Imodium is a popular brand name of the generic drug Loperamide. It is an anti-diarrheal medication used to treat different types of diarrhea. It works by slowing down the rhythm of digestion so that the small intestines will have more time absorbing the fluids and nutrients from the food you take in.
It also treats chronic diarrhea due to inflammatory bowel disease. In some cases, it also avoids excessive amount of stool for people who have had a part of their intestines removed. Imodium helps regulate stool frequency and make stools more solid. Although manufactured to treat human diarrhea, can this drug also be a safe medication for dogs with diarrhea?
Dogs experience diarrhea at least once in their lifetime. One of the most common causes is taking in food they should not eat such as spoiled food, foreign objects, or toxic substances. If your dog is continually having loose bowel movements and suspect that they have diarrhea, take them to your local vet immediately to check what is causing it. Most of the time, the initial treatment for dog diarrhea is to fast them for at least 24 hours. If their condition does not improve after this, this is the time when your veterinarian might prescribe a medication to regulate your dog’s bowel movements.
There are specialized medications to treat diarrhea in dogs. However, there are also over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can be used to treat your dog’s condition such as Pepto Bismol. One of the safest OTC drugs for dog diarrhea is Imodium. Veterinarians have prescribed this medication to treat acute and chronic diarrhea in dogs. Although considered safe for dogs, it should only be used under the administration of your vet. Imodium is a narcotic and some dogs are allergic to narcotics. It is also not recommended for pregnant and nursing dogs. If given incorrectly, it could mean more trouble for your dog.
Can I Give My Dog Imodium? Answer: Yes, Under a Vet’s Supervision
Imodium is considered to be a safe human drug that can be used to treat dog diarrhea. This does not mean, though, that you should give them Imodium at the first sign of diarrhea. Your vet is the best person who knows when and how to give this OTC medication, and whether to give it or not. The underlying cause of your dog’s diarrhea will be your vet’s basis for giving medication. If Imodium is given improperly, i.e. the wrong dosage or ingested by a dog allergic to narcotics, your dog might experience more problems, even death.
Some Side Effects of Imodium
The usual side effects of Imodium on humans are mild drowsiness and dizziness. These may also be experienced by your dog if given this drug. Your dog might also experience mild constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, and vomiting due to the contents of the drug. Make sure you let your dog rest during this time of medication as they may experience some mild discomfort. Any side effect that shows a worsening of your dog’s condition should immediately be consulted with a veterinarian.
Warnings and Contraindications
Immodium should not be given to dogs allergic to narcotics and those who are pregnant and nursing puppies. Aside from this, if your dog has ingested poison, this drug should not be given until the poison or toxin has been removed from the dog’s system. If the dog is also experiencing any abdominal pain or head trauma, refrain from giving this drug as it may lead to even more serious problems. If diarrhea is caused by bacterial infection such as salmonella, other medication and treatment should be used.
How To Safely Treat Dog Diarrhea
Food solutions are available for dogs experiencing frequent loose stools. The initial treatment for dog diarrhea is fasting them for at least 24 hours, but remember to still supply them with clean drinking water. Diarrhea causes dehydration so you better sustain your dog’s water supply by making sure they still drink water during the fast.
If their condition is improved, feed them bland and low-fat foods. Mix with probiotic products because the good bacteria in probiotics will help replenish the nutrients they lost. Give a simple diet such as chicken with rice until your dog achieves their normal bowel movement. It is also helpful to give high-fiber foods such as pumpkin.