Meclizine for Dogs

Meclizine is one of many drugs that has an antihistamine effect when provided to pets. Specifically, meclizine is used to help treat conditions of the inner ear which may result in motion sickness or other types of confusion in your pet. Although the medicine is designed and approved only for use in human beings, it can be provided to pets as well. If you suspect that your dog may benefit from a treatment involving meclizine, speak with your veterinarian for additional advice and to get a prescription for the medicine.

Meclizine Overview

Meclizine is an example of an antihistamine. Antihistamines work by blocking the reception of histamine cells, which are produced in your pet's body when your dog comes into contact with an allergen. Meclizine specifically works to stop histamines from affecting the vestibular system, which is located inside of your pet's ear and inside his brain. Overstimulation of this system has been linked with feelings of nausea, dizziness and motion sickness. Meclizine is effective at preventing your pet from experiencing motion sickness.

Using Meclizine for Your Pet

Meclizine is available as the commercial brand name drugs called Bonine and Antivert. There are also a few generic versions of the drug that accomplish the same effect as well. In order to give your pet this medicine, you'll need a veterinarian's prescription. If you believe that your dog suffers from motion sickness which causes him to be sick or uncomfortable while walking, running, playing or riding in the car, he may benefit from a meclizine treatment program.

Meclizine is available in tablet and capsule form. Both are used with dogs and are typically provided by mixing in the contents of the capsule with your pet's food or along with a treat. Typically, a dose of around 25 milligrams is given once per day in order to treat motion sickness. The exact dosage and administration schedule, however, will be determined by your pet's overall health, his motion sickness severity levels, and his weight and size. Ask your vet for additional information about when to provide the medicine to your pet in order to have the best results.

Side Effects and Risks of Meclizine for Dogs

Meclizine is typically safe for use in all dogs. However, if your pet suffers from stomach conditions, glaucoma, bladder abnormalities, it may be best to avoid giving him meclizine. Because of this, it's important that you inform your vet of any and all conditions which your pet suffers from before giving him meclizine.

The most common side effects of meclizine include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sedated state
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

It's also possible that your pet could suffer from a more serious allergic reaction to meclizine as well. In these cases, it's crucial that you take your pet in to an emergency treatment facility immediately. Report all side effects that you notice in your pet to a veterinarian.