Random Updates: Pink Drapery Fail, Work Table Upgrade, Cooper’s Mystery Ailment, and More!

Y’all, last week was frustrating one! It started with a pink living room drapery fail, followed by me catching a cold, then some sewing machine trouble, and a mystery ailment causing my dog tremendous pain that received a “best guess” diagnosis even after $650 worth of testing.

So let me start at the beginning.

My Pink Living Room Draperies

If you’ll remember, I found the perfect fabric a few weeks ago for living room draperies. It’s this gorgeous soft pink fabric…

fabrics for living room with dark gray loveseat fabric

Actually, it’s not perfect at all. The only perfect thing about it is the color. Other than that, it’s a terrible selection for draperies.

One thing I always emphasize to people who are learning to make draperies is to NEVER, ever, ever choose a garment or quilting fabric for draperies. ALWAYS, always, without exception, use actual decorator fabric when making draperies, and make sure that it’s appropriate for draperies (e.g., not an upholstery fabric).

Well, I didn’t take my own advice. This is garment fabric — a polyester blend suiting fabric with a bit of a stretch to it, to be exact. But the color was too perfect to pass up, so I bought it. To deal with the stretch of the fabric, the lady at the store suggested using a permanent adhesive spray made for fabrics that doesn’t actually stick until it’s ironed on with heat. So I purchased the fabric, along with some thin cotton drapery lining, and a couple of cans of the spray adhesive.

I spread the fabric out on my table, sprayed the entire can of adhesive spray on the fabric, placed the lining on top and spread it out perfectly so that there were no wrinkles, and then began to iron.

And I ironed. And ironed. And ironed.

One panel took me forever to iron, but I had high hopes. My hopes were dashed as soon as I finished, and tested to see how strong the adhesive was. The lining pulled right off as if there were no adhesive at all.

So then I got online, searched for, and ordered some 60-inch-wide fusible interfacing. I’m sure you’re wondering why that wasn’t my first option, and the reason is because I never could find the exact right interfacing that was 60 inches wide. Even the stuff I ended up buying had a bit of a stretch to it. I went ahead and gave it a try since the stretch in the interfacing was the opposite direction as the stretch in the fabric. (The fabric stretches lengthwise, and the interfacing stretches across the width, but is stable lengthwise.)

That arrived Thursday, so on Friday I gave it a try. It was such a pain to iron on, and one panel took me over an hour to adhere because I had to go over it so much. But it seemed to work! So I went ahead and made the first drapery panel, got it hung, and then began to notice some little puckers. They almost looked like bubbles between the fabric and the interfacing…

puckers in the drapery panel

These are areas where the interfacing simply won’t adhere to the fabric no matter how much I iron it on, and it looks like bubbles.

Well, I can’t deal with that. Plus, I was very disappointed at how the interfacing completely changed the appearance of the fabric. I absolutely love this fabric. It’s a thick polyester blend suiting fabric, and it’s so soft and has a beautiful drape to it. It also has a brushed appearance to it, like a brushed cotton but much softer. And with the interfacing ironed on, all of those things were ruined. It no longer felt soft, and it no longer had that beautiful drape to it. It looked more like twill, and that’s definitely not the look I wanted.

So after giving it much thought, and still not willing to abandon my beautiful pink fabric, I ended up making an unlined panel, and it looks gorgeous.

new pink unlined drapery panel in living room

It was surprisingly easy to sew. I was dreading it because of the stretch, but it’s actually quite thick (it is suiting fabric, after all), and I didn’t have any problems with it at all.

I have decided to change out the drapery hardware, but I haven’t had time yet. These acrylic rods and the brass brackets have been such an unbelievable pain, and I’m sick of dealing with them. The brackets wrap all the way around the rod (rather than rod sitting in a U-shaped area on the bracket where the rod can be easily lifted off the top of the bracket). Since I have them installed in an area where there’s wall on one side and a fireplace on the other, that means that every time I need to add or remove drapery rings, I literally have to uninstall the entire thing from the wall, slide the bracket off, add/remove rings, and the reinstall the entire thing.

I’m done. I want some curtain rods that are easier to work with. Plus, since these curtains won’t be lined, and I can’t stand the idea of having pink curtains showing from the front of my house, I’m going to replace these with double rods and hang white sheers behind the pink curtains so that the white is what shows from the front of the house. So I’m not looking forward to changing out the drapery hardware, but I’ll be so glad to be rid of these acrylic ones. I love the way they look, but they’ve been nothing but a headache for me.

A Work Table Upgrade

I made an addition to my work table that has been life changing! Okay, that may be overselling it a bit, but it’s pretty amazing.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my tables. Having so much room to spread fabric out has made projects like sewing draperies so much easier!

large DIY workroom craft table -- two tables that can be clamped together to form one huge table - 6

If you want to see how I built those, I made a video of the process here…

But what would make it perfect was a padded fabric top so that I could iron right on the table. So I headed to Joann Fabrics and bought several yards of this quilted ironing board fabric.

Quilted ironing board fabric used to cover work table

Actually, I don’t think I’m overstating it. It HAS been life-changing. I mean, I went from sewing draperies on the floor and having to drag them back and forth between the floor and ironing board, to now having a huge table covered in ironing board fabric so that it can all be done in one non-back-breaking spot. If it’s not life-changing, it’s pretty darn close.

Anyway, the fabric only comes in 45-inch width, so I sewed two widths together right down the middle with a standard seam, ironed the seam open on the back, and then topstitched on either side so that it would lie perfectly flat.

It’s not quite finished yet. Needless to say, I was anxious to get to the pink curtains, but I plan on cutting off the excess width so that my tape measures can be seen on either side of the table, and then binding the edge with quilt binding.

And then I bought some Velcro for the ends, so I’ll sew one part onto the ironing board fabric, and staple the other part on the underside of the table.

So when I need to use the table for sewing, I’ll just spread out the ironing board fabric and Velcro the ends in place. When I need to use the table for non-sewing projects, I can easily remove it and roll the ironing board fabric onto a tube for easy storage.

FYI, that ironing board fabric is not cheap, so I made sure I had a 50% off coupon with me. Don’t ever pay full price for stuff at Joann Fabrics!

Cooper’s Mystery Ailment

Y’all, there’s something wrong with Cooper that is causing him pain, and it’s breaking my heart. After about three hours and $650 of testing at the vet on Friday, her best guess diagnosis is that he has a pinched nerve. He had no fever, his blood work looked great, and his X-rays showed that his bones are in perfect health. She was actually shocked at how great his X-rays looked because she said that most dogs Cooper’s size (he’s 91.6 pounds) and age (she guesstimated 5 years old) begin to show signs of hip dysplasia, but he has no signs of that at all.

So his organs are fine, he doesn’t have an infection, and his bones are great. And yet, he does this randomly…

And that’s mild compared to other times that he’s done it. The first time it happened, I can only describe it as him screaming in pain. And then literally as soon as I brought him back from the vet on Friday, he jumped out of the car, and as soon as his back legs hit the ground, he started screaming for a solid 6-10 seconds. He finally just lay down in the grass, but as soon as he got up and started walking, he started doing it again for about another five seconds.

Anyway, the vet thinks he has a pinched nerve, and having experienced that myself, I know what agony it can cause. We do know it’s not a bone issue, an organ issue, or an infection. He hasn’t been bitten or scratched. *Sigh* It’s just so sad. She gave us some anti-inflammatory meds and antibiotics, but I just wish we knew for sure that he’s being treated for the right thing.

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  1. May sound crazy, but look and see if you have a chiropractor in your area who works on dogs. We have one in my area, he’s the best people chiropractor I’ve ever been to and he used to treat dogs part-time at a pet store. He will still work on dogs after hours from his practice, sorry, he’s in Indiana, not Texas, but it’s worth a try to find one in your area, best wishes for Cooper and you.

    1. I concur, and when you find one be sure they can do Accupuncture, also. The two disciplines are incomplete with out each other. I could not see what he was doing, because the video cut off to quick.

      1. Our little dog went through the EXACT same thing. It made me cry.

        I did take her to a wonderful chiropractor that works on dogs, after spending $$$ on tests.

        His advice…and it worked..keep her still in a cage (and she’s a huge jumper) and a very short leash when it’s outside for a week. He knew she would not like it, but that would be what she needed to mend.

        I took our dog to the chiropractor 4 weeks in a row—after that he told me it was no longer necessary. Best dog advice I have ever been given!

    2. Get Cooper to s chiropractor. Mine adjusts dogs as well as their two legged owners. A good chiropractor shi be able help your boy.

      1. I so agree with the chiro doc.
        One of our pups was doing this every time he jumped. The crying out/screaming made me cry it was so horrible. My Kodi, 94 lbs., and 8 months old and he was in severe pain and I was powerless. He would hold one or both legs in the air like he broke them on impact. He’d be fine and running again in 10 minutes. It turned out to be a pinched nerve in his neck./thoracic spine. Around $3000 dollars later no answers. I asked my physical therapist and she nailed it! It costs about $50 a visit for Kodi and well worth it. He is a normal, happy 2 year old now. It won’t hurt to give it a try as it’s obvious he is hurting and he made the yelp when he turned his head.
        I hope he feels better soon.

    3. So sorry to hear about Cooper! If you can’t find a doggie chiropractor you could also try an acupuncturist. I had a friend who said it worked miracles for her dog’s arthritis (although I don’t think that’s what’s wrong with Cooper.)

      1. My dog had great success with a Chiropractor and steroids, he did gain some weight but he couldn’t even move his back legs. He is doing very well now. He is a doxie so back issues are common. We just try to keep him from jumping on and off the furniture.

    4. Just what I was going to suggest. Our vet did some chiro on our cat and it really helped his back. Search out chiro care for that sweet boy!

    5. i took mine (with something similar) to an acupuncturist, he worked miracles on my dog, so later when i had a cat that had an issue walking, i took her….. she was able to walk again after two treatments a week apart

    6. Yep, I took our dog to a chiropractor and it helped him so much. He went from dragging one leg to walking with it. And she does a great job on me as well! 🙂 Poor baby, hope you find some answers for him.

      1. So hard when they cant tell us what is wrong. Did they rule out a torn acl? Because that will not show on x-ray.

          1. Dogs usually don’t show pain – it’s a sign of weakness; my dog tore his ACL and the only time we knew he was in pain was when he first did it. The vet was moving his leg around and even said to him “I know it’s great to be stoic but a little whimper would help me pinpoint what you did!” So the fact that he is yelping like that means it is sudden and surprising.

  2. I understand your frustration with the acrylic rods, but I’m so sad to see them go! Padding for the table sounds amazing! Sorry about Cooper! We have a random dog ailment going on, as well.

  3. Oh poor Cooper I totally get your heartache Kristi, last week our boy Sam whose happy place is the car suddenly wouldn’t get in the car & even winced a few times upon getting into the car. I was devastated not understanding his problem. He seems better now but I understand how heartbreaking it is when they hurt.

  4. I had the exact same thing happen to a cat. All tests came back normal. Said he had arthritis or a pinched nerve.
    Then a couple months later he couldn’t use his back legs… then arms. We rushed him to the vet first thing the following morning. He was in heart failure and was going to have a heart attack any minute, so we made the decision to put him to sleep. We were completely devastated. Apparently, he had a blockage and they say it starts in the back, by their legs. I hope that’s not what’s going on with Cooper, but hopefully that info can help you somehow.

  5. 1) Drapery rods: Can you have the rods themselves cut short another inch or two so that you can maneuver them within the end caps? They should still be able to rest on the end caps when in place but can slide over to let you remove and reinstall them when needed. It doesn’t solve the double-rod problem but can you actually line the drapes in white with a lightweight fabric?

    2) Cooper’s pinched nerve: I had a dog who suffered this intermittently. My vet prescribed her a muscle relaxant and a pain pill. She would sleep for about 15 hours straight and then wake up and be fine, usually for months. I didn’t know about veterinary chiropractors or might have tried that.

  6. Does Baylor have a veterinary dept. that will treat dogs? There are soooo many devastating things that it could be! That would be my first instinct, to seek out a Veterinary Univ. We have an excellent one here at Mizzou in Mo., but that’s too far, unless you have no other local one. He might only need some water therapy and the anti imflammatories, but that takes so long to show results, and if that doesn’t work, he has had pain for that much longer. Loving the drapes, too bad you went through hell with them! Love the idea of the ironing pad, I’ll BET it wasn’t cheap! Now, call BAYLOR! If they don’t have one, ask if they know of one near you.

    1. Miz!

      Agree on the chiro. My brother is one and he adjusts his dogs regularly. But he’s in STL. chiropractors are awesome healers and it probably wouldn’t be hard to find one that will try.

  7. The pink drapery panel is really pretty.
    I was going to suggest an animal chiropractor also. Poor Cooper! I’d rather be sick myself than for my fur-baby to be sick. I can tell the doctor what’s wrong with ME!
    That ironing thing is amazing. You have such nifty ideas.

  8. I have a daschund who hurt his back and neck years ago and would sound like this when he moved wrong. He ended up having surgery because of mobity issues. I dont think Cooper has anything that bad. The thing we do now when there is a flare up is kennel rest and anti inflammatory meds. Also make sure he doesn’t pull on his leash. Its hard to watch furbabies hurt.

  9. Oh, I almost cried watching Cooper in pain. WOW – you must have been so upset. I’m so happy that his tests were good. Hopefully he just somehow injured himself, and time and rest will take care of it. Can you try to keep him quiet and resting more for a while? I hope he feels better soon.

    1. I’ve been keeping him in his kennel quite a bit. He’s not too happy about it, but I’m hoping it’ll help him rest and heal faster. He’s just so energetic that he wants to play all the time!

      1. Aw, well sometimes we have to do what’s best for them – – even if they don’t like it! Just like kids. 😊 I’m hoping the rest will help, along with the anti-inflammatory. Good luck. We have two dogs, and one or the other is always coming up with issues.

  10. Feeling helpless for our pets is the worst. Watching them be in pain is heart wrenching. I would go to the ends of the earth to find a correct diagnosis for my babies.
    The topper for your work table is awesome!

  11. You may want to look into Golden Paste to help Cooper. It’s a recipe made with turmeric and it’s helping both humans and animals. It gets rid of inflammation which makes healing faster. There is a Turmeric User Group on FB that has great info and the recipe. The admins in the group are veterinarians and are always available to answer turmeric related questions.

  12. Your poor little doggie….My heart goes out to him and you! I started feeding my beloved dog a grain free diet because of a suspected inflammatory disease. It has made a world of difference! I have his food delivered monthly by Chewy.

    By the way, love your workspace! It’s beautiful!

    1. Kristi, check Cooper’s pads for corns. They might not be visible to the naked eye but rub toothpaste all over his paw pads and see if something shows up. I saw it on a TV programme in the UK called ‘The Supervet’ Anything is worth a try.

    2. Just be sure that the dog food isn’t filled with pea protein and other plant protein! I was feeding Cooper a food that I thought was very healthy (and very expensive!!) because it was grain-free, only to find that the main ingredient was pea protein. Pea protein and other plant proteins are being shown to cause cardiomyopathy in dogs that are fed grain-free foods.

      1. Yikes! Thank you for pointing that out! I checked and thankfully we are good. Please send updates on Cooper! Less processed food is better for all of us! Thanks so much for sharing your life. You’re an inspiration to so many. ❤️

  13. I recently changed dog food for my two little dogs. The high quality that comes from a vet. Now they both are having the yelping episodes. I asked the vets office and was told it has a higher fiber content and perhaps it was causing gas. Have you changed dog food. My dogs are having less episodes now. Perhaps their bodies are getting used to the new food.

    1. I changed his food in June. I now feed him a raw carnivore diet — 80% muscle meat, 10% organs, 10% bones, with some eggs, sardines, and other animal products thrown in. I had previously been feeding him what I thought was a high quality grain-free dog food (which was quite expensive), only to find that the main ingredient in it was pea protein and other plant proteins, which are being linked to cardiomyopathy in dogs that are fed grain-free dog foods. So now he eats 100% raw, fresh carnivore diet. He’s thriving on it.

  14. check padding on paws, torn nail, also was blood work done for Valley Fever and Tick Fever? Agree with Chiro. Just had a big seminar on it in Tucson.

  15. How about massage? Dr. Google says there are some in your area. Good luck. Five year old dogs shouldn’t have arthritis…in my non-professional opinion.

  16. I’m sorry Cooper is in pain. Hoping a pet chiro, or something, can help him.
    I LOVE the ironing board fabric!!! Will definitely do this when I get my sewing room. I quilt and ironing all the rows once sewn together can be a challenge on an ironing boatd.

  17. Pink panels: I’m dismayed for you but not really surprised that the suiting fabric gave you a hard time. But it the completed panel looks great. Remember when you spray painted the couch? I thought of spray painting the window side of the curtain white but that again would interfere with the drape of the fabric.

    Cooper: Our big athletic pit bull, Bella, got a pinched nerve once that made it painful for her to lift her head up. She walked with her head down for a day or two. We enforced rest and gave her Rimadyl after a phone call with our vet. Poor boy! I didn’t even have the sound on my computer and I saw him cry out. I hope he is better very soon, like today!

    Drapery rod: That is crazy! I’d try to hack open the top of the circular mount on one of them. My favorite drapery hardware place is Highland Forge in Atlanta. I once ordered online a beautiful rod and rings that perfectly fit a bay shaped wall of 3 windows. It was perfect!

  18. A pinched nerve, acute Pain and I agree with others about a doggie chiropractor. My neighbors dog has a more chronic case of joint pain. She started giving him CBD oil, and he went from barely moving to acting normal. Interesting, nonetheless. Hopefully, an adjustment will give Cooper relief. Brilliant idea about the ironing board pad!

  19. Do you ever order from Rowley Company? The have products to use on the top of your worktable that will allow you to pin, cut and iron. None of it is cheap but absolutely worth the money. Before they had the preprinted cover, I spent hours with a sharpie and a friend drawing grid lines on my work table. Having straight lines and measurements to work from is and not having to take a cover on/off is a huge time saver.

    1. I’ve looked at their products, but have never ordered from them. I looked at several pre-printed workroom table covers, but never found one I really liked. And none of them looked like they’d fit my table.

  20. Kristi,

    Consider getting a Rowenta Steamer or zero gravity steamer – it will make your pressing life so easy. I have a Rowenta about $200 at JoAnn’s – I couldn’t go back to a regular iron ever.


    1. I’ve had 2 Rowentas (though NOT zero gravity steamer, just regular irons – also bought at JoAnns) I would NOT recommend them. They BOTH leaked after approx 6 months, and I’ve heard it’s a fairly common problem with them. Sorry. Just my 2 cents worth.

  21. My sister’s dog went through something like that this summer. They treated her with some pain pills at the time, and also have her on a regimen of glucosamine, and she’s been fine for the last several months.

    I’m sure you already know this, but you should definitely have some kind of non-stretch interfacing fabric at the back of your fabric at the top where you’re making the pinch pleats. If you don’t, you may find that the pleats will start to stretch and droop with time. I like the curtains, by the way, and I’m madly jealous about your work table… well, your whole studio, really!

  22. I loved the tour of your home. Love everything you have done. I will definitely will be covering my table in the sewing room with the quilted ironing board fabric. I just saw an ad for joint care in dogs. It looked interesting to me. thepetlabco.com

  23. Have you considered feeding Cooper a keto diet? If nothing else to help with the inflammation. Our little dog Chyna got ran over by a tractor. Our vet has been amazed at how fast she has healed, we have been keto for 2 years and we had changed our dogs over last year because she is getting older and we noticed she was having arthritis pain.

    1. I feed Cooper a raw carnivore diet — 80% muscle meat, 10% organs, 10% bone, with some eggs, sardines, and other animal products mixed in. He’s been eating this way since June, and he absolutely loves it. I started feeding him this way when I realized that the grain-free food I was feeding him was filled with pea protein, which is being shown to cause cardiomyopathy in dogs.

  24. I’m sorry you went to so much trouble with those drapes but it sounds like you found a solution to the issue. They sure are pretty and will look good with the shite sheers from the outdoors.

    I love the ironing board top on your huge worktables. Great idea and it can be adapted to any size table.

    Poor Cooper. I have pinched nerves occasionally and I cn completely sympathize with his distress. Poor Pup. Hopefully, the pain medication and a bit of down time will help with that soon. And I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  25. Could it be a problem with his halter? Maybe too tight or pinching? I agree with chiro! I could ask my waco rescue groups if anyone knows a local dr

  26. Regarding lining for your beautiful pink drapery panels, I have a suggestion.

    You don’t want to sew an attached white liner into the pink panels, because the fabrics are quite different, and for fear that the jersey fabric will relax and pucker on the sewn edges. But how about sewing a completely separate liner panel, edged on the sides and hemmed at the bottom, then just sewing them together near the top edge? This way, each fabric can relax in its own particular way, and one will not be dragging at the other along the vertical seams.

    I also suggest that you not change out your curtain rods. If you love them, install your pink panels and leave them in place and alone. They are beautiful! Once you get your pink draperies done, you won’t need to fuss with them until it is time to clean the drapes.

  27. Definitely try a Canine Chiropractor (and if they do Acupuncture also that’s a plus!) for Cooper. My Golden girl was once bitten on the face by a Scorpion and shook her head so hard that she did some damage. A visit to the Chiropractor straightened her right out.

  28. Kristi, suiting with some stretch should be a weft or cross grain stretch. Usually does not stretch along the length. Obviously, the person at the fabric store was not very knowledgeable about the fabrics. You definitely need a lining in these drapes. Apparel fabrics are simply not made to be lightfast the same way drapery fabrics are. Sheers behind them will not help this. You need something like Roc-Lon blackout fabric. If you’re concerned about sewing it to the side seams, then sew to the top and use thread links to connect the sides of each to the other. This technique doesn’t let the fabrics separate but also allows them to hang more independently when the links are 1/2 to 1 inch long.

    1. The vet I took him to actually got her degree from A&M. She’s right here in the middle of Baylor Bear country, and her entire clinic is Aggie maroon and white. 😄

  29. Awww, poor Cooper.
    I can’t imagine that the interfacing, nor the adhesive spray + thin lining were cheap either. By the same token, I wouldn’t put a LOT of credence into the advice of too many women that work at Joanns – my daughter worked the cutting tables for over a year when she was 20- 21?, and she’s NEVER sewn a thing in her life!!! But, I guess it doesn’t hurt to try things. I’m glad it all worked out in the end, but sorry to hear the acrylic rods aren’t working either – LOVE those!!

  30. OK, now I’m curious how well that ironing board fabric repels heat. I have a very small cutting table and no room for a full-sized ironing board. However, I also use a rotary cutter with self-healing mats (which stay on my table all the time) and the self-healing mats are not heat-proof. In fact, the tiniest bit of heat will make them curl or bubble permanently.

    Currently, I use one of those portable ironing boards on top of the mats. But it’s cumbersome to put-on and take-off and it has to be stored. I wonder if I could just make myself a good-sized ironing mat instead and if it’d keep the heat off the self-healing mats.

  31. I haven’t read past the first paragraph but I have to comment now. I don’t know what the drapery fail was but I have to say that is an absolutely beautiful shade of pink!

  32. Re: Cooper, my physical therapist only works 4 days a week and the on Fridays, she does physical therapy at a vet office. You could check that out as well as having him evaluated by a chiropractor.

  33. This happened to my dog last spring and it was horrible to see him in such pain. My vet has been around awhile and assured me that giving him anti inflamatories and pain medicine and not letting him jump on or off the furniture for 2 weeks and he would be back to normal at the end. Sure enough he was running around likd a puppy exactly 2 weeks later. He is a 12 year old chihuahua and just had a pinched nerve in his neck.

  34. Wow, has this post ever given me something to think about! I have cats that I love dearly (and are incredibly spoiled). It’s so hard to see them in pain when they can’t tell you what is wrong. Poor Cooper, I am sitting here with pinched nerves and I just cringed watching the video. I would never have thought of using a chiropractor but it makes perfect sense. I have a feeling it will give him quicker relief than keeping him still, although it may take both plus his meds. He is so cute and I bet he keeps your household jumping.

    Love the pink drapes. If the sheers don’t work could you use a lining type fabric to make curtains to go behind the pink ones? They just won’t be attached to the pink drapes.

    Congrats on the weight loss! I didn’t think you had very much to loose but the change just in your face is remarkable. Your eyes are really a stand-out in your slim face. You know, it’s really hard to compliment someone on their weight loss and the subsequent changes without the chance of insulting them at the same time. lol

  35. Our “Miss DixieSue” was diagnosed with pancreatitis and Coopers video was exactly like her in pain. Eventhough, the pancreas is on the right side their pain can shoot across to the left side. It took DS 2.5 weeks to finally get over it.

  36. Have you considered doggie massage? And asking your Vet whether marijuana edibles might be of help? Never give a pet any medicine (especially of the human variety) to your pet without first checking with the veterinarian.