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Can dogs take human medicines?

Sunday, December 8, 2002

jkoch

By Dr. John KochQuestion: Every once in a while my dog gets a little sick on his stomach. He won't eat; sometimes he vomits, and has a little diarrhea. It usually only lasts a day. I really don't think he is sick enough to take to the vet. Are there any medications I might have around the house that could help him?

Answer: For minor episodes of vomiting try Pepcid A/C. A 10 milligram tablet may be given to a dog weighing between 20 and 40 pounds. If the vomiting is so severe that nothing stays down then oral medication usually only aggravates the problem, and a trip to your vet is advised.

Minor bouts of diarrhea may be treated safely with Kaopectate or Pepto Bismol. It is usually easier to give a dog the tablets than to try to give liquids. Dosage is not that critical since these agents are primarily for coating and soothing the inflamed lining of the stomach and intestine. A small dog may be given a child's dose of 1/2 tablet up to a whole tablet. Larger dogs may receive 1 or 2 tablets. The dosage may be repeated every 2 to 4 hours depending upon response. Another human medication that may be used in dogs is Imodium A/D. The oral dose of Imodium is 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per pounds body weight. Tablets may be used in place of the liquid. One-half to one tablet may be given in small dogs, while medium to large dogs may require one or two tablets.

Never use at-home remedies for more than 24 hours before seeing noticeable improvement. If there is no improvement, consult with your veterinarian. It is always better to be safe with a check-up than sorry because it is too late.

Dr. Koch is a Cape Girardeau area veterinarian.


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