Hydrocodone for Dogs

Hydrocodone is a type of narcotic medication that has sedative and antitussive properties. It’s generally given to dogs that are suffering from chronic bronchitis and kennel cough. Since it acts on the cough reflex in the dog’s body it suppresses cough effectively. This medication can only be prescribed by vets who hold a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) license.

Hydrocodone for Dogs

Hydrocodone is a prescription medication. Since it’s not formulated for use in pets, it should be administered with caution. Some human medications that contain Hydrocodone include Mycodone, Hycodan and Hydrotropine. The medication is available in both tablet and liquid form.

Uses of Hydrocodone

The drug effectively suppresses cough that’s associated with medical conditions like bronchitis and tracheobronchitis. It’s also prescribed to dogs that suffer from collapse of the windpipe. Even though the medication is effective when administered according to the vet’s guidelines, it causes a few side effects in some pets.

If your dog has suffered from hypersensitivity to hydrocodone or other narcotic drugs in the past, you must inform the vet about the same as the drug may not be ideal for your pet’s body.

Dosage and Administration of Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone is harmful when it’s not administered in the right manner. You should make note of all the instructions that are given to you by your vet to prevent accidental overdose. As a general guideline, your dog should be given 2.5 to 10 mg of the medication, either twice or four times daily.

The medication is usually administered as a course and the vet will be able to determine the duration of treatment, based on the diagnosis. If the pet develops any side effects after taking Hydrocone you must conduct a vet check at the earliest.

Side Effects of Hydrocodone in Dogs

Side effects include:

  • Fever
  • Thick nasal discharge
  • Nervous system disorders 
  • Allergic Reactions

Precautions You Must Take

Since your pet depends on you, especially when he’s sick, you must take a few precautions to make sure that your dog recovers quickly. Avoid giving Hydrocodone to your pet if you see thick discharge coming out of your pet’s nose. Since the medication has cough suppressing properties, it shouldn’t be administered to dogs that are suffering from lung infections. It’s also not ideal for pets that suffer from kidney disorders or hypothyroidism.

Hydrocodone Drug Interactions

Hydrocodone is known to interact with certain drugs. This can lead to additional side effects and complications. You must keep the vet informed if you’re administering other prescription medications like barbiturates and antihistamines. Herbal remedies and other over the counter drugs may also cause interactions. You should thus avoid giving your pet any other medications, without first consulting the vet.

Even if your pet shows signs of recovery after taking hydrocodone don’t discontinue the administration of this drug. If you discontinue the course midway, the symptoms of the infection may recur and the dog may become immune to the medication. Also avoid giving your dog’s medication to your cat as felines in general are more sensitive to drugs than canines.