Famotidine for Dogs
Stomach ulcers are a particularly painful and uncomfortable health issue for humans. The same thing can happen to our dogs – however they are unable to tell us what is going on – making it difficult to diagnose.
Depending on exactly what is causing your pets upset stomach you may be referred to a variety of medications. Famotidine is probably one of the most common medications prescribed to cats and dogs.
What is Famotidine and what is it for?
It can be used in treatment as well as a form of prevention for stomach ulcers. It can also be used for acid reflux and gastritis.
If your vet has prescribed this medication you should be aware that it is not FDA approved for use in dogs, but is a commonly accepted practice.
How Much Should I Give My Dog?
This medication comes in tablet form and should be given exactly as your vet instructed.
The average dosage for a dog is 0.22-0.44mg per pound of body weight every 12-24 hours. Depending on your dog’s condition your vet will be able to advise you on proper dosage.
Famotidine is sold in 10mg and 20mg tablets. You should not give this medication with food as food can break down the integrity of the medication.
It is uncommon for a dog to overdose on Famotidine – however, if an overdose is suspected (vomiting, pale gums, rapid heart rate or collapse are symptoms) then you should contact your vet immediately.
How Can I Get My Dog to Take a Pill?
Famotidine is very challenging to give to your dog, as it is not to be given with food.
When you have to give your dog a pill without being able to hide it in food, the best route is to open your dog’s mouth and drop the pill as far back in his mouth as possible. Then close his mouth and sort of massage his throat to promote swallowing.
After a minute or so of this, most of the time the dog has successfully swallowed the pill. Though you should watch out with this technique – some dogs are tricksters and manage to hide the pill and spit it out later!
Should You Ask Your Vet About Famotidine?
If your pet has been having stomach issues then you may want to ask your vet if Famotidine is the right medication to use.
In the event that your vet has suggested this medication to you then you should be sure your vet is aware if your dog has kidney, liver or heart disease. This medication can be potentially harmful to dogs who have any of these conditions.
It is also good to let your vet know if your dog is pregnant as this medication may affect the dog’s ability to gain weight properly.
Are There Any Side Effects?
As with all medications, there is always a chance for side effects. The most severe side effects occur in dogs who are allergic to the medication. Allergic reaction symptoms include swelling of the face or tongue, hives, shortness of breath among other things.
Other side effects are far less common. If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite or tiredness then you should consult with your vet immediately. Most of the time these are only mild side effects though they can be harmful if they persist.
Common FAQs about Famotidine
Can the pills be crushed?
No, Famotidine pills are meant to be given on an empty stomach so they are not meant to be crushed.
The best thing you can do is try to get your dog to swallow the pill whole – even though he will likely hate it.
Is there a name brand version?
Yes, the name brand version of Famotidine is Pepcid – both of which are over-the-counter medications.
How long should my pet be on Famotidine?
The length of time your dog (or cat) should be on Famotidine will greatly depend on the condition being treated. In some cases, it may be only a few short weeks while in other cases it may be a life-long solution to an on-going problem.
Is there a liquid form available?
Unfortunately, at this time there is no liquid formula for this medication available.
You can order Famotidine online via Chewy.com (prescription required).