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Pilling Cats: What is the Best Way?

Bennett AD, MacPhail CM, Gibbons DS et al: A comparative study evaluating the esophageal transit time of eight healthy cats when pilled with the FlavoRx pill glide versus pill delivery treats, Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery 12:286, 2010.

It is well known that retention of the tablets or capsules of certain drugs (e.g., doxycycline, clindamycin) in the esophagus of the cat can cause inflammation and stricture formation. Current recommendations are that cats should never be given medication “dry”, but any pill or capsule should be followed with a food treat or a bolus of water. This study was designed to evaluate the esophageal transit time of tablets and capsules when administered with either the FlavoRx pill glide or Greenies Pill Pockets. The FlavoRx pill glide is a one-step system that delivers the medication and a 3 ml fluid bolus at the same time. Four different medications were evaluated on different days in eight healthy cats. The estimated average esophageal transit time ranged from 16 seconds to 26 seconds. The researchers conclude that both the FlavoRx pill glide and Pill Pockets provide acceptable transit time into the stomach. [SL]

Related articles:
Westfall D, Twedt D, Steyn P et al: Evaluation of esophageal transit of tablets and capsules in 30 cats, J Vet Intern Med 15:467, 2001.