder, attempt to suspend them in water and squirt them in a cat’s mouth.
People who are licensed by the FDA to turn pills into liquids and mix combinations of medications are called compounding pharmacists. Compounding pharmacies have exploded in the last five years and we have several within easy driving distance of our practice, including one just a mile away. And that’s just the tiny part of what a compounding pharmacist can do.
Now we have access to multiple flavors in which to dissolve or suspend medications. Conventional tablets can be pulverized and mixed with flavorings that become solid cubes in delicious flavors. One company even makes a “Tiny Tab,” medication so highly concentrated so that a conventional pill is smaller, easier to administer and/or hide in a treat.
The crucial factor is reliability of the source. If the manufacturer of the Vitamin K1 tablets is reputable and the dose (number of milligrams) is the same, Katherine is OK to proceed.
As for the eye complaint, rinse the eye with ophthalmic saline solution and if redness or squinting persist for more than 24 hours, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.