Gabapentin for Dogs: Gabapentin is a medication drug prescribed by veterinarians with increasing frequency, sometimes alone but usually in combination with other drugs for pain management in dogs.
It is most often prescribed in combination with other medications for dog anxiety.
Why is it so popular? I will go into it, but first, we need to discuss the pain.
Pain treatment is a medical priority
Pain management has become an integral part of health care in human and veterinary medicine. If you have ever been hospitalized or had surgery, ask yourself, “How is your pain? Rate it from zero to 10. ”So you try to pick a number every time you get to the hospital.
It turned out that there was a very compelling reason for this. Pain is not our friend. It hurts. If left unchecked, pain can cause not only physical damage but also mental and emotional damage.
It delays healing and adversely affects the immune system. In humans and inhumane animals, this often leads to harmful, unwanted behaviors, such as self-injury, aggression, or withdrawal from the pleasures of life.
You may have heard medical experts say it is important to stay ahead of the pain. There is a strong reason for this too.
Untreated pain makes your pain receptors more sensitive, resulting in more severe pain. This is called “wind-up” pain and can be more difficult to control.
Veterinarians work hard to prevent pain. When this is not possible, They work harder to get relief.
This has been facilitated over the years by the ongoing advances in science, medical knowledge, and extrapolation from discoveries made in human medicine.
Veterinarians now have total medications and other therapies to manage pain.
Chronic pain, something that is not expected to go away, is especially challenging for us. This should be maintained frequently throughout the dog’s life.
For this type of pain, the “polypharmacy” (multiple medications) and multi-model (more than one treatment approach) approach is usually the most effective.
To manage chronic pain, we use commonly prescribed medications, as well as safe and effective “nutraceuticals” – nutrients that have a positive effect on the medical condition.
An increasing number of veterinarians are using Chinese and herbal medicine as complementary therapies to treat pain.
Techniques such as acupuncture, laser therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, physical therapy, and rehabilitation are readily available to dog owners in most areas.
Pain is a very personal experience. How one dog perceives pain may be completely different from another dog.
Some have more patience than others. One drug or treatment works wonders for one patient and does nothing for another patient.
It is crucial that owners observe, closely monitor their dogs for response to treatment, accurately report back to their veterinarians and be open to recommended changes in prescribed pain protocol.
What is the dose of gabapentin for dogs?
The dosage range of gabapentin varies widely depending on what is being used for treatment.
Gabapentin should be used with caution in animals with liver or kidney disease because it takes longer to metabolize.
Gabapentin is available in many forms as human-labeled products:
- 100 mg (capsules and tablets)
- 300 mg (capsules and tablets)
- 400 mg (capsules and tablets)
There is also an oral solution prepared at 250 mg / 5 mL; However, sometimes the solution is formulated with xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Your veterinarian will help you order these medications in a safe form for your dog.
Sometimes the dog is too small to use human formulations, in which case the pharmacy can formulate a combination of any form and dosage requested by the veterinarian.
What is Gabapentin used for in dogs?
Gabapentin may be prescribed to help with seizures, pain, and anxiety in dogs.
Gabapentin has anticoagulant properties that may be beneficial in adjuvant therapy for dogs with refractive seizures, or the current medication regimen may no longer be effective enough.
Gabapentin is also analgesic, meaning it provides pain relief for chronic pain and neuropathic pain. It is commonly used for chronic pain associated with degenerative joint disease.
It has also been shown to be beneficial when used in combination with other pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or opioids to help with surgery-related pain.
Used for epilepsy and pain, gabapentin has become more popular for use as adjuvant therapy for anxiety in dogs.
How is gabapentin given?
Gabapentin is administered orally in capsule, tablet, or mixed liquid form. It can be given with or without food, but if your pet vomits after receiving this medication on an empty stomach, try giving a future dose with food or treat.
The best time to give this medicine is before eating. Carefully measure the liquid structures of these medications.
What are the side effects of gabapentin in dogs?
The most common side effects are sedation (sleep) and instability. A gradual increase in medication over time is recommended to reduce these effects.
These short-acting drugs should stop working within 24 hours in pets suffering from liver or kidney disease.
Common side effects:
- Laziness or intoxication
Less common, more serious side effects may occur. You should consult your vet if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Puffy eyes
- Loss of coordination
- Sleeping too much
Usually, overdose is not fatal, although these symptoms appear more frequently and severely.
You should not stop using gabapentin suddenly as it can cause seizures and other withdrawal symptoms in your dog. Instead, your vet should regularly weed your dog out of the drug.
Gabapentin has a huge safety margin in dogs. It does not harm your dog’s kidneys or liver and is also safe to use with CBD products, although the mild sedative effect of both products is enhanced.
However, there are some important precautions:
* First of all, do not use commercially available gabapentin liquid form which is used for humans. This preparation contains sweetener xylitol, which is commonly used to extract sugar-free gum. Xylitol is very toxic to dogs and even deadly.
* Wait before giving gabapentin after antacids. If you regularly give your dog an antacid such as Pepcid or prilosec, you should wait at least two hours after giving the antacid before giving the gabapentin, as the antacid will reduce the absorption of the gabapentin from the stomach.
* Never stop gabapentin cold turkey if your dog has been around for a while. This can lead to back pain, which is similar to wind-up pain, in that it is worse than before. For this reason, always reduce gabapentin gradually.