Vets can prescribe a variety of medications to your canine friend depending on the exact health issue they are suffering from. In today’s article, we are looking at ten of the most common medications that dogs can get.
However, we would like to note that we did not include any antibiotics on the list as they should always be prescribed by the vet for a specific infection.
If you decide to give your pet antibiotics without going to the animal hospital to have them diagnosed, you risk creating antibiotic resistance, a process where a dog’s microbiota could become impossible to kill.
Top 10 Dog Medications
Even though it has been used as a pain reliever in some cases, Gabapentin is more commonly utilized to treat epilepsy and anxiety. In short, this medication is an anticonvulsant, so it can be prescribed to dogs that have a history of neurologic disorders, especially seizures.
The downside to using this drug is that it has a number of side effects. However, most of them aren’t very severe. Some dogs can experience a bout of diarrhea while others can be drowsy.
If your dog was prescribed Gabapentin and you want to stop treating them with the medication, we strongly suggest weaning them off the medication gradually. The side effects are more serious when Gabapentin therapy is stopped abruptly.
CBD oil has a variety of benefits in both pets and people, but one of the main ones is decreasing anxiety. Some dogs might have to be prescribed CBD if they are typically very fearful and if they tend to suffer from separation anxiety, too.
CBD also proves its worth for geriatric patients as it seems to increase their quality of life, particularly if they have chronic health problems such as arthritis. It’s also prescribed for gastrointestinal distress, muscle spasms, aggression, and sometimes, neurologic issues such as seizures.
CBD is a relatively new medication and we suggest getting in touch with your veterinarian before deciding to give your dog this type of supplement. Depending on your pooch’s specific health status, you might or might not be allowed to give them CBD oil capsules.
Tramadol is quite a powerful pain reliever which can be used in dogs in some cases, but it should never be used in cats — as it is very toxic to this species. This drug proves its worth in conditions associated with severe pain or for post-op recovery.
Cancer patients can also benefit from Tramadol on occasion. Some patients should not be allowed to take Tramadol, such as those that have a history of seizures, have kidney health complications, or those that are taking medication for managing certain auto-immune diseases.
Metronidazole is one of the most effective and powerful medications for people and pets, too. It has yet to be approved for canine use, but lots of vets prescribe it as it is amazing in treating infections caused by anaerobic germs or protozoans.
However, the administration of this medication to dogs should only be done under the guidance of a veterinarian, as its side effects are not rare. Most people and pets experience nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, fatigue, or fever in the first few days of the treatment.
Prednisone is a glucocorticoid that can be utilized to treat inflammatory conditions in a variety of species, not just dogs. It is a steroid, and even though it has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, dogs should not be treated long-term with this medication — especially older dogs, as they risk developing diabetes as a side effect.
Other adverse reactions range from vomiting and diarrhea to respiratory complications such as panting or difficulty breathing. Ideally, Prednisone shouldn’t be administered to pets that have an autoimmune disease, metabolic disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, or blood pressure issues.
Ketoprofen belongs to a different class of anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics). It can be used in some conditions such as hip dysplasia, spondylosis, arthritis, and any other disease that’s associated with acute or chronic pain.
It is relatively safe compared to other types of analgesics, so unless your dog is quite frail, lactating, old, or suffering from a metabolic or autoimmune disease, ketoprofen might soothe their pain.
This is another corticosteroid that’s widely known for being even more powerful compared to prednisone. Because it can have severe side effects, especially when administered for too long, it is only given on prescription.
Dexamethasone is extremely useful in minimizing the symptoms of diseases such as arthritis, Addison’s disease, allergies, inflammatory conditions such as IBS, cancer, shock, or gastrointestinal problems such as colitis.
Although it is not a dog-specific medication per se, hydrogen peroxide can be particularly helpful if you have to make your pooch throw up, such as if they’ve ingested grapes, chocolate, garlic, or a toxic plant in your home.
It can produce vomiting in a matter of just 10 to 15 minutes. It is sometimes used by vets, too, but only when the dog ingested the toxic substance quite recently.
Imodium is a medication that humans can use for diarrhea and other intestinal complications. The problem is that some pet parents decide to use it for the same health issues in their canine friends, but they might not know the dosage, or they might use an unsafe type.
Dogs can easily overdose on Imodium, and while you do have to ask your vet if you can give your pet this medication, the standard dose is about one pill of Imodium Multi-Symptom Relief per 25 to 50 pounds of body weight. If your dog has a weight of under 20 pounds, we suggest avoiding this drug altogether.
Benadryl is an OTC medication that can be used in dogs as it can soothe some of the symptoms caused by allergies, whether sneezing, hives, redness, or runny eyes. It produces drowsiness in most dogs, which is why some pet owners might administer it before they take a trip with their pet.
It should never be given to dogs that are known to have heart disease, respiratory conditions, neurologic problems, glaucoma, or to pets that are pregnant. Besides drowsiness, the most common side effects of the medication are a dry mouth and urinary retention.