Can I Give My Dog Imodium

Can I give my dog Imodium

Imodium is a common over-the-counter medicine that people take when they have loose stools. It’s quite effective for treating non-infectious diarrhea, but can you give your dog Imodium?

If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, we’re answering it in this post — so keep on reading!

Can I Give My Dog Imodium?

Yes. Imodium is a commercial name for Loperamide, an OTC medication that dogs can indeed take. However, you should never give your dog Imodium if your veterinarian hasn’t recommended it to you.

So, if your dog is vaccinated, which means that you do not suspect him or her of having diarrhea as a result of an infectious disease such as Parvo, for example, just call your veterinarian and ask them if you are allowed to give your pet Imodium.

The reason we started with this piece of advice is that like any other drug out there, Loperamide has both benefits and side effects (which we will describe in a section below).

So while the broad answer to the question is ‘Yes’, you should always give your dog Imodium under the guidance of a vet.

Imodium Dosage for Dogs

The biggest issue when it comes to this over-the-counter medication is how easy it is for dogs to overdose on it. The typical dosage is 2mg per each 25 to 50 pounds of body weight, but for breeds that are small or miniature, it can be very challenging for pet owners to properly dose the drug.

If your dog weighs in at less than 20 pounds, you should avoid giving him or her Imodium just to be on the safe side of things.

Besides, as you know by now, Imodium is only a medication that works for the time being, meaning that it does not treat the primary cause of your dog’s diarrhea — for that, you have to go to the veterinary clinic and have your canine friend diagnosed by a veterinarian.

Imodium Alternatives for Dogs

If you are feeling uncertain as to whether you should give your dog this medication, especially if your pet’s weight is under 20 pounds, there are some things you can do to improve their situation.

First of all, you should make sure that your dog drinks enough water so that he/she does not become dehydrated — as this can be life-threatening. Keep your dog on a bland diet for at least 24 to 48 hours and keep an eye on them to see if they still have diarrhea.

If your dog has loose stools on a regular basis (some dogs can have irritable bowel syndrome or colitis, so diarrhea can be a common issue for them), changing their diet in the long run might be worth it. Adding healthy sources of fiber such as pumpkin, which doesn’t even cause bloat or gas like grain, can be a way of fixing this problem.

Moreover, your dog needs to be diagnosed by a vet, and your vet is the best person to recommend medications and even prescribe you some that are made specifically for dogs — so that you do not have to take any unnecessary risks.

Imodium Side Effects

The most common adverse reactions that this medication can cause in dogs relate to the animal’s gastrointestinal tract and their digestion.

In some cases, it can also cause sleepiness, so in this respect, it can be quite similar to Benadryl. However, some dogs can show the following symptoms, especially if they have received a bigger dose than normal:

If you see any blood in your dog’s diarrhea or if the stools are black and tarry, take Fido to the animal hospital right away.

Which Dogs Should Never Take Imodium?

We’ve already noted that dogs with weights under 20 pounds should not be given Imodium, but there are several more categories to add to the list.

Any dog that’s treated for a chronic medical problem such as kidney disease, lung disease, hepatitis or hypothyroidism should not receive Imodium unless they were recommended the drug by their veterinarian. The same applies for dogs with Addison’s disease.

But the most important aspect about giving your dog Imodium is that some breeds should never be administered the drug. Herding dog breeds have a higher risk of developing severe adverse reactions.

They are genetically predisposed to metabolizing Loperamide differently as they have an MDR1 gene (a mutation) that can make it impossible for some medications to circulate in their bloodstream. Because of this, some drugs are capable of crossing the brain-to-blood barrier, which means that they can cause liver and central nervous system toxicity. For some of these dogs, Imodium can be lethal.

Here are several breeds you should never give Loperamide to:

  • Collie
  • Australian Shepherd
  • English Shepherd
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • McNab Collie
  • Silken Windhound
  • Old English SHeepdog
  • German Shepherd
  • Any mixed or pure herding breed

There is testing available for the MDR1 gene, and we strongly advise you to ask your vet to perform a test if you are the owner of a dog breed listed above.

How to Give Your Dog Imodium

If your dog doesn’t have anything against you giving them pills, you are one of the very few lucky pet owners out there (in this respect).

But if he or she is a bit more reluctant when it comes to the whole operation, you can use a pill pocket (such as one from the Greenies brand), or you can at least bury it in a piece of canned food or even wrap it in cheese.

Final thoughts

As you might have noticed, this OTC medication has a number of potential side effects and should not be given to certain types of dogs. For this reason, we ask you to always get in touch with your vet before giving your pooch Imodium (or any other kind of over-the-counter medication, for that matter).

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