Vets prescribe Gabapentin for a variety of canine conditions. Nevertheless, its use for dogs is a bit controversial.
You may be interested in this popular prescription drug to help your dog with chronic pain or to prevent seizures.
Whatever the case, do not administer a leftover supply of Gabapentin. It’s risky. First, get your dog diagnosed.
Can I Provide Gabapentin to My Dog? Answer: Yes, with a vet’s guidance only
This medication has the potential for harm. Please do not go it alone.
Gabapentin isn’t FDA-approved for dogs. Use can result in complications which we’ll detail here. Drug interactions, proper dosing, kidney damage and common side effects are always concerns when you provide Gabapentin to a pet dog.
When Gabapentin is Risky
Be cautious about giving your dog Gabapentin (AKA Neurontin), especially if there’s a history of kidney problems. Acute renal failure is possible.
Any dose administered to pregnant or nursing canines could be very dangerous. Miscarriage or birth defects are possible.
Discuss these scenarios with a vet, as well as your other concerns, or seek out a much safer pain reduction alternative to Gabapentin.
The fact is people abuse Gabapentin and many have died. Obviously your dog can also overdose from its misuse.
Dosing it for Pet Dogs
It’s often the case that Gabapentin needs to be combined with other pain medications. This is true for dogs as well. It’s actually a complicated treatment option.
Dosage also depends on what’s being treated. A vet may recommend a relatively high dose for seizures compared to, for example, alleviating arthritis-related pain.
10mg per pound of body weight given twice daily for seizures seems to be the consensus. If your dog is in pain do not provide more than 4mg per pound and do so only once a day.
Important: Dosing should ultimately be for a trusted veterinarian to decide. Make sure you mention any other meds that your dog is currently taking!
Know the Side Effects
Thankfully Gabapentin’s negative effects are not known to be extremely serious assuming it isn’t taken in excess. Kidney complications are one exception.
Your dog could more likely experience dizziness, fatigue (sedation), a lack of coordination, some swelling, diarrhea and bouts of vomiting.
Discontinue the drug if you notice any of these symptoms. A real potential for side effects is one reason to consult with a vet prior to Neurontin use.
The X-Factor is Xylitol
Some versions of Gabapentin, generic or otherwise, contain Xylitol. Apparently this sweetener is most commonly often in the liquid form. It’s terribly toxic. Check the label or insert!
Make no mistake about it, xylitol can be harmful for your dog. Don’t even consider this pain med if you suspect that this hazardous sugar alcohol is an ingredient.
A pet dog is likely to be prescribed Gabapentin either 100mg or 300mg capsules if the green light is given to begin this treatment.
Conclusion on Gabapentin
Some dogs can benefit from Gabapentin but only a veterinarian should determination this. There are several precautions and side effects to consider. Gabapentin may reduce your dog’s pain, but there are usually safer alternatives.