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Are you wondering if Lipitor can lower your dog’s cholesterol? Is is safe? Do canines even benefit from taking statin drugs?
Those are excellent questions!
Here’s the deal:
Dogs are also prone to cardiovascular diseases, but it is high triglycerides that are much more concerning than high LDL cholesterol.
Whatever the current situation, one thing is certain:
It is a bad idea to provide a precious pet with leftover Atorvastatin.
Unless Your Vet Signs Off, Do Not Give Your Dog Lipitor
This life-saving drug makes sense for humans, but it is rarely used on animals.
How to Address Hyperlipidemia
Your dog should be properly evaluated if you’re worried about increased fat in their blood i.e. hyperlipidemia.
Other underlying conditions, such as low thyroid production or an overactive adrenal gland, need to be ruled out before any type of treatment can begin.
Certainly do not experiment with an existing Lipitor supply!
Congestive heart failure, for example, could call for a drug called Pimobendan. It ultimately depends on the dog’s diagnosis.
At any rate, it is unlikely that your vet would prescribe Lipitor.
Veterinarians often recommend feeding low fat, high fiber foods as a way to lower cholesterol and triglycerides before resorting medications.
Atorvastatin is Effective in Dogs
Lipitor does, in fact, work on dogs too.
Studies indicate they also get a cholesterol reduction from Atorvastatin. And if your dog is healthy they can probably tolerate a statin drug.
However, none of the above means that Lipitor would be appropriate or completely safe.
The thing is animals suffer from all sorts of heart problems. The right prescription medication is essential for successful treatment.
Truth About K9s and Cholesterol
High cholesterol is generally not as concerning for dogs as it is for humans.
Why is that?
Because cholesterol does not typically accumulate in their arteries. This is logical because dogs have much shorter lifespans.
It’s pancreatitis and obesity that are serious problems among canines these days — high LDL not so much. But what these conditions have in common is that they all warrant fat intake reduction.
Being proactive about your dog’s health is great, but the use of Lipitor is questionable.
Again, talk the situation over with your vet.
A Rule of Thumb Lipitor Dose
To be very clear, we do not recommend any amount of Atorvastatin for your dog.
The following is for reference only. Be sure to compare this dosage ratio to what your vet advises.
Approximately 1 milligram of Lipitor per pound of body weight.
Has your buddy already taken a high dose?
Head to your vet ASAP because their internal organs may be at risk. Thankfully indications are that dogs are not harmed by low Lipitor doses.
The Bottom Line
Lipitor is not commonly prescribed to dogs.
But talk to your vet about the possibility of a prescription statin for your pet’s cholesterol / triglyceride count.
Keep in mind that while Lipitor is beneficial for many older folks, dog heart health is typically addressed with a good diet and regular exercise.