Omeprazole for Cats

Cats suffering from ulcers of the stomach or heartburn caused by acid reflux will often benefit from a treatment plan involving omeprazole. This drug is formulated to treat ulcers and related problems in your cat's body. It is more commonly known by the brand name drug Prilosec, although there are generic versions available too. The following is a brief overview of how omeprazole can help to provide your pet with relief from his ulcers and heartburn.

Omeprazole Overview

This medicine is a member of a class of drugs called protein pump inhibitors. These types of drugs are responsible for restricting the passage and movement of ions in your pet's bloodstream and stomach lining. Through this action, omeprazole is able to limit the amount of stomach acid that your pet's body produces and which is secreted into his stomach. This helps to balance out the enzymes and chemicals in his stomach and to provide a less acidic environment. When this stability point is reached, your cat's ulcers will be better able to heal without being subject to the stress of stomach acids that might otherwise prevent these sores from healing.

Using Omeprazole for Your Cat

Omeprazole is designed for humans and is only approved by the FDA for use in human medicine. However, it has shown to be effective in many veterinary medicine cases as well, and vets will legally prescribe it in some cases. However, you'll need to keep your pet under the watchful care of a veterinarian while he's taking omeprazole.

Omeprazole is typically given in tablet form and can be mixed in with your pet's food or given along with a treat that he eats. The medicine is usually provided in a dose once per day. The exact amount of the medicine that you'll need to give your dog is dependent upon his health, size, age, weight, breed and other factors. Be sure to follow your vet's advice for dosing this medicine as carefully as possible to be sure to avoid any potential risks.

Side Effects and Risks of Omeprazole

Omeprazole is generally seen to be safe for use in cats. However, it's possible that your pet might have an allergic reaction to the drug. If this is the case, take your pet to a vet's office for immediate examination. It's also important that you tell your vet about any and all other drugs that your pet is taking before you begin to provide him with the first doses of omeprazole.

The most common side effects that are associated with omeprazole include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive flatulence
  • Lethargy

In most cases, these side effects are mild and they are unlikely to occur if you follow the proper dosage recommendations provided by your vet. The treatment typically is continued for a period of days or weeks until the ulcers have been able to heal properly.