Pastes are semisolid preparations of stiff consistency and contain a high percentage (20%–50%) of finely dispersed solids. Pastes are intended for application to the skin, oral cavity, or mucous membranes. Pastes ordinarily do not flow at body temperature and thus can serve as occlusive, protective coatings. As a consequence, pastes are more often used for protective action than ointments. Fatty pastes that have a high proportion of hydrophilic solids appear less greasy and are more absorptive than ointments. They are used to absorb serous secretions and are often preferred for acute lesions that have a tendency toward crusting, vesiculation, or oozing. Dental pastes are applied to the teeth. Other orally administered pastes may be indicated for adhesion to the mucous membrane for a local effect. Although rare, pastes can be administered orally, for example to evaluate pharyngeal function. In veterinary medicine, pastes are typically administered orally and are intended for systemic delivery of drug substances. The paste is squeezed into the mouth of the animal, generally at the back of the tongue, or is spread inside the mouth.