Uses, Side Effects, and Dosage for Your Puppy Queasy
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Vomiting is one of the most common signs of illness in dogs. Naturally, we want to stop this vomiting as quickly as possible and understand what is causing it. This is when metoclopramide becomes useful.
It has been used for decades in veterinary medicine to successfully relieve nausea and vomiting in dogs. Here’s what to expect if your vet prescribes metoclopramide for your dog, including uses, side effects, dosage, and things to look out for when your dog takes this medication.
What is metoclopramide used for in dogs?
Metoclopramide is a prescription drug primarily used to treat nausea and vomiting in dogs. It is also known by the brand name Reglan.
Metoclopramide affects both the upper gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system (CNS). It works in the upper gastrointestinal tract by stimulating motility – the movement of food and liquids through the gastrointestinal tract – but it does not affect the lower gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, metoclopramide can cross the blood-brain barrier to block dopamine uptake associated with nausea and vomiting.
Metoclopramide is used to treat a few different conditions in dogs:
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Side Effects of Metoclopramide in Dogs
Most dogs respond well to metoclopramide, but side effects do occur in some cases. Since this drug crosses the blood-brain barrier, it may also affect the central nervous system. Potential side effects of metoclopramide include:
Contact your veterinarian if you notice these side effects or other signs of illness while your dog is taking metoclopramide. It’s also important to let your veterinarian know if your dog still vomits while taking metoclopramide.
Metoclopramide Dosage for Dogs
Metoclopramide is taken orally as a tablet or syrup. It is also available in an injectable form, which is used in veterinary facilities. Oral metoclopramide can be given with or without food, but it generally works best when given about 20 minutes before a meal.
The recommended dosage of metoclopramide for dogs varies depending on the reason for the treatment. Dogs are usually given a dose of between 0.2 and 0.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight every 8 hours. Your veterinarian will determine the best dose based on your dog’s current weight and condition.
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Can dogs overdose on metoclopramide?
Although it is possible for a dog to overdose on metoclopramide, it would take an extreme amount to be fatal (hundreds of pills). Overdose usually causes more serious side effects.
If you accidentally give your dog an extra dose of metoclopramide, monitor your dog for side effects. You can resume the normal dosing schedule if your dog is acting normally. However, contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog goes into an entire bottle of pills. You may be asked to induce your dog to vomit or seek emergency veterinary care.
Metoclopramide Warnings and Precautions
Metoclopramide should not be used in dogs with obstructions, injuries or bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. It should also be avoided in dogs with a history of seizures or head trauma. Although metoclopramide can be administered to pregnant or lactating female dogs, it should be used with caution. In addition, caution should be exercised in dogs with kidney problems.
In most cases, metoclopramide is used for the short-term treatment of nausea and vomiting. If your vet prescribes it for long-term use, they may recommend regular monitoring in the form of lab work and exams.
There are several potential drug interactions with metoclopramide, so be sure to tell your veterinarian about all medications and supplements you give your dog.