Overview of Bisacodyl for Canines and Felines
Bisacodyl is commonly known as Dulcolax® and is used as a laxative to treat constipation for dogs and cats.
Bisacodyl belongs to the class of drugs known as stimulant laxatives.
The exact way bisacodyl works is still unknown.
Bisacodyl is available without a prescription but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian.
This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.
Brand Names and Other Names of Bisacodyl
This drug is registered for use in humans only.
Human formulations: Dulcolax® (Ciba), Bisco-Lax® (Schein), Fleet® Bisacodyl (Fleet), Carter’s Little Pills® (Carter) and various generic preparations
Veterinary formulations: None
Uses of Bisacodyl for Dogs and Cats
Bisacodyl is used to stimulate bowel movements in animals with constipation or when there is a need to empty the large intestine.
Precautions and Side Effects
While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, bisacodyl can cause side effects in some animals.
Bisacodyl should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
Special care must be taken to differentiate between Fleet Bisacodyl and Fleet Enema. Fleet Enema can be toxic, even fatal to cats. (Fleet Enema is sodium phosphate, not bisacodyl).
Bisacodyl should not be used in animals with gastrointestinal obstructions, rectal bleeding or a tear in the intestinal wall.
Bisacodyl may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with bisacodyl. Such drugs include certain antacids.
Diarrhea, cramping and nausea may be seen after the drug is given.
If the oral tablets are used, do not crush these or allow the pet to chew the tablet. If this occurs, abdominal cramping may occur.
How Bisacodyl Is Supplied
Bisacodyl is available in 5 mg tablets, 5 mg and 10 mg rectal suppositories and 10 mg/30 ml enema bottles.
Dosing Information of Bisacodyl for Dogs and Cats
Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
For dogs, the dose varies between 1 to 4 tablets once daily, 1 to 2 ml of the enema solution given as an enema or 1 to 3 pediatric suppositories placed in the rectum.
For cats, the dose is one 5 mg tablet once daily, 1 to 2 ml of the enema solution given as an enema or 1 to 3 pediatric suppositories placed in the rectum.
The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.
Laxatives & Cathartics
Gastroenterology & Digestive diseases