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I have a pet who has been prescribed twice daily oral medications and twice daily subcutaneous (sub-Q) fluids (40cc). He kind of likes (or at least does not hate) the taste of the medications.

Originally I thought do the shot, then the oral medications, thinking I was keeping the best for last, but handling him with the bolus of fluid under the skin does not seem right (some can even leak out).

I try to do all the medications in a single session, to get all the unpleasantness out of the way via 2 handlings per day instead of 4. This leaves the rest of our interactions for positive cuddling to help keep his spirits up.

From a purely logistical perspective, oral followed by sub-Q works the best. Is there any medical reason for a specific order?

(pet = rabbit in this case, but I assume the answer would be consistent across species)

  • Medical questions about medications should go to your vet. – Zaralynda Jan 24 '14 at 15:57
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    Strangely many of us have experience and knowledge about this area and may be able to answer the question, especially since it is a general question not a specific problem. – user9 Jan 24 '14 at 16:09
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It really does not matter. The 2 medicines are absorbed into the system in a different manner. The subcutaneous will be absorbed quickly and enter the blood though absorption into the tissues. The oral medication will need to be metabolized to enter your rabbits system. Many times, it enters through the stomach or intestines, then is often altered in the liver before it becomes effective in treating the condition. SOURCE

So, unless the medicines your rabbit has been prescribed work at cross-purposes, the order they are given should not matter. It is still probably worth a call to your vet to make sure that they do not need to be spaced out or given in a certain order. Sometimes, one medicine is given to treat and then another is given to counter that treatment before the treatment itself becomes toxic. I doubt that is the case here, as most vets would do that treatment in the clinic to make sure the regimen is carried out appropriately, but it is still probably worth the phone call to be sure.

In the event your vet is out for the weekend, you could also research the medicine prescribed and make sure that they are safe to take together. If you are unable to find anything, call your pharmacist to explain your situation and ask them whether there is a risk of interaction. Even though it is a pet medication most pharmacists have some knowledge of the basic types of medicine and most pet medicines are derivative of the medicines given to humans.

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  • Thank you, in my case the fluid is 0.45 saline with 2.5% dextrose. So drug interactions are not a concern. – James Jenkins Jan 24 '14 at 21:48
  • Sounds like you are in for a tough weekend... sorry to hear that. – user9 Jan 24 '14 at 22:10

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