Sunday, May 29, 2016

Flavoring in Medicines for Guinea Pigs

Hi readers! Buffy here, and I have a story to share with you from earlier this week. As longtime readers know, I've been placed on a few medications by my vet for some health issues I've been facing, and the humans have had to hand-feed them to me every morning and night. One of these medicines is Tramadol, which is a pain-killer. Usually, I'm very enthusiastic about taking my medicines, and don't even want to let go of the plastic syringes when the humans are done because I'm pretty sure there still might be a tiny drop or two inside of them. However, after the humans got a refill of Tramadol, I started turning my nose up at the syringe:

Can you guess why I'm no longer interested?

What changed is the flavor of the medicine. Before, my Tramadol was blueberry-flavored, which I was a big fan of. However, they then switched to banana-flavored Tramadol for the refill, which I don't really care for at all! (Yes, I know I liked actual bananas. But banana flavoring is not the same!)

You see, there's a difference between mass-produced drugs made by manufacturers, and pharmaceutical compounding, where personalized medicines are prepared for patients using the specific ingredients and dosages needed. One way that compounded medicines can be customized is with flavoring; different animals like different flavors, and if you get it wrong, we won't want to take our medicine.

So if your piggy ever turns their nose up at their medicine, give it a sniff to figure out what flavor it is, and consider asking for another one on your next refill. I'm rather partial to blueberry myself!


  1. We've had the banana flavouring, and rather enjoyed it. I guess having the flavour changed is a problem; when you like one, and then it's different. It freaks out my human children as well.

    1. Since posting this, I actually grew to somewhat like the taste of the banana flavoring. I still prefer the blueberry, though.