If you’ve just got out of radiation therapy or surgery and are feeling queasy then Ondansetron can be quite useful. This medication, usually sold under the brand name Zofran, is a drug that is used to prevent nausea and vomiting. It does wonders in humans but what about our furry friends?
Can Dogs Have Zofran?
Yes, Zofran is safe for canine use. This antiemetic drug is used to treat severe vomiting and nausea in both dogs and cats. However, using Zofran in this way is ‘off-label’ or ‘extra label’. Giving Zofran is quite common in veterinarian medicine but it can be extremely dangerous to give Zofran to your dog on your own accord. So follow your vet’s directions carefully as their instructions may be significantly different from those on the label. Here’s everything you need to learn about this medication and what effects can it have on your pup.
How Does Zofran Work?
Zofran belongs to a class of drugs known as 5-HT3 receptor antagonists or serotonin blockers. The medicines in this group are used for the prevention and treatment of nausea and vomiting, particularly those caused by therapy. Zofran is one such medicine that works by blocking the action of serotonin. This disrupts the signal your body would usually send to your brain for the feeling of nausea, thereby reducing the likelihood of vomiting and nausea.
Zofran is believed to work the same way in your dog. It prevents them from feeling nauseous, making them unable to vomit.
Is Zofran Safe for Your Dog?
While there hasn’t been any extensive research conducted on dogs and cats to see if they could react to Ondansetron differently from us, it is generally believed to be safe for canine use. Most dogs can tolerate Zofran well and side effects are quite uncommon.
However, in some rare cases, Zofran can have some serious side effects, including abnormal heart rhythms and low blood pressure, which can cause fainting and severe lethargy. Dogs who are on certain medications or those who suffer from severe muscle weakness are believed to be at a greater risk of experiencing some of these side effects. This is why it’s important to consult your vet before deciding to use any form of medication for your dog.
Are There Any Risk Factors of Zofran for Dogs?
Before deciding to administer Zofran to your dog, there are certain risk factors that you need to consider. These include:
1. Some dogs could have Multidrug Resistance Mutation or MDR1, which makes them more sensitive to the negative effects of certain medications. This is most commonly seen in Australian Shepherds and Collies. In these cases, ondansetron should be used cautiously.
2. Like humans, dogs can be sensitive to certain allergens and ondansetron could be one of them. If your dog is allergic to it, you should avoid giving them Zofran.
3. It should be used cautiously in pooches with liver disease, gastrointestinal blockage, and heart rhythm abnormalities.
4. You should be cautious with giving Zofran to pregnant or lactating pets as we don’t know for sure if it could have any side effects.
You might also be interested in Can Dogs Take Tylenol?
How To Give Zofran to Your Dog?
Zofran is usually administered orally in the form of a tablet or liquid. You can give to your dog on an empty stomach, however, doing so can cause vomiting in some dogs. If this is the case for your dog, you can also give them Zofran with food or a treat like a peanut butter. However, if your dog refuses to take their pills, you can also find ondansetron in a gel form, or your vet can inject it into your dog for you.
After administering, Zofran will be effective in about 1 to 2 hours, and improvement in your dog’s condition should follow. The results of this drug are short-lived and therefore will cease to function within 24 hours.
What Are the Proper Doses of Ondansetron for Dogs?
Medication should never be issued without first consulting the veterinarian and as an owner, it’s your responsibility to consult your vet first if you have any queries related to your dog. So if you wish to use Zofran to prevent vomiting in your pooch, ask your vet about it first. They’ll give you proper advice on how much Zofran you should use and at what intervals.
However, if you wish to learn more about the dosing of ondansetron in dogs, here are a few facts about it:
- Doses can vary widely depending on the reason for the prescription and your dog’s condition.
- The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, the response to the drug, and the creation of any adverse reactions.
- The normal oral dosage in dogs is 0.05 to 0.5 mg per pound (0.1 to 1.0 mg / kg) every 12 to 24 hours.
- The intravenous dosage is between 0.05 and 0.1 mg per pound (0.1 to 0.2 mg / kg).
What Can You Use Instead of Zofran?
While the FDA has approved ondansetron for use in humans, it isn’t approved for use in animals. After hearing this, if you wish to find other medications you can use instead of Zofran, we’ve got you covered. The following alternatives might come in handy if your pooch is allergic to ondansetron as well. But just like Zofran, don’t forget to consult your vet before giving any of the following medications to your dog.
Here’s a list of medications that make a good alternative to Zofran and help prevent:
What Should I Do If I Forgot a Dose?
If you miss a dose of Zofran for your dog, give it to them whenever you remember. However, if the time for the next dose is close, skip the previous dose and don’t double the dosage. Call your vet or an animal poison control center for more advice if you are witnessing adverse effects or suspect an overdose.
In short, yes dogs can take Zofran. It can be helpful in preventing vomiting in your dog. However, as with any other medicine, you must consult with your vet before giving ondansetron to your dog. Using Zofran without a professional’s advice could lead to disastrous consequences so always ask your vet for advice if you have any questions related to your dog’s health.
Thank you for reading the article.
To explore more, check out our other articles related to dog medication.
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