Polyethylene Glycol 3350 (MiraLAX®) for Dogs and Cats

Overview of Polyethylene Glycol 3350 (MiraLAX®) for Canines and Felines

  • Polyethylene glycol 3350, commonly known as MiraLAX® as well by many other trade names (see below), is used as a laxative to treat constipation for dogs and cats. It is also used to empty the intestines prior to diagnostic procedures. It is commonly used in humans before diagnostic procedures such as colonoscopy.
  • Polyethylene glycol 3350 belongs to the class of drugs known as osmotic laxatives. Polyethylene glycol works by creating and environment where water is retained in the stool. There are versions of Polyethylene glycol that contain electrolytes used primarily for preparation for colonoscopy in humans including the product “Golytely®”.
  • The recommendations in this article are for the Polyethylene Glycol 3350 Powder for solution is available in either pre-measured 17 gram packets or bulk powder such as MiraLax®, Dulcolax Balance®, and various generic names.
  • Polyethylene glycol 3350 is available without a prescription but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian. Some pets will appear to strain which can look like constipation but is actually a urinary obstruction or colitis.
  • 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 Polyethylene glycol 3350 (MiraLAX®)

  • Human formulations: There are several different trade name products for docusate. Common names include Clearlax, Colyte, Dulcolax, Easylax, EZ2GO, Gavilax, Gavilyte, Gialax, Glycolax, Golytely, Healthylax, Laxaclear, Miralax, Moviprep, Natura-Lax, Nulytely, Pegylax, Powderlax, Purelax, Smooth lax, and Trilyte.
  • Veterinary formulations: None

Uses of Polyethylene glycol 3350 for Dogs and Cats

  • Polyethylene glycol 3350 is used to stimulate bowel movements in animals with constipation or when there is a need to empty the large intestine such as before a diagnostic procedure to examine the intestine.

Precautions and Side Effects

  • Polyethylene glycol 3350 should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Polyethylene glycol 3350 can cause side effects in some animals. Some pets will experience lethargy, nausea, vomiting, and/or increased thirst. Longer-term use can cause electrolyte imbalances including high potassium and/or low sodium or cause dehydration.
  • Polyethylene glycol 3350 should not be used in animals with gastrointestinal obstructions, rectal bleeding or a tear in the intestinal wall (bowel perforation), or toxic colitis.  It is also not approved for breeding, nursing or lactating dogs or cats but is considered safe by many veterinarians.
  • Polyethylene glycol 3350 may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with Polyethylene glycol 3350. Such drugs include certain other laxatives and stool softeners.

How Polyethylene Glycol 3350 is Supplied

  • Polyethylene Glycol 3350 Powder for the solution is available in either pre-measured 17-gram packets or bulk powder such as MiraLax®, Dulcolax Balance®, and various generic products.
  • Polyethylene glycol 3350 is available in various solutions that have added electrolytes primarily used in humans as preparation for colonoscopy diagnostic procedures. Products include CL® Solution; CoLyte®; GoLYTELY®; NuLytely®, TriLyte®, MoviPrep®.

Dosing Information of Polyethylene Glycol 3350 for Dogs and Cats

  •   Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • In dogs, the dose of Polyethylene Glycol 3350 Powder for solution varies with the size of the dog:
    • Small dogs – 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon every 12 hours (twice daily)
    • Medium sized dogs – ¼ to ½ teaspoon every 12 hours (twice daily)
    • Large dogs – ½ to ¾ teaspoon every 12 hours (twice daily)
  • In cats, the dose of Polyethylene Glycol 3350 Powder for the solution most commonly used is as a laxative is 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon every 12 hours on food.
  • 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.

References for Canine and Feline Use of Polyethylene glycol 3350:

  • American Society of Hospital Pharmacists. Polyethylene glycol. In: AHFS drug information 2010. Bethesda, MD, USA: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; 2010.
  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline
  • Carr A, Gaunt M. Constipation resolution with the administration of polyethylene-glycol solution in cats. In: 2010 ACVIM Forum Proceedings. Anaheim, CA, USA.
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura and Twedt.
  • Leib MS. Colonoscopy. In: 80th Annual Western Veterinary Conference Notes (WVC 2008). Las Vegas, NV, USA; 2008.
  •  Ogbru O. Polyethylene glycol 3350 .San Clemente, CA, USA: Medicinenet.com; 2015.
  •  Paddock Laboratories, LLC. Polyethylene glycol 3350. Minneapolis, MN, USA; 2016.
  •  Pet Poison Helpline.
  •  Plumb’s Veterinary Handbook by Donald C. Plumb, 9th Edition.
  •  Tam FM, Carr AP, Myers SL. Safety and palatability of polyethylene glycol 3350 as an oral laxative in cats. J Feline Med Surg 2011.
  • Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Ettinger & Felman
  • Webster R, Didier E, Harris P, et al. PEGylated proteins: evaluation of their safety in the absence of definitive metabolism studies. Drug Metab Dispos 2007.
  • Carr, A. & M. Gaunt (2010). Constipation Resolution with Administration of Polyethylene-Glycol Solution in Cats (Abstract). Proceedings: ACVIM.

Esomeprazole (NexIUM®) for Dogs and Cats

Overview of Esomeprazole (NexIUM®) for Canines and Felines

  • Esomeprazole, commonly known by the brand name Nexium®, is used in the treatment and prevention of stomach (gastric) and intestinal ulcers in dogs and cats. This is a commonly used human medication but there are few studies about its use in veterinary medicine.
  • Other drugs in this class are more commonly used such as Omeprazole (Prilosec®). To avoid mistakes or confusion, please note the similarity between the names of these two different drugs – Omeprazole and ESometrazole.
  • Esomeprazole is one of the newest drugs used in the treatment of ulcers and heartburn (acid reflux from the stomach) belonging to a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. Esomeprazole is such a drug and has been used for the treatment and prevention of stomach ulcers.
  • Esomeprazole inhibits the movement of hydrogen ions which are constituents of hydrochloric stomach acid. Through this effect, esomeprazole blocks acid secretion in the stomach that creates a more favorable stomach pH to allow ulcers to heal.
  • The duration of effect for esomeprazole is 24 hours.
  •       Esomeprazole is available without a prescription in low does oral forms. It is recommended that you not administer any medication 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 Esomeprazole

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations:
    • Esomeprazole Magnesium Oral Delayed-Release Capsules
    • Magnesium Powder for Oral Delayed-Release Suspension NexIUM®
    • Esomeprazole Sodium for Injection
  • Veterinary formulations: None

Uses of Esomeprazole for Dogs and Cats

  • Esomeprazole can be used in the treatment and prevention of stomach (gastric) and intestinal ulcers.
  • Esomeprazole promotes ulcer healing in animals with ulcers or erosions (shallow depressions in the stomach lining).
  • Esomeprazole may be useful in the treatment of ulcers caused by ulcerogenic drugs such steroids (such as prednisone or dexamethasone) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (commonly abbreviated as NSAID which includes aspirin, carprofen (Rimadyl), meloxicam, deracoxib (Deramaxx) and many more.
  • Another use of Esomeprazole is for the management of acid reflux disease. Esomeprazole reduces injury to the esophagus (food tube) caused by the movement of stomach acid from the stomach into the esophagus.

Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Esomeprazole can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Esomeprazole should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Esomeprazole should be used with caution in animals with liver disease. Lower doses may be used in pets with severe liver disease.
  • Esomeprazole may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with esomeprazole. Such drugs include diazepam, cyclosporine, digoxin, rifampin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, clarithromycin, sucralfate, warfarin, diuretics, oral iron, mycophenolate, methotrexate, and ampicillin.
  • Esomeprazole has not been approved for use in breeding, nursing, or lactating dogs.
  • Adverse reactions to esomeprazole are uncommon as long as recommended doses are administered. Occasionally, some animals develop nausea, vomiting, flatulence, anorexia, diarrhea, urinary tract infections and/or central nervous system disturbances.
  • Here is some information about if your dog accidentally eats Nexium and you are worried about potential overdose.

How Esomeprazole Is Supplied

  • Esomeprazole Magnesium is supplied as Oral Delayed-Release Capsules in sizes of 20 mg and 40 mg.
  • Esomeprazole Magnesium Powder for Oral Delayed-Release Suspension in 2.5, 5, 10, 20, and 40 mg packets.
  • Esomeprazole Sodium is available for Injection: 20 & 40 mg.

Dosing Information of Esomeprazole for Dogs and Cats

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • Oral doses should be given on an empty stomach or at least one hour before eating.
  • The dose of oral Esomeprazole administered to dogs and cats is 0.25 to 0.75 mg per pound (0.5 to 1.5 mg/kg) every 24 hours or once daily.
  • 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 or prevent the development of resistance.

References and Resources

  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura and Twedt
  • Pet Poison Helpline
  • Plumb’s Veterinary Handbook by Donald C. Plumb, 8th Edition
  • Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Ettinger & Felman
  • Videla, R., et al.. Effects of Intravenously Administered Esomeprazole Sodium on Gastric Juice pH in Adult Female Horses. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 2011.
  • Zacuto, A. C., et al.  The Influence of Esomeprazole and Cisapride on Gastroesophageal Reflux During Anesthesia in Dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 2012.

Grapiprant (Galliprant®) for Dogs

Grapiprant, most commonly known by the brand name Galliprant®, is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug commonly used in dogs. It belongs to the class of drugs known as a first-in-class piprant; a non-COX-inhibiting prostaglandin receptor antagonist (PRA).

  • Galliprant works by blocking the specific receptor, the EP4 receptor, the main mediator of osteoarthritis pain and inflammation in dogs.
  • Galliprant is commonly compared to or used as an alternative to the class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Drugs in this class include Celebrex®, ibuprofen, carprofen (Rimadyl®), Deracoxib (Deramaxx®), aspirin and naproxen. Drugs in this class are associated with side effects relative to kidney and liver function and therefore Galliprant is commonly used as a safer alternative in some dogs with underlying liver or kidney disease that require pain management.
  • Galliprant® is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.

Brand Names and Other Names of Deracoxib

  •   This drug is registered for use in animals only.
  •   Human formulations: None
  •   Veterinary formulations: Galliprant® (Elanco)

 

Uses of Deracoxib for Dogs

  • Galliprant® is indicated for the control of pain and inflammation associated with orthopedic pain from osteoarthritis in dogs.
  • Galliprant® can also be used for chronic pain management.

Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Galliprant® can cause side effects in some animals. The most common side effects are decreased appetite, vomiting, soft mucoid stools, and/or diarrhea. Please contact your veterinarian if you see these signs in your dog while giving Galliprant®.
  • Galliprant® should not be used in dogs with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug or other drugs in this class.  Signs of an allergic reaction to Galliprant® may include hives, itchy skin and/or facial swelling.
  • Galliprant® is not approved for use in dogs over under month of age under 8 pounds in weight, or dogs used for breeding, pregnant or nursing.
  • Since Galliprant® has not been tested in cats, it should not be used in this species.
  • Galliprant® may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with Galliprant®.  Do not give Galliprant® with drugs such as aspirin, corticosteroids such as prednisone, and other NSAID drugs such as meloxicam or carprofen.

How Galliprant® is Supplied

  •   Galliprant® is available as 20 mg, 60 mg, and 100 mg tablets.
  •   Bottle sizes include 7, 30 and 90 count.

Dosing Information of Galliprant® for Dogs

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The typical dose administered to dogs for control of pain associated with arthritis is 0.5 to 1 mg per pound (1 to 2 mg/kg) every 24 hours orally as needed.
  • Galliprant® may be administered with or without food.
  • Half tablet increments may be prescribed.
  • It is recommended to use the lowest dose to provide pain control.
  • 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.

We hope this gives you more information about the drug Galliprant®. For additional information or to report an adverse drug reaction, please contact the FDA at 1-888-FDA-VETS.

Resources & References:

  •      ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline.
  •      Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura and Twedt.
  •      Pet Poison Helpline.
  •      Plumb’s Veterinary Handbook by Donald C. Plumb, 9th Edition.
  •      Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Ettinger & Felman.

15 MORE Human Over-the-Counter Drugs Safe for Dogs

Some human drugs are dangerous and can even be fatal when given to dogs. When a dog develops a health problem at home such as vomiting, diarrhea, or coughing, many pet owners want to know what they can safely give their dogs at home before taking their dog to the veterinarian.

Not only is important to know which medications are safe but also which medications are available to you without a prescription. Drugs you may obtain without a prescription are referred to as “OTC” drugs which means over-the-counter. OTC drugs are available at most pharmacies such as Wal-Mart®, Walgreens®, CVS®, Target®, and/or online pharmacies and drug stores.

Below are 15 more over-the-counter medications (OTC) that are commonly used in humans and can be used safely in most dogs.  For the first 15 over-the-counter medications (OTC) that are commonly used in humans and can be used safely in most dogs, please visit this article: 15 Human Over-the-Counter Drugs Safe for Dogs.

Allergy Medications (con’t)

16. Cetirizine (Zyrtec®)

Cetirizine, commonly known by the brand name Zyrtec®, belongs to a class or drugs known as antihistamines, similar to Benadryl. It is commonly used in dogs with allergic symptoms such as inflamed and/or itchy skin.  In cats, Cetirizine is more commonly used to treat inflammation of the nose and sinus. Many pet owners prefer Cetirizine over Benadryl because of its longer lasting effects.

A common dose used for dogs is 0.25 to 0.5 mg per pound of body weight. Therefore a ten-pound dog would get 2.5 to 5 mg total dose and a 50-pound dog would get 12.5 mg to 25 mg total dose. Common OTC pill sizes are 10 mg.

For more information on how to safely give Cetirizine in dogs.

17.  Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-tabs® or Chlor-Trimeton®)

Chlorpheniramine maleate is a type of anti-histamine drug commonly used in dogs with allergies to control itching.  Human formulations include Chlor-tabs®, Aller-Chlor®, Chlo-Amine®, Chlor-Trimeton®, and various generic preparations. A common side effect is sedation and therefore is occasionally used as a mild sedative.

Chlorpheniramine is contraindicated in dogs with glaucoma, lung disease, heart disease, high blood pressure and prostate gland enlargement.

Chlorpheniramine is available in 2 mg, 4 mg, 8 mg, 12 mg and 16 mg tablets and as a 2-mg/5 ml oral syrup.  Most dogs take 4 to 12 mg (total dose) orally. Learn more about how to safely dose Chlorpheniramine in dogs.

18.  Fexofenadine (Allegra®)

Fexofenadine, commonly known as Allegra or Telfast, is an antihistamine drug that can be used to control itching and other signs related to allergic conditions. It is important only to use products that indicate the active ingredient is Fexofenadine. Formulas containing Fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine, such as Allegra-D can be toxic to dogs so please be VERY careful. Make sure if you give Fexofenadine to your dog, that Fexofenadine is the ONLY ingredient. Learn more about how to safely give Fexofenadine to your dog.

19.  Loratadine (Claritin®)

Loratadine, commonly known as Claritin or Alavert, is a type of antihistamine drug commonly used in dogs to control itchy skin. Loratadine is typically considered less sedating than other antihistamines. Learn more about how to safely dose Loratadine.

Pain Medication

20. Traumeel (T-Relief®)

T-Relief is an over-the-counter homeopathic medication commonly used to pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and musculoskeletal injuries, such as with arthritis, sprains and traumatic injuries.

T-Relief contains a combination of plant and mineral extracts. It has gained popularity in veterinary medicine as an alternative to the class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (commonly abbreviated as NSAIDs) because of its good results with minimal to no side effects.

T-Relief is available in the forms of tablets, drops, injection solution, ointment, and gel.  Learn more about how to safely dose Learn more about how to correctly dose Traumeel (T-Relief) in your dog.

T-relief is commonly used with other pain relieving drugs. When combined with other drugs, it can sometimes allow you to use lower doses of medications associated with more side effects.

21. Zeel

Zeel® is a homeopathic medication used to treat pain and inflammation often associated with musculoskeletal injuries, such as sprains and traumatic injuries, and as supportive therapy in pain and inflammation of the musculoskeletal system such as with arthritis in dogs and cats. Like T-Relief, Zeel® has gained popularity in the United States an alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NASID) to treat pain and swelling.

Zeel® is available in the forms of tablets, ointment, and drinkable ampules. Zeel® can be used in conjunction with other pain medications and is sometimes used in conjunction with another homeopathic medication called Traumeel (T-Relief). It can be used safely with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), steroids, and other pain relief drugs.

Calcium Carbonate for Dogs and Cats

Overview of Calcium Carbonate for Canines and Felines

  • Calcium carbonate, also known as Tums®, is an oral calcium salt that is used to treat pets with low calcium levels (hypocalcemia), as an antacid and/or as a phosphate binder in dogs and cats.
  • Calcium carbonate can also be used as an oral antacid and for conditions such as esophagitis and/or gastroduodenal ulcerations. However, calcium carbonate is uncommonly prescribed as an antacid as there are stronger and more effective antacids.
  • Calcium carbonate is used most often for chronic conditions. Injectable calcium gluconate is often used for an acute hypocalcaemic crisis.
  • It is recommended that you work with your veterinarian to monitor calcium and phosphorus levels when giving calcium carbonate.
  • Calcium Carbonate is available over the counter but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian.

Brand Names and Other Names of Calcium Carbonate

  • Human formulations: Various generic preparations
  • Veterinary formulations: None

Uses of Calcium Carbonate for Dogs and Cats

  • Calcium carbonate can also be used as an oral antacid and for conditions such as esophagitis and/or gastroduodenal ulcerations. However, calcium carbonate is uncommonly prescribed as an antacid as there are stronger and more effective antacids.
  • It is commonly used as a calcium supplement in dogs with chronic hypocalcemia and to treat hyperphosphatemia associated with chronic renal (kidney) failure.

Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, calcium Carbonate can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Calcium Carbonate should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity to it nor in pets with high calcium levels.
  • Safety in pregnant or lactating dogs and cats has not been studied. However, calcium carbonate is considered safe during lactation by most veterinarians.
  • Calcification of the soft tissues is possible side effects associated with long-term dosing.

  Drug Interactions

  • Calcium Carbonate may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with Calcium Carbonate. Interactions may include:
  • Simultaneous treatment with other calcium products (such as calcium gluconate, Calcitriol) could lead to high calcium levels (hypercalcemia).
  • Calcium carbonate be used with caution in pets with cardiac arrhythmias and are on heart medications such as digoxin. Certain antibiotics are not recommended while administering calcium products including tetracycline and doxycycline and fluoroquinolones such as enrofloxacin (Baytril®) or Ciprofloxacin (Cipro®).
  • Other drug interactions may include thyroid supplements, stomach medications including misoprostol, famotidine (Pepcid), ranitidine (Zantac) and cimetidine (Tagamet).

How Calcium Carbonate is Supplied

  • There are many oral calcium carbonate products available in chewable and regular tablets in common sizes are 500 mg, 750 mg, and 1000mg.
  • There is also oral suspensions 1250 mg/5mL.

Dosing Information of Calcium Carbonate for Dogs and Cats

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • Doses of calcium carbonate vary widely depending on the reason for prescribing and response top initial doses.
  • 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.
  • It is recommended to give calcium carbonate with food
  • The dose most commonly used in dogs as an antacid is 0.5 grams and up to 5 grams total dose orally every 4 hours as needed. Small dogs can receive 500 mg, medium sized dogs 750 to 1000 mg and larger dogs 2000 mg.
  • As a calcium supplement, common dosage ranges include:
    • Cats: 1250 mg to 2 grams per day
    • Small breed dogs: 1250 mg per day
    • Medium dogs: 2 grams to 4 grams per day
    • Large breed dogs: 4 grams to 6 grams per day
    • Giant breed dogs: 6 to 10 grams orally per day
  • For treatment of hyperphosphatemia associated with chronic kidney failure, the dose commonly recommended is 41 to 68 mg/pound/day (90 – 150 mg/kg/day) total dose divided. It is recommended to give with food. The dose is commonly adjusted based on blood levels.

Resources & References:

  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura and Twedt
  • Pet Poison Helpline
  • Plumb’s Veterinary Handbook by Donald C. Plumb, 8th Edition
  • Polzin, D. J. (2013). Evidence-based step-wise approach to managing chronic kidney disease in dogs and cats. Vet. Emerg. Crit. Care 23(2): 205-15
  • Polzin, D.,et al. (2005). Chronic Kidney Disease. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine: Diseases of the Dog and Cat 6th Ed. S. Ettinger and E. Feldman, Elsevier: 1756-85.
  • Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Ettinger & Felman

15 Human Over-the-Counter Drugs Safe for Dogs

Some human drugs are dangerous and can even be fatal when given to dogs. When a dog develops a health problem at home such as vomiting, diarrhea, or coughing, many pet owners want to know what they can safely give their dogs at home before taking their dog to the veterinarian.

Not only is important to know which medications are safe but also which medications are available to you without a prescription. Drugs you may obtain without a prescription are referred to as “OTC” drugs which means over-the-counter. OTC drugs are available at most pharmacies such as Wal-Mart®, Walgreens®, CVS®, Target®, and/or online pharmacies and drug stores.

Below we will give you information about 30 over-the-counter medications (OTC) that are commonly used humans and can be used safely in most dogs.

We will include information about stomach medications which can be used in dogs with sensitive stomach or vomiting, drugs to treat diarrhea, pain medications, drugs for coughing, drugs that can be used to treat dogs that have allergies and are showing symptoms such as itching, medications to use on dogs that get car sick, and a safe eye product.

It is recommended that you work with your family veterinarian before giving any medication to your dog.

Human OTC Stomach Medications Used in Dogs

  1.     Famotidine (Pepcid®)

Famotidine, commonly known by the brand name Pepcid® among others, is a histamine H2 receptor antagonist that decreases the production of acid in the stomach. It is frequently used to treat stomach problems such ulcerations and for pets with nausea or are prone to vomiting.

Famotidine is the most commonly used in this class due to its improved mechanism of action and length of action.  Famotidine has largely replaced previous generation drugs, such as Cimetidine and Ranitidine. We will discuss these medications more below.

Famotidine is available in both injectable and oral tablet sizes. Common oral sizes include 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg. A common OTC size is 10 mg. A common dosage is 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg/pound once to twice a day.

For example, a 10-pound dog would get 2.5 mg to 5 mg total dose or ¼ to ½ of a 10 mg tablet.  A 20-pound dog would get 5 mg to 10 mg per dose which would be ½ to 1 10 mg tablet.

Here is more information on how to safely dose and use Famotidine in dogs.

  1.     Ranitidine (Zantac®)

Ranitidine, commonly known by the brand name Zantac among others, is a histamine H2 receptor antagonist that decreases the production of acid in the stomach. Like Famotidine listed above is commonly used to treat stomach problems such ulcerations.

Ranitidine is available in both injectable and oral tablet sizes. Common oral sizes include 75 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg. Here is an article on how to correctly dose and use Ranitidine in dogs.

  1.     Cimetidine (Tagamet®)

Cimetidine, commonly known by the brand name Tagamet® among others, is the oldest common histamine H2 receptor antagonist drug that decreases the production of acid in the stomach. Cimetidine is less commonly used due to the development of new and better drugs in the class of histamine H2 receptor antagonist.

However, in a pinch, some pet owners have this medication in their homes and can use Cimetidine. Famotidine (also known as Pepcid and discussed above) and Ranitidine are known as Zantac and discussed above) both have fewer drug interactions with longer activity.

The risks associated with Cimetidine mostly evolves around its interaction with other drugs. If your dog or cat is on other medications, it is better to choose a newer generation histamine H2 receptor antagonist such as famotidine (Pepcid) discussed above that does not have those same possible adverse effects from drug interactions.

Learn more about how to safely dose Cimetidine in dogs and drug interactions that you should know about.

  1.     Calcium Carbonate (Tums®)

Calcium carbonate, commonly known as Tums®, is an antacid and oral phosphate binder. It is commonly used as a calcium supplement in dogs with chronic hypocalcemia and to treat hyperphosphatemia associated with chronic renal (kidney) failure. Calcium carbonate can also be used as an oral antacid and for conditions such as esophagitis and/or gastroduodenal ulcerations. However, calcium carbonate is uncommonly prescribed as an antacid as there are stronger and more effective antacids.

There are many oral calcium carbonate products available in chewable and regular tablets in common sizes are 500 mg, 750 mg, and 1000mg. There is also oral suspensions 1250 mg/5mL.

The dose most commonly used in dogs as an antacid is 0.5 grams and up to 5 grams total dose orally every 4 hours as needed.  Small dogs can receive 500 mg, medium sized dogs 750 to 1000 mg and larger dogs 2000 mg.

Can You Give Your Pet This? Here Are Human Meds That Are Vet Approved

There are thousands of drugs on the market for humans and animals. Drug categories include antibiotics, chemotherapy, anti-inflammatory, acid-reducing stomach medications, allergy medications, pain medications, anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, anti-vomiting, and many more.

Many medications used to treat dogs and cats are human medications. However, it is important to know that some human drugs can be given to pets safely and other drugs are very unsafe. In fact, some commonly used human drugs are extremely toxic. One example of an unsafe medication is acetaminophen, also known by the trade name Tylenol®.  Acetaminophen is a human medication used to reduce pain, fever, and symptoms associated with the cold or flu. Small amounts of acetaminophen are toxic to cats and can cause severe illness and possibly death.

On the other hand, there are human drugs that are safe to use in pets. In fact, many human drugs are exactly the same as the pet drug. Numerous pet prescriptions are filled at human pharmacies including heart medications, anti-depressants, and antibiotics just to name a few.  There are also many over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can be safely used in dogs and cats that don’t require a prescription including famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet), Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and Cetirizine (Zantac).

Below we will give you information about four human medications that are vet approved and tell you how they can be used safely in dogs and cats.

All About Famotidine for Dogs and Cats

Famotidine, commonly known by the brand name Pepcid®, is a histamine H2 receptor antagonist that decreases the production of acid in the stomach. It has been used in human medication since the late 1970’s.  The most common use is to treat heartburn and ulcerations in both humans and dogs.

Famotidine is commonly used in human medications and veterinary medicine due to its improved mechanism of action and length of action as compared to other drugs in its class.  Famotidine has largely replaced previous histamine H2 receptor antagonist generation drugs, such as Cimetidine. We will discuss more on Cimetidine below.

Famotidine is available in both injectable and oral tablets in multiple sizes. Common oral sizes include 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg. The larger milligram sizes are prescription but the 10 mg size is a common over-the-counter size that can be found in most pharmacies.

There are minimal risks associated with Famotidine although there are drug interactions with digoxin and ketoconazole.

Learn more about how to dose and use Famotidine safely in dogs and in cats.

The typical dose of Famotidine given to dogs is 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg per pound orally every twelve to twenty-four hours.  Common doses of Famotidine in dogs and cats include:

  •   A 20-pound dog would need 5 to 10 mg per dose every 12 to 24 hours.
  •   A 50-pound dog would require a dose of 12.5 mg to 25 mg total dose every 12 to 24 hours.
  •   A 10-pound cat would require 2.5 to 5 mg as a total dose every 12 to 24 hours.

Since the most common OTC size of famotidine is 10 mg. As you can see above the dose can vary from ¼ pill in small dogs and cats to 2 ½ pills in large dogs.

All About Cimetidine for Dogs and Cats

Cimetidine, commonly known by the brand name Tagamet® among others, is a histamine H2 receptor antagonist that decreases the production of acid in the stomach. It has been used in human medication since the late 1970’s.

Cimetidine is less commonly used today in human medications and veterinary medicine due to the development of new and better drugs in the class of histamine H2 receptor antagonist. Cimetidine has effects on the cytochrome P450 enzyme system which can lead to various drug interactions. Such drug interactions include certain antacids, metoclopramide, sucralfate, diazepam, and digoxin.

The newer drugs have fewer drug interactions with longer activity. Newer generation drugs in this class include Famotidine (also known as Pepcid® and discussed above) and Ranitidine (also known as Zantac®).

However, Cimetidine is still used and available and can be used in a pinch if you have a dog with nausea and/or vomiting.  Cimetidine is available in both injectable and oral tablet sizes including 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, and 300 mg.

The risks associated with Cimetidine mostly evolves around its interaction with other drugs. If your dog or cat is on other medications, it is better to choose and give a newer generation histamine H2 receptor antagonist such as famotidine (Pepcid®) discussed above that does not have those same possible adverse effects from drug interactions.

Dexmedetomidine Oromucosal Gel (Sileo®) for Dogs

Use of Sileo® in Dogs

  • Dexmedetomidine Oromucosal Gel, commonly known by the brand name Sileo®, is used in a dog with behavioral problems and anxiety related issues and specifically to noise aversion. The name is pronounced /si-lehh-o/. It’s a Latin word that means to “be silent.”
  • Common noise aversion triggers include fireworks, thunder, construction work, traffic or street noise, celebrations, vacuum cleaners, and smoke detectors.
  • Sileo® is the only FDA-approved treatment for canine noise aversion.
  • Behavioral disorders in dogs are common causes for veterinary visits and behavioral problems are also a frequent reason for euthanasia of pets, especially when unacceptable or dangerous animal behavior is involved.
  • Sileo® is a potent and selective alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonist. It binds with the alpha-2 receptors in the locus coeruleus, preventing a release of norepinephrine and reducing levels of norepinephrine. Reduced levels of norepinephrine reduce the levels of anxiety and fear.
  • The goal of Sileo® is to calm but not sedate the dog.
  • Sileo® is absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth.
  • Sileo® is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Brand Names and Other Names of Dexmedetomidine Oromucosal Gel

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: Sileo® (Zoetis Animal Health)

Uses of Sileo® in Dogs

  • Sileo® is used for calming in dogs specific to behavior modification of dogs. Sileo® may be used for various anxiety problems and is specifically targeted for noise phobias (such as fear of fireworks). Read more about Thunder and Fear Induced Dog Anxiety.

Precautions and Side Effects of Sileo®

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Sileo® can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Sileo® should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to dexmedetomidine or to any of the excipients.
  • Sileo® should be used with caution in dogs with a history of severe cardiovascular disease, liver or kidney diseases, respiratory, or in conditions of shock, or severe debilitation.
  • Sileo® has not been approved for use in dogs under the age of 16 weeks or breeding, nursing, or lactating dogs.
  • Sileo® may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with Sileo®.
  • Side effects associated with Sileo® include lethargy, sedation, and vomiting.
  • Handlers should use gloves when handing Sileo® to avoid direct exposure of SILEO to their skin, eyes or mouth.
  • Overdoses of Sileo® can occur from failure to lock the ring-stop on the syringe before dosing. Overdoses should be promptly treated by your veterinarian.

How Sileo Is Supplied

Sileo is available in a preloaded in a multidose oral syringe.

Dosing Information for Sileo® in dogs

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • SILEO is formulated as a gel that is absorbed into your dog’s body when you apply it to the mucous membranes between your dog’s cheek and gums. Sileo should not be swallowed. With each dose, SILEO is absorbed into the tissues of the mouth through mucous membranes. It should not be swallowed. If your dog swallows SILEO, allow at least 2 hours before applying the next dose.

Below – we cover how to dose followed by when to dose your dog with Sileo®.

  •  A dosing chart on the box is by body weight and associated number of dots on the prefilled syringe.  Carefully follow your veterinarian’s instructions on the dosing and the information on the box.
  •  See this link to view videos on how to administer Sileo. It is important to dose this drug correctly to avoid the risk of overdose.
  • Additional dosing recommendations include:
  • A dose greater than 6 dots should be divided between both sides of the mouth to maximize absorption through the mucous membranes.
  • Avoiding food and treats 15 minutes after dosing minimizes the risk of your dog swallowing any part of the dose.
  • Ideally, this syringe should be used within two weeks.
  • Warnings:
    • Use gloves when administering.
    • Do not handle Sileo® if you are pregnant.
    • Sileo is sensitive to light so please store inside the box.
    • Call your veterinarian immediately if you accidentally overdose your dog.

The first dose can be given:

  •  Approximately 30–60 minutes before the noise event.
  •  As soon as your dog shows signs of anxiety or fear related to noise.
  •  Whenever you hear a noise that causes your dog to be fearful or anxious.
  •  If your dog swallows SILEO, allow at least 2 hours before applying the next dose.

Additional doses can be given:

  • It takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour for SILEO to take full effect, and it typically lasts 2 to 3 hours. If the noise continues and the behavioral changes recur, further doses can be given at intervals of 2 hours, up to a total of five times during each noise event, as needed.
  • Do not give another dose of SILEO if your dog appears sedated from the previous dose.
  • Do not give more than 5 doses per event.

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.

Probiotic Culturelle for Dogs and Cats

Overview of Culturelle

  • Culturelle is a probiotic medication recommended for dogs and cats with diarrhea, constipation, or excessive “gas”.
  • Probiotics are substances that stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestinal flora. They generally consist of live bacteria and yeasts which can help restore the good bacteria and reestablish the right balance of intestinal flora. There are many types of probiotics and one that is commonly used in dogs and cats is called “Culturelle”. Learn more about probiotics and prebiotics.
  • Culturelle® products contain Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Gg (LGG®) probiotic, which is a single-strain super probiotic that has proven effectiveness for immune health and digestion support.
  • Quality control studies by some veterinarians support that Culturelle is superior in quality standards and efficacy over other similar probiotics on the market for dogs and cats. The Culture Probiotics Digestive Health products each contain 10 billion active cultures.
  • Culturelle is available over the counter but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian.

Brand Names and Other Names for Culturelle

  • Human adult formulations: Culturelle Probiotics Digestive Health capsule, Culturelle Probiotics Digestive Health orange chewable, Culturelle Probiotics Digestive Health extra strength capsule, Culturelle Probiotics Pro-Well capsule, Culturelle Probiotics Pro-Well 3 in 1 complete, Culturelle Probiotics Pro-Well Immune + Energy, Culturelle Probiotics Pro-Well Health & Wellness.
  • Human kid formulations: Culturelle Probiotics Kids Packets, Culturelle Probiotics Kids Chewables, Culturelle Probiotics Kids with Fiber Packets.
  • Human baby formulations:  Culturelle Baby Calm + Comfort drops, Culturelle Baby Grow + Thrive drops, Culturelle Baby Grow + Thrive packets.
  • Veterinary formulations: None

Uses of Culturelle for Dogs and Cats

Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Culturelle can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Culturelle should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug or pets.
  • If your dog is showing signs of restlessness, large abdomen, nonproductive vomiting, please see your vet as soon as possible. These symptoms could be caused by a potentially life-threatening condition called Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat).
  • The safety of Culturelle use in pets pregnant or lactating has not been established however it is considered safe for use by many veterinarians.
  • Culturelle is commonly used with other medications including antibiotics and those for nausea and/or diarrhea.
  • Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with Culturelle. Please discuss use if your pet is on a restricted or limited ingredient diet.

How Culturelle is Supplied

  • Culturelle is a human over-the-counter product available in capsules, sachet’s (little packets like sweeter), liquid, and as a powdered drink supplement.

Dosing Information of Culturelle for Dogs and Cats

  • Medication, even over the counter medication such as Culturelle, should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The capsule or sachet products are most commonly recommended for use in dogs and cats. The chewable products and kids/baby products may contain xylitol which can be toxic to dogs. However, based on information from the manufacturer, the chewable tablets contain less than 0.1 mg amount of xylitol per tablet.
  • In dogs, the dose of Culturelle recommended for diarrhea ranges from ½ capsule total dose for small dogs and 1 capsule total dose for large dog every 12 to 24 hours.
  • The dose of the sachet packet is 1/10 of a packet per 10 pounds of body weight every 12 to 24 hours sprinkled on the food.
    • A 25-pound dog would get ¼ of a packet every 12 to 24 hours
    • A 50-pound dog would get ½ packet every 12 to 24 hours
    • A 100-pound dog would get 1 packet every 12 to 24 hours
  • In cats, 1/10 of a packet per 10 pounds of body weight or ½ capsule every 12 to 24 hours. You can sprinkle this on the food.
  • 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 or prevent the development of resistance.
  • Can be stored at room temperature. Keep away from light and moisture.

Resources & References:

  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura, and Twedt
  • Diagnosis and Management of Protein-Losing Enteropathies in Dogs and Cats Part I. Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference 2014. Jennifer E. Stokes, DVM, DACVIM (SA Internal Medicine). Clinical Associate Professor, Veterinary Medical Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA.
  • Nutraceuticals in Dermatology. North American Veterinary Dermatology Forum 2006. Susan G. Wynn, DVM. Bell’s Ferry Veterinary Hospital, Acworth GA.
  • Pet Poison Helpline
  • Plumb’s Veterinary Handbook by Donald C. Plumb, 8th Edition
  • Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Ettinger & Felman
  • When More Is Needed: Nutraceuticals. Pacific Veterinary Conference 2015. Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN. Cornell University Veterinary Specialists, Stamford, CT, USA.
  • www.culturelle.com

Simethicone (Gas-X) for Dogs and Cats

Overview of Simethicone

  • Simethicone, commonly known as Gas-X® and several other names (see below under “Brand names and Other Names”), is an anti-foaming and anti-flatulent agent used to treat discomfort, pain, bloating, burping, and flatulence caused by excessive intestinal gas in dogs and cats.
  • Simeticone works by decreasing the surface tension of gas bubbles which allows the small bubbles to form into larger bubbles.  The larger bubbles are more easily eliminated by burping or passing intestinal gas (flatus). It causes the collapse of foam bottles. Simeticone does not appear to decrease the production or formation of gas but works by improving gas elimination from the gastrointestinal tract.
  • The chemical name for simeticone is α-(trimethylsilyl)-ω-methylpoly[oxy(dimethylsilylene)], mixture with silicon dioxide.
  • Simethicone is available over the counter but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian.

Brand Names and Other Names for Simethicone

Simeticone is marketed under several different brand names and in combination with many drugs in both human and veterinary medicine.

  • Human formulations: Alka-Seltzer Anti-Gas; Anti-Gas Ultra Strength; Baby Gasz; Equilizer Gas Relief; Gas Aid Maximum Strength; Gas-X; Genasyme; Maalox Anti-Gas; Mylanta Gas; Mylicon; Mytab Gas; and Phazyme.
  • Simeticone COMBINATION products may include:
    • Alamag Plus® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Aldroxicon® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Almacone® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Balanta® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Dixlanta® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Flatulex® Tablets (containing Activated Charcoal, Simethicone)
    • Gas-X® with Maalox® (containing Calcium Carbonate, Simethicone)
    • Gelusil® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Gen-Lanta (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Imodium® Advanced (containing Loperamide, Simethicone)
    • Losospan® Plus (containing Magaldrate, Simethicone)
    • Low Sodium Plus® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Lowsium Plus® (containing Magaldrate, Simethicone)
    • Maalox® Plus (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Magaant® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Magagel® Plus (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Magaldrate Plus (containing Magaldrate, Simethicone)
    • Magalox® Plus (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Maldroxal® Plus (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Masanti® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Mygel® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Mylagel® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Mylagen® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Mylanta® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Ri-Gel II® (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Ri-Mox® Plus (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Riopan® (containing Magaldrate, Simethicone)
    • Rolaids® Multi-Symptom (containing Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Rolaids® Plus Gas Relief (containing Calcium Carbonate, Simethicone)
    • Rulox® Plus (containing Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
    • Titralac® Plus (containing Calcium Carbonate, Simethicone)
  • Veterinary formulations: Various

Uses of Simethicone for Dogs and Cats

  • Simethicone is used to treat discomfort, pain, bloating, burping, and flatulence caused by excessive intestinal gas. When used to treat flatulence in dogs, it is most effective when combined with dietary modifications. Get more tips on how to treat flatulence in dogs. It is sometimes used to break up gas production in dogs at risk of or in conjunction for treatment of “Bloat”, also known as Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus.

Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Simethicone can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Simethicone should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergyto the drug.
  • If your dog is showing signs of restlessness, large abdomen, nonproductive vomiting, please see your vet as soon as possible. These symptoms could be caused by a potentially life-threatening condition called Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat).
  • The most common side effects of Simethicone in dogs and cats are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and lethargy.
  • The safety of Simethicone use in pets pregnant or lactating has not been established however it is considered safe for use by many veterinarians.
  • Simethicone is commonly used with other medications including antibiotics and those for nausea.
  • Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with

How Simethicone is Supplied

  • Simethicone is available in multiple forms and strengths that include but are not limited to tablets, chewable tablets, liquid, capsules, syrup, suspension, solution, and fluid-filled capsules.
  • Most formulations of Simethicone can be stored at room temperature.

Dosing Information of Simethicone for Dogs and Cats

  • Medication, even over-the-counter (OTC) medication such as Simethicone, should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • In dogs, the dose of Simethicone recommended for treatment of excessive gastrointestinal gas ranges from 25 mg total dose for small dogs and up to 200 mg total dose for large dogs every 6 to 12 hours as needed.
  • In cats, the liquid formulations are most often used with doses that range from 3 mL to 0.5 mL every 8 to 12 hours as needed.
  • 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 or prevent the development of resistance.
  • Can be stored at room temperature. Keep away from light and moisture.

Resources & References:

  • Plumb’s Veterinary Handbook by Donald C. Plumb, 8th Edition
  • Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Ettinger & Felman
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura, and Twedt
  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline
  • Pet Poison Helpline