Loperamide Hydrochloride for Dogs

Loperamide hydrochloride is more commonly known in human medicine as Immodium. This drug is used to treat diarrhea and other related gastric issues in people and can be used for the same reason with animals as well. Although the medicine has not been approved by the FDA for use in dogs, it is routinely prescribed by veterinarians for use in pet medicine as well. If you do decide to give your pet this medicine, ensure that you have a proper prescription first before you administer the drug. Your vet should watch your pet closely throughout the duration of the regimen.

Loperamide Hydrochloride Overview

The way that loperamide hydrochloride works to help stop your pet's diarrhea is by slowing down the functioning of the intestinal tract. As it does that, it also helps to reduce the amount of intestinal secretions that are produced as well, which has a function of helping to solidify the stool also. Loperamide hydrochloride is faster acting and more readily absorbed into the gastric tract than a number of other medicines that are designed to serve the same function, so it can provide relief from diarrhea symptoms sooner.

Treating Your Pet with Loperamide Hydrochloride

This medicine comes available in tablet form and also as an oral syrup. Most pet owners find that the tablet is much easier to administer to their pet than the oral syrup is. The tablet can easily be ground down and mixed up with a bowl of dog food or given along with a pet treat as well. Be careful with the dosing of this medicine, however, as the standard doses are designed for humans and are often too large for dogs.

Follow your vet's instructions carefully to ensure that you give your pet the appropriate amount of loperamide hydrochloride based on his:

  • weight
  • age
  • severity of condition,
  • other health conditions that he is experiencing

Risks and Side Effects of Loperamide Hydrochloride

Although the risks of using loperamide hydrochloride are very slight, there are nonetheless a few things that you'll need to be conscious of when you give your pet this medicine. First, you'll need to know the cause of your pet's diarrhea before you give him this medicine; diarrhea caused by bacteria or the ingesting of a toxin should be treated in other ways. There are also other medicines and conditions which may preclude the use of loperamide hydrochloride, so you should tell your vet about your pet's health before you begin.

The most commonly noted side effects of this drug are:

  • Bloating
  • Lethargy or sedation
  • Constipation
  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Stimulation of the nervous system

It's also possible that your dog might suffer from an allergic reaction to the medicine. In these cases, take note of all of the symptoms that you encounter and quickly take your pet in to the vet's office for emergency analysis and treatment. Report all side effects to your vet to ensure that your pet is treated properly.