Dog Diarrhea Treatment with Loperamide

When looking for something for dog diarrhea treatment, there are many options to be considered. One of them is Loperamide.

What Is Loperamide?

Loperamide, also known as Imodium, is a drug that is useful in treating diarrhea, acute colitis, inflammatory bowel disease and malabsorption or poor digestion. It can be given either over the counter or in prescription form. Though not FDA approved for use in animals, it is often given to dogs. It may come in the form of liquids, capsules or caplets.

The standard dose for over the counter Loperamide is 1 ml per pound in liquid form, and 1 mg per 20 pounds for tablet form, both to be given every eight hours. Check with your veterinarian before giving your dog an over the counter medication, to make certain that it will not cause any problems.

How Loperamide Works

Loperamide does not actually cure the problem that is causing your dog's diarrhea. What it does is slow down movement in the intestines so that the diarrhea lessens or vanishes entirely. It is still important to find out what is causing your dog's diarrhea, so that the problem can be cleared up. Over-use of most anti-diarrhea medications can cause problems, so be careful to follow the dosage listed on the packaging.

Side Effects of Loperamide

As with any medication, side effects may occur. These include the following:

There may also be some more serious side effects, such as central nervous problems, but these are rare.

Other Problems

This medication should not be used in dogs that have a sensitivity to opiates or narcotics. It should also not be used in dogs that have abdominal pain or head trauma. If your dog has ingested a toxin that is causing the diarrhea, this medication should not be used until the toxin has been cleansed out of his system. Never use this medication on pregnant or nursing dogs.

When using Loperamide, you should be cautious if your dog is older or debilitated. Caution should also be exercised if your dog has any of the following conditions:

Consult with a veterinarian if your dog has any of these problems, prior to giving him or her Loperamide.

Symptoms of Overdose

It is quite possible for your dog to overdose on this medicine. If your dog has had too much, these symptoms will be indicated:

  • Slowed heart rate
  • Slowed respiratory rate
  • Constipation
  • Depression

If any of these symptoms appear, stop the use of Loperamide and immediately contact your veterinarian.

If your dog's diarrhea persists for longer than 48 hours, then you will need to seek further treatment because it may be a sign of a more serious condition. Diarrhea can lead to more serious problems, namely dehydration. Ensure that your dog is drinking plenty of fluids.