Hydroxyzine for Dogs

Hydroxyzine, also known by the specific brand names Anxanil, Vistaril and Atarax, is a type of medicine that is regularly prescribed to dogs for the treatment of allergy symptoms. Dogs with allergic reactions to a variety of different types of offending allergens can all benefit from the effects of hydroxyzine.

If your dog suffers from allergies to particulate matter in the air, ingredients in his food, household chemicals or other items, consult with your vet about the possibility of using hydroxyzine to help moderate and control those reactions.

Hydroxyzine Overview

Hydroxyzine is an example of an antihistamine drug. Antihistamine drugs work to stop histamines; in the case of hydroxyzine, this is done by blocking the reception of the histamines. Histamines are produced by the body in response to an offending allergen. When these histamines travel through the blood stream and connect with histamine receptors, the negative results of an allergic reaction tend to come about.

By blocking a particular type of histamine receptor called an H1 receptor, hydroxyzine helps to moderate many of the various symptoms of an allergic reaction in your dog.

Hydroxyzine Medical Information

Hydroxyzine is formulated for human use. Although the FDA hasn't approved it for use in animals, it can still be prescribed legally by a veterinarian. Make sure that you do obtain a prescription in order to buy this drug for your pet, however, because it is illegal otherwise. The drug is generally considered safe, although it may have some side effects in certain animals.

Antihistamines like hydroxyzine are routinely given in a variety of different forms. This helps you to determine which form of the medicine will be best for your pet based on his preferences and on his temper. The most commonly used form is the oral table, which can be easily mixed in with food or given alongside a treat.

Oral syrups and injections are also available, though they're both less common.

Hydroxyzine Dosage and Side Effects

The exact dosage of hydroxyzine depends upon your dog's size, age, his condition and other factors. Always work with your vet to monitor the dosage to be sure that your pet is getting what he needs.

There are some side effects to using hydroxyzine for your dog. Many dogs that take hydroxyzine suffer from a loss of appetite. Others will experience dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea or general lethargy as well. These side effects are relatively uncommon and generally mild.

Be on the lookout for other potentially more serious signs of an allergic reaction to the drug. As with other medicines, hydroxyzine can interact negatively with certain other medicines in your dog's system. For this reason, it's always a good idea to let your vet know about any and all other medicines that your pet is taking before you begin to give him hydroxyzine.

For more information about hydroxyzine and to determine if this medicine is right for your pet, ask a vet.