Amantidine for Dogs

Amantidine is a drug created mainly for human use. It was first used as prophylaxis against Asian influenza and then, it started being used for controlling the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, relieving back pain and treating influenza A. More recently, veterinarians started prescribing Amantidine for controlling pain in pets. Amantidine has proven efficient in helping dogs suffering from chronic pain due to arthritis, cancer or other degenerative diseases.

Amantidine for Dogs

Amantidine is a drug manufactured for human use. It is efficient against influenza viruses and against the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. However, it can also be used by veterinarians to control pain in dogs. Amantidine acts against pain by inhibiting the NMDA receptors. These receptors are part of the nervous system and they bind to neurotransmitters creating the sensation of chronic pain. Amantidine can be used in dog to manage chronic pain caused by painful degenerative diseases such as:

  • Arthritis pain
  • Disc diseases or other neurological pain
  • Pain caused by cancer (especially osteosarcoma)

Signs of Pain in Dogs

Dogs have various behaviors that vets associate with pain, however, pain is difficult to detect in canines. Therefore, you should follow your dog’s behavior closely in order to understand whether there is something wrong with him. The most common signs of pain in dogs include:

  • Lethargy and depression
  • Avoiding to move
  • Hissing and growling without apparent reason or when touched in the painful area
  • Ignoring affectionate gestures
  • Refusal to eat
  • Hiding
  • Aggressiveness

Depending on the affected area, you can also spot different other symptoms. Whenever you notice any unusual behavior in your dog, you should monitor him closely and contact your veterinarian. Pain is symptomatic for another medical condition which might require medical care. The sooner you start the treatment, the better the chances of recovery. Pain management also helps your dog heal faster.

Administration of Amantidine in Dogs

Your veterinarian will prescribe the exact dose of Amantidine you need to administer your dog. Amantidine is available both in capsules and liquid form. It is intended for oral administration.

Amantidine is administered daily for a period of 1 to 2 weeks. The treatment may be discontinued, but it can start again if the pain persists. If your dog has kidney problems, your veterinarian will prescribe a lower dose. Amantidine is eliminated through the kidneys, so the body might not be able to process a high quantity of the substance.

Side Effects of Amantidine

Given that Amantidine started being used in veterinarian medicine only recently, only few side effects have been reported so far:

  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea and flatulence
  • Dizziness

If your see any of these symptoms in your dog, you should contact your veterinarian.

Cautions and Amantidine Use

If your dog is undergoing another treatment, you should let your veterinarian know about it. Amantidine can interact with heart medication, antibiotics or diuretics. These could attenuate the effect of the drug. Antihistamines can exacerbate the effects of Amantidine and induce a state of agitation.