Giving your dog Sudafed is a very controversial topic with lots of opinions offered on the internet. Many vets say not to because it can cause an increased heart rate, change in blood pressure as well as hypertension.
Other veterinarians use this over-the-counter nasal decongestant medication as a remedy for dogs suffering from incontinence. So what’s the verdict on administering Sudafed to dogs?
Well, we certainly don’t recommend giving Sudafed to your dog just because they cannot control their bladder. This may not be incontinence. It could be a bladder infection which needs to be properly treated with certain types of specialized antibiotics. In any case, please don’t experiment with using OTC drugs for the sake of your beloved dog.
Can I Give My Dog Sudafed? Answer: Only With a Vet’s Prescription!
While this may be a disappointing answer, we are in no position to go against what your vet has to say about the use of this medication for canines. In any case, if your vet does allow the use of Sudafed and you are in the process of administering it to your dog, stick to a conservative and short term dose.
This drug, especially for a dog, is not meant to be used long term. Regarding proper dosage, in smaller dogs a 30mg dose is more than ample and 60mg is enough for larger dogs. K9s suffering with cardiovascular problems or diabetes cannot take this medication under any circumstances.
Symptoms to Watch For
When giving Sudafed to a dog, you need to keep a close eye on them and watch for a wide variety of undesirable symptoms. They include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, staggering, skin rashes, decreased appetite, fever, itching, and lethargy or restlessness. Advise your vet immediately if you observe any of these problems.
Remember that Sudafed is not designed for canines and is very dangerous if taken in large amounts even in humans. Phenylephrine is found in most decongestants, including Sudafed, and dogs don’t handle it as well as people do. Therefore, the dose may be too high for your dog or they may simply be rejecting it.
If you think your dog got into your medicine cabinet and started eating Sudafed, it is highly recommended to take them to a vet immediately. Try to keep your dog calm during this time since Sudfed poisoning can bring upon a seizure in some cases.
Regardless of the circumstances, if your dog is showing any of the above symptoms, call your vet immediately and get them there as soon as possible.
What Will The Vet Do?
Your vet will thoroughly examine your dog and will probably give them some activated charcoal to prevent further absorption of Sudafed. They may also check for an uneven heartbeat which is another serious Sudafed side effect. Expert veterinary assistance is crucial for a possibly fatal dose of any human medication.
Activated charcoal can be a live saver in such cases. It will prevent your dog’s body from absorbing too much of the poison, though it doesn’t stop all of it getting into their system. Inducing vomiting, if it’s serious, can also help the dog rid themselves of toxins.
An alternative is to give them a natural laxative or an over-the-counter solution. Taking a dog home filled with chemical laxatives isn’t a pleasant experience, but it’s much better than having your dog die because they overdosed on Sudafed.
Monitor Your Dog Closely
You know your dog’s behavior better than anyone and you will notice any changes in them. With close monitoring, you will be able to see these changes right away and inform the vet. Think of your dog as a child who needs strict supervision when on a medication.
Remember, dogs have smaller bodies than us so things take less time to be digested and go through their blood streams. You can expect to start noticing changes within a couple of minutes following an ill advised dose of Sudafed.
Act Fast & Take the Container
Should your dog collapse or start having seizures, get to the vet ASAP. Do not wait. Be sure to keep the pill bottle or box on hand to answer any questions they may have. If you’re not sure which pills your dog ate because there were a few bottles lying around once, take all the possible medications with you.
While your vet may not be able to determine the exact cause, it will give them a good idea of what they are dealing with and they will be able to help your dog quickly and effectively.
OTC Reminder for Dog Lovers
As with any human medication, it’s advisable to confirm with a professional before administering it to your pet. Your veterinarian will know your dog’s medical history and will be able to make a well informed decision.
Always keep human medications, including Sudafed and other decongestants, out of your dog’s reach. This way you avoid being faced with more severe symptoms which would require immediate veterinary assistance costing you a small fortune in the long run.