Giving your dog Sudafed is a 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.
But some 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?
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: 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.
If your vet allows the use of Sudafed and you’re in the process of giving it to your dog, stick to a conservative and short term dose. A natural laxative may be better than an over-the-counter solution.
Sudafed, especially for a dog, is not meant to be used long term. Regarding proper dosage, in smaller dogs a 30mg dose is 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, keep a close eye on them for undesirable symptoms. They include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, staggering, skin rashes, decreased appetite, fever, itching, and lethargy or restlessness. Contact your vet if you observe any of these problems.
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. If you run into problems, consider that the dose may be too high for your dog or they may simply be rejecting it.
Likewise, if you think your dog got into your medicine cabinet and ate some Sudafed, it’s highly recommended to take them to a vet immediately. 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, visit your vet as soon as possible.
What Will The Vet Do?
Your vet will thoroughly examine your dog and will probably give them activated charcoal to prevent further Sudafed absorption. Activated charcoal can be a live saver. It will prevent your dog’s body from taking on more poison, though it doesn’t stop all of it getting into their system.
A vet may induce vomiting, if it’s serious, as this can also help the dog rid themselves of toxins. They may also check for an uneven heartbeat, another serious Sudafed side effect. Expert veterinary assistance is crucial for a possibly fatal dose of any human medication.
Monitor Your Dog Closely
You know your dog’s behavior better than anyone and you’ll notice any changes in them. With close monitoring, you can see these changes right away and inform the vet. Think of your dog as a child who needs strict supervision when on medication.
Dogs have smaller bodies than us so things take less time to be digested and go through their blood streams. 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. Have the pill container on hand to answer any questions they may have. If you’re not sure which pills your dog ate, 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. They’ll 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 based on many factors.
Always keep human medications, including Sudafed and other decongestants, out of your dog’s reach. Severe symptoms require immediate veterinary assistance.