Clonidine (Catpress) for Dogs and Cats

Overview of Clonidine (Catpress) for Canines and Felines

  • Clonidine, commonly known as Catpress® or Duraclon®, belongs to a class of drugs known as central alpha 2 adrenergic agonists and is similar to xylazine. It is a sedative that can also provide pain relief as well as muscle relaxation to dogs.   It is also used to treat inflammatory bowel disease in dogs and cats and behavioral disorders in dogs.
  • Please NOTE:  There is a drug on the market with a similar name that has caused confusion and errors. Please don’t confuse Clonidine with Klonipin® (clonazepam).
  • In humans, Clonidine is used to treat a variety of medical problems including high blood pressure, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), anxiety, withdrawal from smoking, alcohol or drugs, as well as other uses.
  • Clonidine works by stimulating alpha-adrenoreceptors in the brain that impacts the central nervous system, blood vessels, heart rate and blood pressure.  It also works to provide pain relief to the spinal cord with epidural use.
  • Clonidine is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.

Brand Names or Other Names Clonidine

  • Human formulations:
    • Clonidine HCl Injection for epidural use: Duraclon®
    • Oral tablets Catapres®
    • Clonidine HCl Oral Modified-release (12-hour for humans) Kapvay®
    • Clonidine HCl Transdermal: Catapres-TTS®
  • Veterinary formulations:
    • None

Uses of Clonidine for Dogs and Cats

Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Clonidine can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Clonidine should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Extreme caution must be used if clonidine is given to animals with heart disease, low blood pressure, shock, breathing problems, severe liver or kidney disease, a known seizure disorder, or if the animal is severely debilitated. Clonidine is not recommended in animals receiving epinephrine or those with heart arrhythmias.
  • Clonidine is not recommended for use in breeding, nursing or pregnant pets.
  • Clonidine may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with clonidine. Such drugs include epinephrine, certain narcotics, barbiturates, prazosin, prochlorperazine, acepromazine, drugs to treat blood pressure, heart medications including propranolol, digoxin, amitriptyline, and clomipramine.
  • Adverse effects of Clonidine include vomiting, constipation, sedation, collapse, low blood pressure, aggressive behavior and slow heart rates. There can also be a temporary high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
  • Signs of overdose or toxicity may include low blood pressure, low heart rates, vomiting, lethargy and weakness. Please call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog ingested an overdose of Clonidine.

How Clonidine is Supplied

  • Clonidine is available in oral tablets, oral modified-released tablets, transdermal and as an injection for epidural use.
  • Clonidine HCl Oral Tablets: 0.1 mg, 0.2 mg & 0.3 mg
  • Clonidine HCl Oral Modified-released Tablets: 0.1 mg
  • Clonidine HCl Transdermal: 0.1 mg/24hrs, 0.2 mg/24hrs, and 0.3 mg/24hrs

Dosing Information of Clonidine for Dogs and Cats

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting with your veterinarian.
  • Clonidine may be given with food or without food. Clonidine tablets should be stored away from light in moisture such as in the sealable light-resistant container.
  • In dogs, the dose used to treat behavioral issues is as follows:  Clonidine is dosed at 0.005 to 0.02 per pound (0.01 to 0.05 mg/kg) orally. For example, a 22-pound dog may be given a total dose of 0.1 mg tablet.
  • When beginning Clonidine for behavioral issues, a lower dose is generally started which can be gradually increased. The lowest possible effective dose is recommended to address the primary problem and minimize the risk of side effects.  Clonidine is most effective when used with other behavioral modification methods. It is recommended to give Clonidine 90 minutes to 2 hours before the expected anxiety-inducing event.
  • In dogs, the dose used to treat inflammatory bowel disease:  Clonidine is dosed at 2.2 to 4.5 micrograms per pound (5 to 10 micrograms/kg) orally every 8 to 12 hours.
  • In cats, the dose used to treat inflammatory bowel disease:  Clonidine is dosed at 2.2 to 4.5 micrograms per pound (5 to 10 micrograms/kg) orally every 8 to 12 hours. This is often used as a last resort after other more commonly recommended medications have been used and failed.
  • 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.

 

Additional Articles that May Be Helpful:

Resources & References:

  • Adams H. Adrenergic agonists and antagonists. In: Reviere J, Papich M, eds. Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 9th ed. Ames, IA: Wiley-Blackwell; 2009.
  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Catapres (clonidine) tablet package insert.
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura and Twedt.
  • Long KM, Kirby R. An update on cardiovascular adrenergic receptor physiology and potential pharmacological applications in veterinary critical care. Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 2008.
  • Murrell JC, Hellebrekers LJ. Medetomidine and dexmedetomidine: a review of cardiovascular effects and antinociceptive properties in the dog. Vet Anaesth Analg 2005.
  • Ogata N, Dodman NH. The use of clonidine in the treatment of fear-based behavior problems in dogs: An open trial. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research 2011.
  • Pet Poison Helpline.
  • Plumb’s Veterinary Handbook by Donald C. Plumb, 9th Edition.
  • Textbook of Veterinary Internal

 

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.

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 inflammed 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. Therefor a 10 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.

Yunnan Baiyao for Dogs and Cats

Overview of Yunnan Baiyao for Canines and Felines

  • Yunnan Baiyao, also known Yunnan Paiyao, Yunnan Bai Yao, or by the literal translation Yunnan White Drug, is Class-1 protected traditional medicine originating in China. It has hemostatic (blood clotting) powderized medication famous for its use in the Vietnam War to stop bleeding by the Vietcong.
  • The herb sanqi (Panax notoginseng) is believed to be the principal anti-hemorrhage component of the product.  It is believed that Yunnan Baiyao works by activating platelets, which are blood components critical to blood clotting.
  • The formula for Yunnan Baiyao is a closely guarded secret. Yunnan Baiyao was developed and manufactured by a state-owned enterprise in Yunnan, China. According to Wikipedia, “The company website mentions that the progesterone is in the formula, in addition to several saponins, alkaloids, and calcium phosphate.  The separate herbal ingredients are reportedly made up by thirteen separate teams, none of whom have any knowledge of the ingredients the other teams are mixing. The individual mixed components are then combined by a further team, who have no knowledge of what constitutes them but knows the proportions in which they are combined.”
  • Yunnan Baiyao 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 Yunnan Baiyao

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Yunnan Baiyao
  • Veterinary formulations: None

NOTE: There are many fakes of this drug. It is recommended to only obtain the proprietary product.

Uses of Yunnan Baiyao for Dogs

  • Yunnan Baiyao is used orally to stop internal bleeding and has been effective topically in wounds to stop bleeding and optimize healing. It is commonly used to help control internal bleeding associated with some cancers such as hemangiosarcoma of the liver, spleen or heart in dogs, or bleeding bladder tumors in dogs and cats.
  • In humans, Yunnan Baiyao has been used to support the immune system, nervous system, and relieve muscle pain but these uses are not consistently addressed in pets.

Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Yunnan Baiyao may cause side effects in some dogs. The most common side effect of Yunnan Baiyao is stomach upset e.g. vomiting and diarrhea
  • Yunnan Baiyao should not be used in dogs with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Yunnan Baiyao should be used with caution in dogs with liver disease and is often used every other day or for a limited period of days.
  • Yunnan Baiyao has been shown to be safe if given with antibiotics, vaccines, pain medication and other drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • There have been limited long-term studies to identify side effects in dogs and cats. It is not approved for use in pregnant or lactating pets.

How Yunnan Baiyao Is Supplied

  • Yunnan Baiyao is available in boxes of 16 capsules x 0.25 grams each.

Dosing Information of Yunnan Baiyao ® for Dogs

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • It is most commonly given orally as a capsule but the capsule contents may be used directly in small sounds to stop bleeding.
  • There is a fair amount of literature and controversy about how long Yunnan Baiyao is to be used. In some cases, Yunnan Baiyao is recommended for 2 to 4 days and up to 15 days. Other veterinarians recommend a treatment regimen of 5 days on and 5 days off.
  • Daily use may be recommended for pets with terminal conditions.
  • In dogs, guidelines commonly used in bleeding dogs:
    • Active internal bleeding  – One capsule pet 15 – 20 pounds four times a day for 1 -2 days.
    • After active bleeding has stopped – One capsule pet 20-30 pounds two to three times a day for 3-7 days.
    • Maintenance dose recommended is 1 capsule per 30 – 50 pounds two to three times per day.
    • Other common recommendations in dogs include:
      •  Dogs from 10 to 30 pounds, give 1 capsule by mouth two times a day.
      •  Dogs 30 to 60 pounds, give 2 capsules two times a day.
      •  Dogs over 60 pounds, give 2 capsules three times a day.
      •  In cats, a common dose of 1/2- 1 capsule once daily is recommended.  Some cat owners having success mixing Yunnan Bai Yao with fish-based cat 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 otherwise by your veterinarian. Even if your pet appears to be feeling better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.

We hope this article gives you more information about Yunnan Baiyao for use in dogs and cats.

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). See a list of 30 OTC Human Meds That Are Vet Approved.

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.

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