What is the best way to use a pill gun?

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It is often necessary to medicate our pets. Many medications are sent home to be administered by the owner instead of the staff at the veterinary clinic. Unfortunately, many medications have offensive smells or bitter tastes, and animals are not willing to take them without a fight. One method of administering capsules or pills to animals is the use of a pill gun.

The pill gun is a long straw-like tool that contains a plunger. The tip of the pill gun is a soft piece of rubber that has been scored to hold a pill. Within the pill gun is a plunger that when drawn back and depressed will shoot a pill from the rubber tip into the mouth of an animal. The tip is rubber, so as not to injure the pet.

To properly use the pill gun, you’ll need to use both hands or have an assistant help with the procedure. Have the gun loaded with the pill while you position the animal in front of you. It is best if they are sitting or lying down. In your dominant hand, hold the gun with the plunger withdrawn a bit, so that you can easily squeeze it when you are ready. With your other hand, carefully open the animal’s mouth so that you can see the back of the throat.

Once the mouth is open, quickly slide the pill gun down the back of the throat and depress the plunger at the same time, discharging the pill at the base of the throat. A small syringe of water squirted down the throat may help move the pill further down into the esophagus. Quickly withdraw the pill gun, preventing yourself from being accidently bitten.

There is no easy way to use a pill gun, and they can be quite awkward to use initially. However, with finesse and speed, it can be an effective way to pill a pet when they are sick or recovering from surgery.

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