Re: Horse refusing meds

Sara Gooch


Hi Patti,

     It's frustrating I know, going to great lengths to find something your horse might accept as a carrier for the pergolide, then watching them spit it out.  For well over a year, one of my PPID mares willingly ate a pergolide capsule on top of a small handful of safe pellets.

Then she stopped accepting pergolide that way or any way. I tried lots of other safe  treat-like carriers and she refused everything after she realized it might be hiding the pill. 

     Now I use a 12 mL syringe with the nozzle-end cut off, fill it with about 10mL of unsweetened applesauce, stick the whole  pergo cap into the applesauce, just far enough so it doesn't fall out, and I stick the syringe through the side of her mouth to the back of her tongue and squirt it out. She willingly takes the applesauce, and if I get it back far enough on her tongue, swallows the pill. If she manages to spit it out, I wipe the pill off on my pant leg, and we do it again, and I make more of an effort to get it way back on her tongue.

     I admit, to get her to accept the syringe, I just used applesauce with no pergolide a couple times at first. Now I can dose her with the applesauce and pergolide without haltering her. No fuss at all. I use compounded pergolide from Pet Health Pharmacy, and her 6 mg capsule is very small, the same size capsule as a 2mg dose, so it easily fits in a 12 mL syringe. I use a serrated knife to cut off the nozzle-end of the syringe, and leave a tiny rim, to stop the plunger from pushing out the end.

All in all, with this mare, the syringe method has been less time consuming and less stress. Especially with not having to open or dissolve the capsules.

Best wishes!

Sara, 2011

NE California   

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