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Pet Health (not to be substituted for qualified vet advice) => Feline Hyperthyroidism => Topic started by: catbird on June 25, 2013, 02:32:48 PM

Title: How to use transdermal (ear gel) methimazole prescribed for hyperthyroidism
Post by: catbird on June 25, 2013, 02:32:48 PM
Experience has shown that many, many vets do not give adequate directions for using the transdermal methimazole gel for hyperthyroid cats. Here's how to use it, from a person who has given over a thousand doses:

--Wear gloves or finger cots to keep the gel from getting on you, since you could also absorb the medication through your skin and it could affect your thyroid.
--The gel is applied to the inner surface of the ear flap where there is no hair. Do not get it down in the twisty part (ear canal) because that can be uncomfortable to the cat.
--The gel should be applied twice per day for the most even thyroid values, to avoid peaks and valleys. If your vet has ordered it as one dose once a day, you should give half the amount twice a day. Try to space the doses pretty close to 12 hours apart.
--The medication should be packaged in syringes, not Twist-A-Dose pens, which do not give an accurate dosage.

To give the medication:
--Remove the cap of the syringe and push the plunger gently to dispense the exact amount of gel that the vet has ordered for your cat onto your covered finger. You will see the end of the plunger moving along the markings on the syringe. Some kinds of syringes have two sets of markings; make sure you are using the right one.
--If you accidentally dispense too much medication, discard it in a safe way where pets or children can't get at it, and try again. It may seem awkward at first, but you'll quickly gain skill and soon you will be a pro!
--Stroke the medication onto the hairless part inside the ear, spreading it around. You do not need to rub hard.
--Discard the finger cots or glove in a safe place. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This is very important for your own health and safely.
--You must alternate ears with each dose. Most people designate one ear for morning and one for night to help them remember. (If your cat's ears look different from each other, that is a plus!)

The ears of cats using transdermal gel must be cleaned daily
. Otherwise, build-up will occur, and the medication will no longer absorb properly. Ideally, this is done right before you apply the medication to the ear. If you have a cat who is more cooperative at some times than others, it's OK to clean both ears at the same time before applying one of the two daily doses.
--To clean the ear, moisten a cotton ball or soft cotton cosmetic removal pad with warm water and squeeze it out so that it is moist but not dripping. Do not use gauze or paper towels; those are too rough on the ears and can cause irritation. Tissue is too flimsy.
--Wipe the inside of the ear lightly several strokes, alternating areas of the cotton used and stroking from inside toward the tip. Do not get down into the ear canal; the cat will likely object very much!
--If you are doing both ears at the same time, use a separate cotton ball or pad for each ear.
--You will likely see some yellowish or brownish material on the cotton. This may vary from cat to cat.
--You may find that you need to clean the ears with a mild witch hazel solution weekly to get off all the build-up, in addition to the daily water cleanings. Do not use the witch hazel more often, because that can cause skin irritation. Do not use soap, peroxide, or anything other than plain water or mild witch hazel solution.

Those are the basics. It may seem complicated, or even scary at first, but you (and most likely your cat!) will get used to it quickly, and it will likely seem like no big deal.

If you have questions, please post below.

Title: Re: How to use transdermal (ear gel) methimazole prescribed for hyperthyroidism
Post by: catbird on June 26, 2013, 02:53:44 PM
Link to an excellent how-to video, for those who prefer a more visual form of instruction: