Epogen for Dogs

Epogen is not a drug that was designed for use in dogs, but it can nonetheless be very helpful in treating particular conditions that dogs suffer from. Epogen is a brand name formulation of the synthetic hormone erythropoietin. This hormone occurs naturally in the kidneys in healthy dogs and is responsible for stimulating the production of red blood cells. In dogs with certain kidney conditions, Epogen can help to supplement when natural erythropoietin levels are too low.

Epogen Overview

Epogen is approved for use in humans by the FDA. It hasn't been approved for use in animals specifically, but veterinarians can still prescribe it as an extra label drug in certain cases. Because of this, you'll have to take your pet in to the vet to have him properly diagnosed and examined before you can give him Epogen.

Epogen is necessary for supplementing in certain cases where dogs don't naturally produce sufficient quantities of erythropoietin. Without enough of this hormone, your pet may suffer from anemia, or a lack of red blood cells. Fortunately, by carefully supplementing and monitoring his erythropoietin with the help of Epogen, you can help him to maintain a stable health level.

Using Epogen for Your Dog

The dosage, length of medicine administration, and specifics of administration should be worked out with your veterinarian before you begin to provide your dog with Epogen.

Because each dog's case is somewhat different, and the amount of the hormone that you'll have to give him depends upon his:

  • size
  • weight
  • age
  • overall health level
  • kidney function
  • other factors

It's important that you continue to monitor your pet closely when you've begun the treatment.

While Epogen is considered to generally be very safe for use in dogs, as it provides a naturally occurring hormone that is found in all healthy dogs' bodies anyway, there are nonetheless a few precautions that you should take if you're planning to give your pet this medicine. Specifically, if your dog suffers from high blood pressure that you are not controlling with some other type of medicine, you should avoid giving him the Epogen treatment. Additionally, it's important that you inform your vet of any and all other medications that your pet is taking before you begin treatment, as Epogen can react negatively with a few types of drugs.

The most common side effects of Epogen include the following:

  • Decreased effectiveness of the drug
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite

Because of the body's immune system response to Epogen, it's possible that your dog can develop a resistance to the drug. This can be very dangerous for him if his condition which leads to low erythropoietin levels is permanent. For this reason, it's important that you work closely with the vet in order to be sure that your pet has the proper levels of this and other kidney hormones in his system at all times. For more information about Epogen, ask your vet.