Atropine Sulfate for Dogs

If your pet is suffering from complications from eye surgery or many other types of painful eye conditions, he may benefit from a regimen of atropine sulfate. This medicine is used to help dilate the eye and prevent painful pupil contractions that can occur as a result of a number of different eye conditions. Many veterinarians will prescribe this medicine pre-emptively if your pet is going through an eye condition or another related problem as a way of ensuring that your pet doesn't suffer from any eye pain.

Atropine Sulfate Overview

Atropine sulfate is a type of drug that is classified as a parasympatholytic agent. These types of drugs work to block acetylcholine from binding to various receptors in your pet's eye. The effective result is that the muscle which forces the pupil to dilate and contract is temporarily paralyzed, and your pet's pupil cannot shift in size. Because this shifting in size of the pupil can cause pain if your pet is suffering from a condition like uveitis, atropine sulfate therefore helps to prevent this pain.

Using Atropine Sulfate For Your Dog

Atropine sulfate is available in a wide variety of different brand name solutions. It is developed for use in both humans and dogs, and the brand name formulations are typically designed for humans, with other generic label solutions made for dogs. In either case, your vet will need to recommend that you use this medicine by giving you a prescription. If your pet shows signs of eye pain or trauma, or if you know that he has uveitis, corneal ulcers, or another inflammation of the eye, ask your vet about whether an atropine sulfate solution may help to relieve his pain.

Atropine sulfate is provided as a liquid solution that is designed to be applied to the eye via an eye dropper. The solution is very potent and typically causes dilation of the pupil for up to a week, so the dosage is highly variable. Your vet will be able to tell you exactly how much to use based on your pet's condition and the amount of inflammation in his eye.

Risks and Side Effects of Using Atropine Sulfate

There are certain conditions which preclude you from using atropine sulfate for your dog. If your pet suffers from glaucoma, for instance, it's not good to provide him with this solution. Divulge all conditions that your pet is suffering from to your vet before you begin the treatment.

Generally, the use of atropine sulfate is safe for all dogs, although some cats respond poorly to the drug, so it's best to avoid use in these pets. The most common side effects of atropine sulfate include:

  • Decrease in overall tear production (typically associated with long term use only)
  • Increased salivation

It's also possible that your pet might suffer from an allergic reaction to this medicine. In this case, take him to the vet for immediate examination.