Giving A Dog A Tablet

DISCLAIMER: I made a unilateral decision to administer tablets to my dog by this method and he did not come to any harm. Before attempting what I have done here you should consult your veterinary for advice. I take no responsibility for any harm caused to other animals by using this method. If you don’t like it don’t do it.

Introduction

giving a dog a tablet
A Worming Tablet

If you have ever tried to give medicine to an animal you’ll appreciate how hard it can be giving a dog a pill or tablet. Our dog Leo (a Border Collie) is required to take two worming tablets every three months. These are large as tablets go. Large enough to be shaped like a bone. My wife offered one to him. He sniffed it and walked away.

Why aren’t they supplied inside some meaty treat to encourage a dog to just woof them down?

My Method Of Giving A Dog A Tablet

I had thought of putting it inside a nice piece of cheese because he likes cheese a lot. But I couldn’t face giving away a really nice piece of Colston Bassett Stilton cheese. Knowing him he would probably manage to suck all the cheese off and spit the tablet out. Anyway cheese is not ideal for dogs being a milk product.

I regularly have a pastrami and seeded bread sandwich at lunchtime and I know my dog loves a little bit of it especially the pastrami. So while I was preparing it I had the idea of wrapping his tablet in a slice of pastrami as shown below:

giving a dog a tablet
A worming tablet ready to be wrapped in pastrami to form a meat parcel.
giving a dog a tablet
Diagram showing how to wrap a worming tablet in pastrami.

Having wrapped up the tablet into a meat parcel I wondered how I might hold it all together just while he swallowed it. Well this might be controversial I know but I decided to tie it up with string on the first occasion. I thought about this carefully and decided the string must not be made of, or contain, man-made synthetic/plastic fibres, e.g. nylon, polythene or polypropylene, because they are very unlikely to digest in stomach acid. I didn’t want to give him an intestinal blockage. Subsequently I have tied the meat parcels up with sausage skin because I presume it is a more edible product.

The First Occasion

On the first occasion I chose to use ordinary string made of natural fibres with an off white colour (hopefully linen or cotton)  as is commonly used for parcels (maybe sisal is O.K.). I considered this type of string would get digested or in some way break down in the dog’s stomach so that it would pass through him easily. I also took care how I tied it. I did not use a Reef Knot because I was concerned that it might not pass through my dog easily since it would stay in a knotted loop if it was not digested. I chose to use a Clove Hitch.

Why a Clove Hitch? Once the item it is wrapped around is removed or, in this case disintegrates by digestion, the string will not be knotted and the string will just become a straight length of string again with no permanent loop in it. Ideally I would prefer to have held it together with a more easily digestible material. Rest assured I will try to find one for next time. This is the parcel I made:

giving a dog a tablet
A meat parcel made from a worming tablet wrapped in a slice of pastrami and tied with string using a clove hitch.

I actually made, and gave him, two meat parcels because my dog weighs 21kg so he has to be given two worming tablets. I calculated, from the parcel diameter, that the string length was 75mm (3 inches).

Administering The Meat Parcels

I had no trouble getting  my dog to eat the meat parcels. It went like this:

  1. I asked him to sit and he did.
  2. I let him smell the meat.
  3. He knew I was going to give him a parcel to eat so he opened his mouth to take it from me.
  4. As he opened his mouth with his head tilted up I let a parcel drop into it.
  5. He just swallowed it whole. Dogs do that.

Three Months Later

The time came to give Leo two more worming tablets so I went through the whole process again. I wrapped his tablets up in pastrami as before but this time I tied them up with sausage skin. Again I used a Clove Hitch to hold the parcels.

Obtaining The Sausage Skin

I called at a local butcher’s shop and purchased one metre of sausage skin for fifty pence. I wanted to use it immediately but presumed there would be some left over so I asked how long it would keep. The butcher told me I could freeze it to keep it a long time. I just want it to last for three months until next time. After that what I have left over can be thrown away. Then I will buy some more in the future.

giving a dog a tablet
One metre of very slippery Sausage Skin.

Photos Taken While Making A Pastrami Parcel

Below you can see the five stages used to make the pastrami parcel and tie it up with sausage skin. Move the mouse pointer over each image in the collage to see its title. Select an image to see it enlarged.

NEW ADDITIONIf the finished parcel is too large in diameter the slice of pastrami can be shortened so that it doesn’t wrap around the tablet so many times as a full slice would.

It’s the thin nature of pastrami which makes it ideal for this purpose but any other sliced meat could be considered.

Success

I am writing this well after the event and I can only report success to date since my dog had no ill effects. He performed his toilet habits as usual in the following days on both occasions. I saw no sign of the string or sausage skin so I presume it passed through him or was digested O.K. Below is a picture of Leo, to whom the treatment was administered:

giving a dog a tablet
“Leo”, our six year old Border Collie and his shadow.

Riding The North Norfolk Railway

The North Norfolk Railway

The North Norfolk Railway (NNR), known as The Poppy Line, runs from Holt to Sheringham via Kelling Heath Halt (for Kelling Heath Park) and Weybourne. A total distance of 5¼ miles. My wife, dog Leo and I road the rails there and back from Holt on 10th April 2014.

You can No.76034 having recently arrived at Holt in the featured image here.

The line runs along the part of the North Norfolk coast but stays inland from Holt to Weybourne. After Weybourne it runs nearer the coast on its way to Sheringham. A map of the line is available at http://www.strollingguides.co.uk/ and the line is  highlighted here on Google Earth (which must be installed to see it). Continue reading Riding The North Norfolk Railway

Mira Shower Thermal Switch Replacement

Introduction

This article advises how I have replaced a Mira Shower thermal switch in a MIRA Sport 9kW Thermostatic Shower on several occasions.

Originally I installed a MIRA Sport 9kW Thermostatic Shower as part of a new bathroom and had it tested and certified by a qualified electrician on 1st May 2007. I was very pleased with it and it worked well for three years until June 2010 when it developed a fault.

I found that in the middle of taking a shower the water would go cold for a few seconds and then get warm again. On the first few occasions I wondered if cold water being drawn off by other taps1 and appliances was lowering the water pressure to the shower and so causing it to operate incorrectly (although the low pressure light was not illuminating). As the days went by the problem got worse and my wife ended up washing shampoo off with cold water. I knew then that I would be in bad books until it was fixed.

I had to determine if this fault could be fixed or if I would have to replace the entire shower unit. For this I needed to take a look inside the shower unit. Continue reading Mira Shower Thermal Switch Replacement

Tiled Bath Panel Construction

Preface

I could write an article about ‘Building A Bathroom’ or ‘Tiling A Bathroom’ but I have decided to just cover a ‘Tiled Bath Panel’ in this article even though some detail of the tiles on the walls is mentioned. Bath panels can easily be made from painted hardboard or plywood, or boards, but a tiled panel can fit in with the rest of the bathroom very well when all the walls are tiled.

Introduction

In 2005 I began a project to build a new bathroom in the same small room as the existing one. The bath had to be in the same place as before because it is the only place it could fit.

Why have a tiled bath panel? The choices were:

  • the moulded plastic panel offered by the manufacturer,
  • a plain painted wooden panel,
  • a panel made of horizontal or vertical boards finished with paint or varnish,
  • a panel finished with tiles to match the bathroom walls.

The previous bath had a plastic panel which was moulded to a fancy shape and was the full length of the bath. Due to that bath being a tight fit between two walls, and one end being near to a wash basin pedestal while the other was near to a door architrave, it was very difficult to manoeuvre the bath panel into place. Over time that plastic panel cracked due to being bent where it should not have been bent.

Many plain wooden bath panels look cheap and I was looking to remove as much painted wood from the room as possible. Wood and wallpaper call for redecoration over the years and I had already decided to have a fully tiled room. I wanted a bathroom that could tolerate being wet.

So I chose to have a tiled bath panel but needed to work out how I could construct it without using unsightly screws, bolts, hinges or handles. I eventually came up with the idea of a panel that looked like a tiled wall, just like all the other walls in the room, but made in two sections at least to resolve the difficulty of getting it in and out of its place. It would also resolve the weight issue. I would hold it in place using mould resistant white ‘silicon sealant’ which would look just like white tile grout. Continue reading Tiled Bath Panel Construction

Dishwasher Rinse Aid Dispenser Catch Repair

Introduction

It must be nearly two years ago that I first had a problem with my Dishwasher Rinse Aid Dispenser Catch. The tab that has to be pushed towards the top of the door to open the rinse aid dispenser, so that more rinse aid can be added, had somehow broken and disappeared. I found I could continue to open it by pressing the remaining catch towards the top of the door using the handle end of a teaspoon.

Since refilling the rinse aid dispenser doesn’t happen everyday I was happy to continue with that opening method indefinitely. However about six months ago I found the entire catch was missing leaving the rinse aid dispenser door flapping in the breeze. I searched inside the dishwasher and found the plastic part of the catch but not the coil spring. Also when I inserted the catch its retaining clips no longer wanted to spring outwards and perform their retaining action. The whole plastic catch appeared to have been eroded by the dishwashing process. I noticed that the dishwasher liquid dispenser catch looks similarly eroded, but that works on a different principal and is still O.K. The detergent and rinse aid compartment covers are made of a different plastic which has not shown signs of erosion.

After several months without using rinse aid I decided I should take action to fix the catch. Continue reading Dishwasher Rinse Aid Dispenser Catch Repair

Sighting A Straight Line

Introduction

I would say sighting a straight line is a common practice used by builders and joiners to determine if a piece of timber is straight or bowed. It can be used to test any length of timber, but long pieces in particular, and requires no tools just eyesight with a good depth of field enabling focusing along the whole length of timber to be checked. Continue reading Sighting A Straight Line

Browser Choice In Microsoft Windows Ends

Browser Choice – What’s That About

In December 2009 the European Union obliged Microsoft to offer a choice of browsers to their European customers when they installed new versions of Windows. This browser choice was also delivered in updates to Windows and so the Browser Choice screen was born and has been with us ever since. See my featured image of Microsoft’s browser choice screen offering Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and the Opera browsers amongst others.

Browser Choice Ends

It turns out that this requirement by the EU had a time limit of five years which has now expired. Consequently Microsoft have quietly withdrawn the option to choose other browsers and returned to providing Internet Explorer alone. People can of course continue to use other browsers with Windows as they see fit but Internet Explorer is now what comes out of the box. Continue reading Browser Choice In Microsoft Windows Ends

Cleaning A Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother

Introduction

nespresso aeroccino milk frother
The Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother with milk burnt onto the bottom.

I’ve had a Nespresso Pixie since June 2012 and at the same time I acquired a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother. These devices are very nice to have and work well even after 2½ years continual use. The coffee is very nice too.

However there is a slight problem with the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother but it is not insurmountable. It’s very easy to burn milk on the bottom where the most intense heat is applied. You can see it burnt on in this picture where the whisk has been removed.

This article advises how to keep a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother clean. There are pictures portraying the burnt milk problem and advice is given on how to avoid it.

The featured image can be seen here.

Continue reading Cleaning A Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother

Chemical Evolution Controlled By A Robot

Chemical Evolution, “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

Glasgow scientists studying chemical evolution have created a robotic system where chemicals can evolve. I read about this in Gizmag, but followed it up with a quick read from the horses mouth at Nature magazine. The featured image (enlarged here) is a picture looking down at the heart of the researcher’s robot. The whole article is also encapsulated in this PDF. Continue reading Chemical Evolution Controlled By A Robot

Asteroid 2014 UR116 Will Cross Earth’s Orbit

Although thousands of asteroids have been discovered and their orbits determined there are thought to be many undetected ones. This is one of them called ‘Asteroid 2014 UR116’ recently discovered by a Russian professor, at Moscow State University, Vladimir Lipunov. It crosses Earth’s orbit every three years and is the size of a mountain (400m) – much larger than the 164 feet (50m) mentioned in my post about Asteroid Day.

Having read about ‘Asteroid 2014 UR116’ in The Telegraph I can’t determine how much of a threat it is. On the one hand NASA says this Near Earth Object (NEO) doesn’t pass near enough to earth to be a threat, but on the other NASA says it will be an impact threat for the next 150 years.

Reference

  1. Mountain-sized asteroid is heading towards Earth, says scientist – The Telegraph.

From investigation and reason comes understanding.