Bentyl for Dogs (Dicyclomine)

Bentyl is a brand name for the drug dicyclomine. Dicyclomine is an anticholinergic/antispasmodic medication used to relax contractions of the intestines and urinary tract. Dicyclomine is commonly used to treat irritable bowel syndrome and urinary incontinence in dogs.

Dicyclomine is used in humans, dogs and cats. You do need a prescription for this medication. It's not too expensive, usually ranging from $7 to $20 for a bottle of 30 capsules or tablets. The price is dependent on the dosage your pet requires.

How Bentyl Works

Dicyclomine relaxes the muscles in the abdomen, targeting the intestinal muscles and bladder muscles. By getting these muscles to relax, spasms linked to irritable bowel syndrome and come cases of incontinence decrease or stop completely. The medication blocks chemicals within the body that cause the muscle spasms. The medication is fast acting, usually reducing symptoms within an hour. It remains in the bloodstream for upwards of 24 hours, ensuring lasting benefits against irritable bowel syndrome in dogs.

Dosages and Administration of Dicyclomine

Bentyl comes in 10 milligram capsules, 10 milligram syrup, 20 milligram injections or 20 milligram tablets. Your veterinarian will advise you on the proper dosage for your dog based on the pet's weight and symptoms. If you're giving your pet a capsule or tablet, you may find it easiest to hide the pill in a piece of bread with a thin layer of peanut butter. Some people also have luck hiding the pill in a cube of meat.

It is advised that your pet drink plenty of water when taking his dicyclomine. If your pet doesn't readily drink water, you can make the liquid more tempting by providing a dish of unsalted chicken or beef broth. Many dogs will readily lap up a bowl of broth. You can make homemade broth simply by boiling a chicken carcass or beef bones that you've purchased from your butcher or grocery store meat department.

Never give your dog two doses at once if you've missed a doe. Overdose can occur. Signs of overdose include:

  • Changes to vision
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Dizziness
  • Excitability
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Side Effects of Bentyl

While dangerous side effects are uncommon, some pets do experience constipation and dry mouth while taking dicyclomine. The medication may also make your pet more tired than usual. Make sure your pet gets plenty of water while taking Bentyl. This can help decrease the chances for constipation.

Allergic reactions are rare, but you should be aware some pets do have reactions to the medication. Contact your veterinary office immediately if your pet shows any of the signs of dangerous allergic reaction. These signs include:

  • Anemia
  • Coma
  • Facial swelling
  • Hives
  • Itchy skin
  • Seizures
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Shock

Contraindications for Bentyl

Do not use dicyclomine in any animal with glaucoma, hyperthyroidism, intestinal infection, heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease. Avoid use of dicyclomine in pregnant or nursing dogs. If you're uncertain or have concerns, discuss them with your veterinarian before giving your dog his first dose.

Before using Bentyl, give your veterinarian a full list of any over-the-counter supplements or prescription medications your pet is currently taking. Some vitamins, minerals and medications cause interactions with Bentyl.