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My cat is on two different medications where I have to give him 1/8 of a tablet. My vet explained that the medication isn't available in smaller tablets. The tablets are too small and hard to break by hand. I've been grinding away at the tablet with a serrated knife until I estimate that I've removed the right amount, but this is very error prone.

Any suggestions on a better way? I could buy a pill splitter, cut the tablets in half, then cut the two pieces in half, and then cut the four pieces in half. Or I could get a pill crusher, and divide up the powder into 8 portions. If you've done something similar, what approach did you find most practical?

EDIT: The medication I'm concerned with is Amlodipine, and it's for a cat. (There was another medication I've forgotten the name of, but I don't need to use it very often. The second medication is an appetite stimulant.

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  • maxbe it would help, if you qrite which medication the tablets are. Some medications do not need to be exact given each day, but the amount over a special time is important. Others need the exact amount at every time... Aug 20 '20 at 19:51
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There is no way I know of to reliably split tablets into numerous small equal pieces. It is even harder to get equal pieces if the tablets are not perfectly round.

If you let us know the specific medications we may be able to provide more specifics on those particular medications. As a vet who sees a lot of cats, it is rare for me to prescribe a tablet that needs to be split into eighths, even for a very small cat. If the dose is so small, there are usually better solutions.

A few potential solutions to the problem (though perhaps not to the question itself):

  • Check with your vet if the medication comes in any other form other than tablets. A number of the common medications we use for pets already have commercially available pet forms, often liquids.

  • Check with your vet if there are other similar drugs that could be used as an alternative. Obviously, this would not be a practical solution for every medication needed, but for instance if your cat needs an appetite stimulant, or a blood pressure medication, or a pain medication, there may be alternative medications that work as well but are in a different form or more practical tablet size.

  • Have the medication compounded professionally. There are many reputable compounding pharmacies that can make just about any medication you need into either a liquid or compound a small dose into a tablet. They can flavour the medication to make it more palatable. Yes, there is some cost to this, but it may be worth it for the ease of administering the medication to your cat and you not having to worry about splitting the tablets.

If you must persist with splitting pills into eighths, a pill cutter is the way to go. I do it exactly as you describe - cut into halves, then each of those into halves, and then again each of those into halves. There will be wastage, and discard any fragments that are much too small.

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    an other way to split pills is to dissolve them in a known amount of water like one pill in 8ml of water and to give the cat 1ml each day,but this might not be possible to do if the medication does not dissove completely in water or if the medication is chemically unstabile in solution. Aug 21 '20 at 9:30
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    @trondhansen That is a good suggestion. Perhaps you'd like to make it into an answer so I can upvote it?
    – mhwombat
    Aug 21 '20 at 10:09
  • I've edited the name of the medication (Amlodipine) into the question. I didn't know about compounding pharmacies; I'll look into that, and also check with my vet about alternatives.
    – mhwombat
    Aug 21 '20 at 10:17
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    @trond I was actually going to suggest that, but worry that if the tablet does not dissolve easily (many don't) then there will be a very unequal distribution of the medication through the water and therefore the dose of give the first 1 mL could for example be much more concentrated than the next dose. I agree though, it may be possible with some medications
    – Harry V.
    Aug 21 '20 at 14:39
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    @mhwombat it was just an idea about how it could be done not reallly an answer. Aug 21 '20 at 15:44

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